America paid heavy price for its flag; honor it properly, reader says

After speaking with Call General Manager Bill Milligan about the federal flag code, I started contacting different outlets, including the St. Louis Mayor’s Office, all to no avail.

Anyone wishing to go to the Internet can pull the information by visiting This Web site provides information about all flag etiquette, including when it should be placed at half staff. Section §175 (m) gives the lineage from the sitting president all the way down to the senators and how many days the flag shall fly at half mast.

First and foremost, I want to take nothing away from the tragic event at Virginia Tech nor the passing of Josh Hancock. I saw Stan Musial get his last hit at the old Sportsman’s Park.

I also want to take nothing away from the civic duty that “Buzz” Westfall performed as he tried to make St. Louis County a better place to live. But none of these events qualified for the U.S. flag to be put at half staff.

On Memorial Day, the flag is only put at half staff until noon. Men have died in battles carrying the flag and other men have picked it up and carried it until they went down.

When the ball game goes off or the kids go back to school or new local political leaders are elected, our armed forces don’t go home and they stand in harm’s way 24 hours a day. I doubt seriously any other ball park has the U.S. flag at half mast.

I love the Cardinals, but they are wrong on this one. Honor all these people who pass and give them their just due, but not under violation of the federal flag code.

For those who feel it needs to be amended, I urge them to go through the proper channels and do what they need to do. George Bush ordered the flag at half mast. The president can order the flag at half mast. But in these instances I’ve cited, this was not proper.

Honor these people in other ways. Gov. Matt Blunt was in the Navy. He knows this wasn’t right. Read the flag code and follow it. America paid a heavy price for our flag. Honor the flag properly.

Remember, tragedy is terrible, but it doesn’t always put our flag at half mast. The more our flag is half mast, the more routine it becomes and depressing. On Memorial Day next year, look at the flag and truly see our nation’s sacrifice.

Ron Wagganer