To say people were shocked to hear that a major shopping Mall, Clackamas Town Center in Oregon, had informed the operator of a Kiddie Train that he must remove the American Flag he had placed on the train, due to it being “against policy” would be a gross understatement. To think that a local and popular shopping venue would jump on the bandwagon of anti-American flag hysteria was not only unthinkable, but caused a huge uproar in both Oregon and Southwest Washington, from where many drive the 20 miles or more to shop and dine at mall establishments.
A KATU-News Report posted on Sunday, July 29, 2012 told us that Thomas Phelps, manager of the children’s train at the mall, said he was “being forced to remove flags that he uses to decorate the train ride.” Phelps, a Vietnam Veteran, was told displaying the flag was “unapproved visuals.”
I am left to ponder just when did the flag of our nation that has proudly flown and carried into many battles fighting for freedom and liberty around the world become an “unapproved visual” in America?
These last few years we have seen housing associations demand and take to court Medal of Honor recipients to force them to remove an American Flag, TV anchors not willing to wear our flag on their lapels, city vehicles told to remove a flag and even Barack Obama, when a candidate for president stopped wearing the flag of our nation saying,
“I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism.”
Obama also claimed back then,
“the American flag lapel pin has become a substitute for ‘true patriotism’ since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”
And Sunday we are told Clackamas Town Center views our flag as an “unapproved visual.”
Even though reported on a Sunday when Mall management would be off, the uproar and outrage at the Mall’s position was immediate, swift and strong as by Monday morning, July 30, 2012 the Mall posted a statement,
“We honor, support and respect what the United States flag represents. The actions and letter that were communicated certainly did not convey that. And for this, we apologize. We can see how many were offended. It was never the intent to offend or show any disrespect. The U.S. flag will remain displayed at the kiddie train and in other locations within the mall. We wholeheartedly support those who fight to allow us and everyone else to display the flag. Clackamas Town Center hosts and sponsors events every year that recognize and honor these and other heroes and will continue to do so.”
Yes, strong and immediate outrage from citizens in both states and hopefully well beyond caused them to rethink their folly.
But it is something that should never have happened. The apology and rescinding of the policy may appease some, but you can bet not all.
The assaults on our flag, even desecrating it, ruled constitutional by the US Supreme Court, must stop! No other flag or symbol in history has stood for freedom and liberty as much as our National Flag. Millions of our citizens have fought and many have sacrificed their lives to free others from oppressive regimes and given the opportunity to choose their own course.
Above all, we should never be ashamed of flying our flag high nor should we cower when political correctness calls on us to hide or take down our flags.
I care not if you are Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or what have you, this is our country and that is our flag. It belongs to all of us and if you are ashamed to display or see it flying, maybe you are in the wrong country.
If my flying my American flag offends, you will just have to deal with it.