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Disrespecting the American Flag


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I was watching a Youtube video of the model room and saw that someone used the American Flag as a table cloth under a group of ship models. This breaks the flag code and is very disrespectful to the flag. It should never be used like that. I would hope that a veterans there set this guy straight.

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I just looked through all of the photos in the gallery and did not see such a thing. Perhaps it got handled. Do you have a link to the video by chance?

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11 hours ago, ShutterAce said:

I just looked through all of the photos in the gallery and did not see such a thing. Perhaps it got handled. Do you have a link to the video by chance?

is at the 4.55 minute mark.

It 

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Not sure how I missed that.

I want to be clear that I am not making excuses for this person or anyone else but...

How many people even know that there is a flag code? I was taught it in Cub Scouts for sure, perhaps even elementary school. My kids learned it from me. Who is passing it on today? I can't think of anyone off the top of my head. I would expect that at the very least government agencies, including the military branches, would teach it. The number of veterans I see sporting clothing with flag themes and companies using the flag in their advertising campaigns makes me doubt that even that is happening.

I understand your frustration. I deal with it myself quite often. I just keep telling myself it's not malicious. They just don't know any better. We have to be the example.

Final thought... It is a 48 star flag. Perhaps the person thinks it is no longer a flag because it is not in the current configuration. Not true but I can see how a person would think that.

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If that is Sean Fallesen’s winning entry for the ship collection category, US Navy Battle Line 1941, I can assure you, knowing the man personally for many years, it is not meant as disrespect. Sean is very articulate, intelligent, and extremely well versed in naval history. He is also quite a restrained individual, and never in all my years of knowing him has he ever voiced any disrespect for this nation in many  evenings of conversations. I will venture that Sean was not up to speed on US flag code, or as mentioned above that he thought the code no longer applies to that now obsolete version, the 48 star field, of Old Glory.

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I have used the flag before to display some stuff like that. I have no problem with it because the symbolism is respectful.

I see people fly the flag all the time after dark with no lighting and in the rain. I have seen them flown literally until they faded out and rotted off the pole. A few American battleship models sitting on them upsets me not. During my time in the Navy, I could count the times on one hand we folded the flag. Most times it was just stuffed in the drawer of the quarter deck desk after evening colors.

Dak

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Modelers spend weeks and months researching what the relief tube looked like on some minor sub-variant of an insignificant airplane, but can't take ten minutes to review flag ettiquette before they use one as what amounts to a tablecloth?

For those who weren't aware:

https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/celebrate/flagdisplay.pdf

Ignorance is no excuse.  "I've seen..." is no excuse.  "They do it..." is no excuse.  The code and rules of flag ettiquette for the United States flag are published and available to anyone who asks.  I found this by doing a simple Google search--it took all of a minute.

Ralph

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Now days, I find the flag is used much too often as a fashion statement-----like flying it in a front yard and from a car. We live in the United States and I find it shameful garrison flags get used to sell cars. Are people so insecure they have to remind people of that? Most just seem to put it up just to look cool or to try to convince others they are a patriot.

Personally, I found the display of American ships on an American flag to be completely respectful. Flag etiquette is a guide line, not a law. When etiquette becomes dogma, we are a doomed people. The important thing is not the flag, but the nation for which it stands.

Dak

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Let’s start with the basics, as defined by the US Flag Code.

From the US Flag Code, section 1

§1. Flag; stripes and stars on

The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be fifty stars representing the fifty states, white in a blue field

§2. Same; additional stars

On the admission of a new State into the Union one star shall be added to the union of the flag; and such addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission

 

no mention is made in the code of previous obsolete versions of the flag. Here is the rest of the code if anyone cares to look. The one in the VA link is not as comprehensive.

We can debate all sorts of things, but if something is not covered in code, it does not apply. 

I spoke with Sean about this yesterday, and some folks apparent heartburn. It was not meant in disrespect. Period. 

US Flag Code

 

 

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It is to me. If your front yard is in Kabul, it is patriotism. On Elm Street in Memphis it is just fashion. It’s easy to be brave and fly the flag where no one shoots at it. People rarely fly the flag using the etiquette you speak of. In most cases the just put it up and forget about it. This shows far more disrespect than someone burning it in political protest.
 

People also tend to put more importance on the flag than what it stands for. In the end, it is nothing but a symbol, not a thing to be worshipped.

Dak

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  • 5 weeks later...

Dakimbrell

I call B.S. on your statement that flying the US Flag in the front yard is a fashion statement.  This 20 year Air Force veteran flies The Flag in his front yard, 24/7.  It is lighted and replaced regularly.    I am extremely PROUD of that flag and the country that it represents.

Saying "it is nothing but a symbol" really burns me.  It is far more than just a piece of cloth waving in the breeze.  It stands for the country behind it.  Many men an women have sacrificed their lives or well-being for that flag and country and for you to say what you do dishonors them.

I'll quit now before I say something that might "offend" someone.

