Thursday, September 20, 2012

Call Me Unashamedly Patriotic

The S. L. Clark Family
4 July 2012

It's safe to say - our family is patriotic. Ask any one of us what our favorite holiday is and its a good bet you'll hear, "Independence Day." 

We're proud to be Americans and we have gratitude filled hearts for the men and women who serve to defend and protect our freedom.

Photo by Bryan F. Tidlund
Idaho Falls, Idaho 4 July 2012

We love fireworks and the National Anthem and our flag. It's not about picnics and parades, it's sacred. It's about liberty and independence and understanding the sacrifices that have been made so we can live the way we choose. Our roots trace back through every war this country has been engaged in. Our ancestor patriots fought for the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness in a God-fearing and free country. You could say it's in our cellular memory to love and revere this country and the freedoms it provides. Stand beside us when we're singing the National Anthem and you'll probably discover we're just a little teary. It may be cliche' but it's us!

We take the pursuit of happiness very seriously, so it's not every day I get all fired up about something. I'm truly a pretty chill individual. But mess with my flag and I get a little over-heated. This past weekend we drove past a business in West Yellowstone that had posted a line of altered American flags. They clearly felt they were being patriotic by blending images of what they were passionate about overlaid on the flag they love. Sadly, their actions were inappropriate. It got me a little agitated, I'm not gonna lie.
Photo by Stuart L. Clark
 USS Arizona Memorial- Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
10 May 2012

Far too often of late I have driven by businesses and seen the flag of the United States desecrated with some form of advertising overlaying the flag. Or I've seen people in parades wearing shirts obviously cut from a flag. Or I've seen the flag altered so a logo can reside where the field of blue should be. Clever, gimmicky, perhaps even fueled by well meaning intent, but desecration none the less.

Elsewhere, I've driven by businesses, schools, churches and more who are flying a flag that is faded, tattered, and torn. I've seen flags posted and unlit, left standing alone in the dark. Call me unashamedly patriotic - I love our flag. I love our country. I love our troops. I love everything our flag symbolizes and when it is defaced I feel sick inside. Don't misunderstand. This is not a diatribe against any one particular person, political party, or organization. This is simply a plea for Americans to remember and display an ongoing respect for Old Glory. 
US Marine Memorial (Iwo Jima)
Arlington Cemetery, Washington DC
In a world where our flag is being desecrated and burned by those who fully intend to bring us harm, shouldn't we - as a nation - be showing greater respect for our flag? I don't care what your political views are, as a nation we have men and women representing us who are risking their lives every day to insure our flag still waves as a symbol of liberty and hope for the world. When some are giving so much, can we give any less?

I have a friend who drove past a local high school and saw the stripes of their flag were starting to separate. She didn't just tell them to replace it, she went out and bought them a new flag and hand delivered it; then asked them to respectfully discard of the old one. Her action took my breath away. Can you imagine the impact if we all acted in such a way? 
Photo by Taunalee Clark
BYU Idaho - 11 September 2012
Come on America! Step up - show some pride. If you know someone who has some great marketing idea to overlay on the flag - tell them it's not okay. Let businesses and organizations know it's not okay for them to alter the flag for their marketing purposes. Take the time to let someone know when their flag is too worn to be flown. Buy them a new flag. Offer to help them discard the old one respectfully. We may not have global impact as individuals, but we can do this. 

Honor, cherish, and protect our flag!

In the spirit of 'knowledge is power' here's some links for your review.

We all learned about flag codes and etiquette in grade school, but if all that knowledge has begun to fade you can read up on it here:

Did you know you can purchase a flag that has flown over the US capital? You can even request the day it's flown. I've done it. We fly a flag that was posted on our wedding anniversary. (3 July) We gave such a flag to my parents as well. I love it. This is a quality flag with embroidered stars and stitched stripes - pure class. You can purchase your own flag this way.  Go to this website to find out how:

Photo by Rachel Clark
Idaho Falls Parade
4 July 2012
Eventually, flags need to be retired. This symbol of freedom and liberty must be discarded with the utmost respect. Here's how to make sure you're honoring the flag you retire. From USA FLAG SITE:

There are several ways in which you may give your American flag the proper retirement without showing disgrace to this great country. If you would like to dispose of the flag yourself then the most fitting way is to hold your own, private ceremony. The U.S. Flag Code states, "The flag, when it is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferable by burning." After your flag has been burned, the ashes should be buried. If you cannot burn and bury the flag yourself, then there are several organizations that will retire your flag in a proper and respectful ceremony. Among them are:
American Legion @
Boy Scouts of America @
Girl Scouts of America @

Marine Corps League @
Contact one of the organizations obove and they will be able to direct you to a local post, troop or location near you.

~ May God Bless America ~


  1. AMEN Mama! This is awesome. :) But the pic at BYU-I doesn't show up. :/

  2. I really love this post and all of your pics. I couldn't have said it better myself. :)

  3. i say AMEN as well! thank you for this and for your patriotism!!