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Column: Let them torch the Chinese flag, instead

Posted: June 11, 2018 3:06 p.m.
Updated: June 12, 2018 1:00 a.m.

My father died in 1970 at the age of 58. He was a veteran of both World War II and Korea.

His Army service record incuded a battlefield commission, the Bronze Star for Valor and three Purple Hearts.

He had reached the rank of captain when the Army deemed him unfit for further duty and denied him any benefits.

The years of combat had left him human wreckage. Some men can cope with fear, death and dying.

Others can’t. My father was in the latter category.

When he returned from Korea, he bagan to drink heavily, cried a lot and lost sleep when jolted awake by his nightmares. He lost his wife and son in 1953.

When he died 17 years later, penniless, we had to make all the funeral arrangements. An elderly brother and sister and me were all the family he had left.

What I wanted more than anything else was an American flag to drape over his coffin. I figured he deserved at least that.
He had fought under that flag, and he had fought for it.

I had to go out and buy a flag. I forgot now where I got it or how much it cost, but I got myself a flag.

I buried my father in his hometown of Snellville, Ga. The local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars included a few of my dad’s old friends and probably a few of his drinking buddies.

The VFW sent over a guard, of sorts, to the funeral. They all wore their VFW caps.

I held up pretty well during the first part of the funeral. I loved my father and was, and forever will be, proud of what he did for his country, despite the fact it is my opinion his country didn’t do all it could have for him.

At the funeral, a man sang a song. The preacher said some words. At the gravesite there was another prayer. When it was over a couple of the guys from the VFW took the flag off my dad’s coffin, folded it with great care, and then handed it to me.

Ninety percent of the tears I cried over my father’s death came gushing out in the next three minutes.

I have a number of photographs of my father on the walls of my house. I have his Bonze Star and his Purple Hearts framed, and they hang on the wall, too.

I keep the flag that draped his coffin in the corner of the room I use for my office.

I can’t explain the feeling I have for that flag. It symbolizes all that was good and great about my father, and it is a reminder that freedom can demand a harsh tariff.

Now, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled it is not unlawful to burn the American flag. It says, by a 5-4 vote, the right to burn the American flag comes under the right of free speech.

“People must be as free to burn the flag as they are to wave it,” said some liberal fool from the Center of Constitutional Rights.

Why are we constantly bending to satisfy the pukeheads in this country? If they want to burn a flag, let them go burn the Chinese flag, which is a symbol of oppression, the denial of basic human rights, and a government that spills the blood of its own people.

When somebody burns an American flag, he or she is also burning and desecrating the flag that sits in the corner of my office.

All I have left now is the right to hate such a bastard.

My consolation is even the Supreme Court can’t touch that.

(Lewis Grizzard was an award winning and much beloved Southern writer and syndicated columnist. He passed away in 1994.)


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