Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
I am a veteran, but I am not super patriotic.
I am averse to jingoism in all of its forms.
I haven’t stood for the national anthem since 911, and after the wars began in Afghanistan and Iraq, because I am against the unconstitutional use of military power.
I am against torture. I am against the policies of extraordinary rendition, against holding prisoners taken from the battlefield without extending to them the protections that should be afforded to every human being who is under the aegis of American power.
I am against it.
But I witnessed a simple little something last night that tugged at my heart strings a little bit.
My lady and I were at a local tavern; it was Friday night and we stepped out for a burger and beer.
This little bar, Pat’s Tap, it’s not a VFW, or an American Legion hall. It’s just a bar that happens to have a flag pole out front, and the owner flies the flag out front, both the Stars and Stripes, and the State flag of Minnesota.
The owner of this place owns a number of bars and restaurants around town, and to my knowledge this is the only with a flag pole.
The flag pole came with the property, and she kept the custom of flying our flags here intact.
We arrived there at about sundown, and where we were seated, facing the door we were able to watch as two of the staff members brought the flags down, carried them carefully inside and gave them each a proper fold.
It touched me.
Pat’s Tap is just a neighborhood place, middle class, with decent food and games.
They have Skee Ball, it’s vaguely a rock n’ roll place.
These ladies brought the flags down, carried them in. They were careful to ensure that they did not touch the floor. They folded it into a neat little triangle, she said, “as the Scout manual instructed them too.”
I asked her about it. She told me it was just what they did. She seemed happy to talk about it, and proud for her part, in caring for the symbols of our nation and our state.
It made me feel good.