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I suggest you go back and actually read what I wrote rather than engage in silly patriotic hyperbole. The flag is an important symbol, but in the end it is still just a bit of cloth. What is truly important is WHAT IT STANDS FOR.

I constantly see it flown by people who have let it fade out and or gone to tatters. I detest seeing it used to sell cars. Ashamed for our nation when I hear the National anthem played at ball games and song is not even done and they are yelling play ball. 

Today, for example, I drove behind a car with a little flag clipped to it. All in tatters. That is why I say for many it is nothing but fashion. It’s easy to be a patriot when you are safe at home. It another thing to fly it in far away places where they shoot at it. 
 

Mark, you are an exception. 95% who put the flag out in their yards forget it is there. They treat it like a sports team emblem, nothing more.

The question is, would you defend the right for someone to burn it in protest? Or defend their right to let it rot off the pole?

Dak

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There are many viewpoints about how and when using a nation's flag could be deemed disrespectful. The table display at the national certainly did not appear to me to be disrespectful, but honoured those brave sailors defending freedoms that we all take for granted.

Regarding using flags as a fashion statement reminds me of Gerri Halliwell using our  British Union Flag made into a dress in her Spice Girl days.

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Disrespectful behavior is a somewhat personal thing. What one person sees as respectful others see as the opposite.

Everything is in the eye of the beholder. Should we see all those swastikas on airplane models as “support” for Nazis? Certainly not. But some see it that way. Is a model of a North Vietnamese ace’s MiG-17 disrespectful to American pilots of the war? Is doing a model of the bombed and burned USS Arizona disrespectful to those killed or a tribute? Is a model of the Baron’s Triplanes disrespectful to those he killed? Is a model of one of the 9/11 airliners insulting or a tribute to our fallen?

What is the difference between a figure of a Japanese soldier holding an American flag and an American holding a Japanese flag?

Dak

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6 hours ago, Dakimbrell said:

Should we see all those swastikas on airplane models as “support” for Nazis?

The continent of Europe certainly does, as do a rather large segment of America.

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38 minutes ago, jcorley said:

The continent of Europe certainly does, as do a rather large segment of America.

Yes, but as has been argued here infinitely, we (IPMS) like our genuine history. If we get rid of all the swastikas, then we should get rid of all the Nazi era aircraft. Then the Nazi tanks, ships and such. Then maybe we should get rid of space programs worked on by former Nazi scientists. 

Then of course, we should get rid of Stalin era Russian equipment as he murdered a few million, too. Then Japanese stuff for the same reason along with Chinese equipment. Then we prohibit any American Vietnamese era stuff (My Lai and Agent Orange). Then there is all the British Imperialism stuff and Confederate elements of the Civil War. Then we get into things like the Crusades and other nasty bits of history---30 years war, 100 years war, Mongol invasion, the Reconquista, etc.

Don't forget Darth Vader helped destroy an entire planet. So...

As I said, you can find something "offensive" in just about anything we do as models. 

Dak

DSC_0445.JPG

Edited by Dakimbrell
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Swastikas on models of Luftwaffe aircraft of WW2 are correct in historical context. I believe that the swastika is now a banned symbol in Germany so that is why kit box art does not depict it. Whether or not the symbol is depicted on the decal sheets inside the box is another matter.

This thread is drifting away from being a debate about disrespecting the American flag a bit.

Although we Brits value and share the same freedoms and ideals as the US we tend to be more understated than our American friends. You see very few flag staffs outside British houses flying our Union flag compared to Americans. But that does not indicate that we are any less patriotic however. 

When England are playing football in the World Cup or the Euros the English Cross Of St.George flag can be seen draped everywhere when those competitions take place but come down immediately after.

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The original topic was Tim Wilding being upset with Sean Fallesen's use of the American flag as a base for his Pacific fleet collection. Now, I am quite sure Sean meant no disrespect and actually saw his use of the flag as an element of respect. That the flag used was also a 48 star flag and not covered under current protocols also underscores this.

Every year someone is upset about something displayed at the convention. I think we need to remember most of us are adults and can decide for ourselves what offends us and a simply move on. My point being that if we begin eliminating potentially offensive models, we will end up with nothing.

Dak

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That’s a bit of an exaggeration,Dak. For years, the National Organization has had in place a sensible and reasonable and responsible policy about what it feels might be offensive to most. We still have plenty of entries and entrants each year with less and less entries that are inappropriate, thus demonstrating that sensible, reasonable, responsible people actually can reach a consensus policy that works. And it is important that we have done this successfully because, as has been oft repeated, what is in our contest rooms is viewed by the public and reflects on us as an organization. We should be conscious, therefore, of staying within the bounds of ordinary good taste and commonly held sensibilities. Nick

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I stand by the statement that EVERY YEAR there is something that someone finds offensive. Even I have found the odd thing offensive. 
 

Not everyone makes an issue of it. 
 

Dak

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I think this thread has now run its course, as this and other previous threads have already discussed in detail about what does and does not offend people. 

At the end of the day we are all different and have our own individual views on what is in good or bad taste.

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