Thursday, June 18, 2020

You Must Be Born Again America

Aliima Zimmer is a United States Marine.  She has served as the national banner bearer for the Marine Corps League.  At 4’11” she braved wind gusts to proudly bear colors under which family members served at Valley Forge, fought against one another in the American Civil War, and stood victorious in two world wars.  Imagine her legacy of proud service desecrated by a derelict command.  Either @RealDonaldTrump goes, or (to the music of Lee Greenwood, Proud To Be An American), the flag, the 4th of July birthday, the military bases named after defeated confederate troops, confederate state flags, confederate statues and symbols in the buildings or parks, and The Star Spangled Banner, written by a slave owner as a guest aboard the enemy’s command ship, AND BASEBALL must be retired.

By Stephanie A. Walker Stradford and Eric Stradford, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired

AMWS, June 19, 2020, Atlanta –Four of five living presidents can take a virtual knee, decreeing and declaring today to be a national day for healing.  Collectively, they represent a unified presidency, empowered to uphold the spirit of American law.  Their demonstration follows presidential precedence for national engagement set at THE PRESIDENTS’ SUMMIT FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE.

On June 19, 2019, The 116th U.S. Congress recognized June 19, 2019 as JUNETEENTH NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY.  White House records suggest @RealDonaldTrump was well aware of a rapidly rising tide.  Before scheduling a June 19, 2020 campaign event, @WhiteHouse had posted, “As a Nation, we vow to never forget the millions of African Americans who suffered the evils of slavery.  Together, we honor the unbreakable spirit and countless contributions of generations of African Americans to the story of American greatness.”

Unprecedented national demonstration answers a call from former President Barack H. Obama to “make people in power uncomfortable.”  The call comes at a time when basic values such as truth and compassion are threatened by a diminished capacity to trust. “Today and every day, we recommit ourselves to defending the self-evident truth, boldly declared by our Founding Fathers, that all people are created equal,” stated @WhiteHouse.

One in five living presidents failed to “defend self-evident truth.”  American lives were lost. Countless more American lives could be lost to a trifecta pandemic—government sanctioned lynching, COVID-19 and the post COVID-19 economic recession dishonors America.  As a measure of accountability, POTUS is duty bound to “retire the colors.”

The flag of the United States is sometimes burned as cultural or political statements, in protest of the policies of the U.S. government, or for other reasons, both within the U.S. and abroad.  The United States Supreme Court in Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), and reaffirmed in U.S. v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990), has ruled that due to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, it is unconstitutional for a government (whether federal, state, or municipal) to prohibit the desecration of a flag, due to its status as "symbolic speech."

America, You Must Be Born Again!   
“The wind blows where it wants to go. You hear the wind blow. But you don’t know where the wind comes from or where it is going.  It is the same with every person who is born from the Spirit.” 

Retire The Colors!

Americans don’t need to desecrate the flag in celebration of NATIONAL JUNETEENTH INDEPENDENCE DAY.  POTUS45 has already done that.  By his actions and expressed attitude toward American lives, #45 dishonors all that American service members have fought for since July 4, 1776.   Instead of desecrating your flags, simply mark them “FOR RETIREMENT” and send them to:

Juneteenth Independence Day Observance
The White House, Black Lives Matter Plaza Northwest
Washington, DC 20500

Flag Burning
The United States Flag Code, Title 4, Section 8k states-“The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

Flag Retirement is the term used to define the proper, dignified way of destroying United States flags that are no longer fit to serve the nation.
How do you know your flag should be retired?
Sometimes your flag will only need to be cleaned to restore its original appearance. Regular cleaning of your flag can extend its life considerably. Flags can be machine-washed with a mild detergent in cold water. Flags should be hung to dry or laid flat. Do not fold the flag if it is damp.

If it is possible, mend a tattered flag at early signs of wear. The edge furthest from the staff, known as the "fly" end is usually the first part of the flag to show wear. The fly end may start to unravel due to weather conditions.

It is really up to you to decide when your flag is ready to be retired.  If the flag is unable to be repaired or is too tattered, then the flag should be retired.
There are many local organizations that will take your flag for proper retirement.

How to destroy an old, worn, frayed and/or faded U.S. Flags in a dignified way
The preferred and most dignified way to destroy old, worn, frayed and/or faded U.S. Flags is by burning them.

Isn’t burning the flag an act of desecration and a sign of rebellion?
No, throughout history, burning or cremation has long been considered a dignified way of paying respect to the deceased and to objects worthy of veneration. Burning has been applied to flag retirement to offer the most reverent method of final tribute.

Who is authorized to retire a U.S. Flag?
Anyone (especially Montford Point Marines). The Flag code does not authorize any particular organization with the duty of retiring unfit flags.  Any one person or group can do it.

However, flags should be retired in private at a non-public location and the ceremony should be a solemn, dignified event. There is no one official ceremony required or recommended.

What are your options if your municipality prohibits open fires and/or the burning of flags?
If you live in such a community, you will need to find an organization that provides flag retirement services. Contact your local chapter, post or unit of such a community organization.

An alternate option is to separate the blue star field from the stripes and then to separate the stripes from each other. Once this is done the material is no longer a flag and the pieces may be respectfully interred as part of the ceremony.

Is it permissible to cut up the American flag?
Yes, some organizations even recommend cutting the flags into smaller pieces before placing them in the incinerator or on the fire. When doing this please keep the union of blue intact. Doing so symbolizes that the unity of our union should never be broken.

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