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Thank you to Hawley for U.S. flag donation

This letter is a heartfelt “thank you” to Brandon Hawley for donating a new oversized American flag to fly over Alpena’s small boat harbor. It’s grand to see the 30-feet tall, 50-feet wide flag at the end of Chisholm Street where it meets Lake Huron.

I was concerned, however, that Mr. Hawley stated that “there are some who aren’t patriotic and don’t look favorably upon the flag.” (The Alpena News, Monday, March 11, 2021, front page)

I don’t know who Mr. Hawley has met to give him that opinion. As an Alpena resident, I have never met anyone who intentionally denigrates the American flag.

When the star-spangled banner is properly displayed, such as at the marina, it represents the unity of our people (“one nation under God indivisible”) and the sacrifice that hundreds of thousands of men and women have made over the years in times of war, fighting for our Republic and our core values.

As a veteran of the U. S. Army, it was heartbreaking for me to see the appalling misuse of the American flag on Jan. 6 in Washington, DC, by tens of thousands of fellow citizens who may not have even known how misguided and vulgar they were behaving.

According to the flag code, the stars and stripes should not be worn as apparel (like the “capes” people wore in the crowd) nor as imprints on shirts, hats, bandanas, shorts, etc. The U.S. flag should never touch the ground, nor be carried flat. It should never be dipped toward any person, let alone be used as a weapon to beat people.

I’m not sure if the disrespect we witnessed is due to negligence, ignorance, or intentional disregard of American flag etiquette, but it has to stop.

Thank you again, Brandon Hawley, for your generous donation.

PAUL LANCE,

Alpena

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