Flag Folding Rant

Hey folks, I’m going to try to keep this one short, although I make no guarantees.  So let’s get started and for good effect we’ll start on a downer.  My Great Grandfather recently passed away.  He was born in 1917, so yeah…97 years old at time of death; only a few months from 98.

Now, being born in 1917 that means that when World War II broke out he was 24 years old.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the war.  When I was a child I had to interview him for a school project and summed up his war-time service as, “…pushing papers in California.”  Even so, being a war-time veteran he is afforded certain posthumous honors, such as a flag encasing his casket at the funeral and said flag being folded up and given to his eldest surviving daughter (my grandmother).

This is where the rant begins.  You see, this is the American flag:

US_flag_48_stars_svg

In case you aren’t aware there is a very specific way you are supposed to fold it.  It should wind up looking something like this when you’re done:

And handing it to the widow(er) or child of the deceased.

And handing it to the widow(er) or child of the deceased.

The Army had sent two E-6 ranked soldiers (Staff Sergeants) to oversee the flag ceremony.  For those completely unknowing of how the army works, the ranks only go to E-9.  In order to get to E-6 you must be a good soldier with about 6 years or an exceptional soldier with about 4 years of service in the Army and have an opening in your MOS (your job class).

So we’re looking at between 8 and 12 years of combined Army experience, if not more.  And they butchered the ceremony.  These two dolts had no idea what they were doing.  Here are some basic directions on how to fold the American flag:

Flag_Fold

Did you read the directions?  Congratulations, you now are more qualified to perform the ceremony than these two Staff Sergeants were!  They started off by putting the blue field on the top and folding it over so only the stripes were showing.  They managed to figure out their error and corrected it, starting over.

They got it all folded lengthwise, then one of them began bringing up the triangle pattern.  He got to the last fold, step number seven on that picture, and they both just stared at each other for a moment, then they just kind of…wrapped the extra over the edge and crimped it tightly in their hands, like it was a piece of paper they could just fold and crease to stay in place.

Is this what the Army sends to Veteran’s funerals nowadays?  Really?  I’ve seen cub scouts fold a flag way better than these two sods did!

Good god, if they had been my cadets, back when I was in ROTC?  I would have made them do it again, apologize to the next of kin both orally and in writing, and then had a flag put in their profiles for the next promotion cycle so they couldn’t go up another undeserved rank.

And that brings me to how poor of a commanding officer they have.  You really send this kind of trash to oversee the funeral of a veteran?  Turn in your stars, bars, leafs, or whatever you don’t deserve to wear and take off the uniform.  Turn it back in to the quartermasters and just leave.  Go someplace unimportant, like Suriname.

Even you couldn't screw up folding this thing!

Even you couldn’t screw up folding this thing!

~RCS

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Confederated States of Stupid

I hadn’t planned on commenting about the fiasco in South Carolina about the Confederated Flag.  Or the one in Mississippi…or Virginia…or Walmart and–y’know what, I just had planned on not mentioning it.  I’ve actually been using what spare time I had recently to write another funny story about me getting hit on.

But after a family member (through marriage, I’m not claiming the guy) posted a particular picture (which I’ll show below) on their Facebook, I decided I needed to rant a little bit about Confederate stupidity.

Now first let me give you my basic opinion on the Confederate Flag(s).  Should it be taken off of Virginian license plates, removed from the South Carolina Capitol building, and all that?  Yes, yes it should.  Should it be done to honor the victims of the shooting in a Charleston church?  No, no it shouldn’t.  Should it be done because the Confederate States of America was technically an enemy we were at war with and defeated and the fact that flying any of its flags should be considered a sign of treason?  Yes, well…I mean, as far as what it imports not actually hanging traitors for wearing Dukes of Hazard shirts or anything.

I’ve heard all the reasons not to take it down…

“It’s South Carolina’s heritage.” 

Well, so is being a British colony, but I don’t see them hanging the Union Jack from the Capitol building, do you?  I don’t see Texas putting a Mexican flag over their State Capitol anytime soon, so why would South Carolina want to fly the flag of a defeated ‘nation’ over their government complexes?

“That’s the flag that flew over that building during the war, so it belongs there to honor those who fought for it!”

Actually no, that’s the flag of the Army of Virginia, the South Carolinians fought under a totally different battle flag.

“That flag, or a representation of it, has been flying over that building since the Civil War!”

Actually no, that flag was hoisted over the capitol building in 1961 to protest desegregation ordered by the federal government.

So what is the picture that got me a little worked up?  Here it is and it’s totally not racist in the least, no siree, not even a touch of racism to it…

I lied, it's INCREDIBLY racist.

I lied, it’s INCREDIBLY racist.

 

Yeah…there’s three problems with the comparison.

1. All hail the white folks who hoist the flag of an enemy army who fought and killed Americans; but oh not, ‘dem dirty Negroes is stomping on the flag in a peaceful protest?  Speaking of peaceful protest…why is it okay for the white kids to have rifles while waving an enemy battle flag, but the black kids having a peaceful protest where they stomp on the flag is so terrible?

2. Cute that the white martyrs get their faces blurred, but the black kids have their faces plastered on the picture.

3. The comparison is totally disjointed.  This is the argument I always have with my Republican friends about stuff like bibles in schools or the ten commandments on the courthouse steps.  We are talking about a government building flying the flag of an enemy army; compared to a private citizen desecrating the U.S. Flag.  When a government building places something it implies that the government is supporting whatever that thing is or whatever it signifies.  If I hang a Don’t Tread on Me flag it probably means that I’m upset with the government, likewise if I hang a laminated picture of the Quran on my porch it probably means I either am Muslim or support Islam in some, rather strong, manner.  So if a government building hangs the Quranic verse in stone on their front steps, it implies that government authority favors Islam and Muslims.  If the government building hangs only a Quranic verse, it means it favors that religion over others, which is contrary to the protections of the constitution.  Similarly if a government building hangs the flag of an enemy army, that technically implies it has joined that army or is currently under control by the enemy.  It needs to be besieged and rescued immediately by the Army!

If Louisiana placed a French Flag above the capitol building, these same Confederate-lovers would be inconsolable about it.  Imagine if the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. placed an English flag on a pole in front of the building.  Why not?  We beat them, too.  It’s part of our heritage, isn’t it?  But no, that would be totally unacceptable.

Bunch of Jackasses.

~RCS

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