Thursday, April 16, 2009

Would someone please tell the President of the United States to stop it?

Yes, there's a big flap over the covering up of Christian symbols at Georgetown University so that the President Obama can make his speeches without being encumbered by Christian imagery, even in what were once Roman Catholic-founded institutions like Georgetown or Notre Dame.

But that's not what's bothered me since I saw Barry making his early press conferences after his election in DC. Now with this defense from a presidential flak (where he rung up CBN no less to make his point) to defend Barack Obama over covering up Christian symbols at his speeches, we are faced with a repeated offense that just has to stop.

A White House official rings up the Christian Broadcast Network and says this:
“Decisions made about the backdrop for the speech were made to have a consistent background of American flags, which is standard for many presidential events,” said an anonymous White House official to (CBN’s) Brody. “Any suggestions to the contrary are simply false.”

The problem is, it’s simply inappropriate - disrespectful even - to have American flags all lined up in a row like they are merely backdrop decoration for the president - it’s so wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Military people know this. The flag is it. THE FLAG. The Colors. One American flag is appropriate. One. Wait, can we say that again?


You can line up state flags or have red, white and blue bunting to your heart’s content. But only one American flag.

President Obama is using the American flag like it’s mere decoration, like it's his personal backdrop. I keep thinking that someone is going to point that out to him, someone is going to tell him that he's under the flag not in competition with it. That, my friends speaks louder than any words about this administration. It’s like lining up a rows of crosses in front of a church - it starts to look like a graveyard. When it comes to the flag it’s downright disrespectful. In fact, it's dishonorable.

Someone, please, tell him to stop it.

I swear, amateurs are running the show at the White House. We have to go back to the HHHB for guidance. It’s not a conspiracy, friends, it’s idiocy.

Flag Protocol: When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium on or off a podium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman’s or speaker’s right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker (to the right of the audience). When displayed on the floor or on a platform, the flag is given the place of honor, always positioned behind the speaker and to the speaker's right with other flags, if any, at the left.

The "right" as the position of honor was established from the time when the "right hand" was the "weapon hand." The right hand raised without a weapon was a sign of peace. The right hand, to any observer, is the observer's left.


Dr. Mabuse said...

That does look gaudy, that wall of flags. I half expect a row of sequined top-hatted dancers to strut out singing "Hooray For Hollywood"!

Anne McC said...

I don't remember any posts when Republican Presidents used the flag as back-drop. I'll email you the picture of George W using the flag, or flags, that I found in a few seconds using Google.

I agree it is tacky when Presidents use the flag this way, but even I never had this on my list of complaints about George W. Surely you can find something more substantive to blog about.

BabyBlue said...

I remember that photo with Bush - and it was wrong then too. You can do patriotic bunting and even Bob Dylan in the 1960s came out with a giant flag like the Old Star Spangled Banner in the Smithsonian. But using the Old Glory as a personal backdrop - I don't care who you are, but most especially the President of the United States. It's wrong. It diminishes the flag and makes the president look insecure.

Just saying. Hope someone is listening, eh, Barry?


it's margaret said...

Funny --I agree with you on this one in so many ways.... I think signs and symbols are very important, and when not used properly, they are diminished.

I offer two examples that may continue your pondering on this one: in colonial Virginia the sign of the Crown (the unicorn and lion rampant holding the royal shield) were required to be above the cross, above the Lord's Prayer, the 10 Commandments --all above the altar. But the emblems of the Crown were highest of all. No doubt who was in charge, heh?!

The second example may be more difficult. We had an American flag and an Episcopal flag hanging above the altar and above the cross in our church. We took them down as part of the stripping of the sanctuary on Maundy Thursday a few years ago. When it came time to restore the sanctuary for Easter, I requested that the flags be placed on either side of the chancel--that nothing should be higher than the cross..... there was some rumbling at first, but when I gave clear priority in the church as to which should be higher, --things changed.

Anyway --this post reminded me of both of those things.


tomcornelius said...

Of course, THE authority for Flag protocol is Title 4 USC. I see no direction there applicable to the display of the Flag as in the Obama photograph in the post; however I am in substantial agreement with bb.
Section 10 of that Title permits the Commander in Chief to modify the rules of Flag display, but the CinC must do so by issuing a Proclamation.

Anonymous said...

I wish your suspicions were true: "I swear, amateurs are running the show at the White House."

Unfortunately, I believe they know very well what they are doing...


Dale Matson said...

It seems at least that amateurs are continuing to run the show when it comes to protocol with the British. This was especially true with the recent "reach out and touch someone" gesture.