How wonderful that we live in a country where we are permitted to publicly celebrate our freedom. Even more special is the fact that our town comes together once a year with a parade to celebrate as a community.

For me, the American flag is an emotional symbol that commands complete respect and honor. I am from a long line of patriotic Americans who have passed the love of country and its symbols to those coming up in the next generation.

Unfortunately,for most, flag etiquette seems to be a thing of the past. In the process of loving and celebrating our freedom, parade participants were unknowingly disrespecting the flag, all of the military members who watched from the sidelines and the generations of Americans who paid the ultimate price for the flag.

The flag was inappropriately displayed in a number of ways ,including being worn as a cape by a couple of patriots. However, the most alarming display was watching the flag being used as a sort of pom-pom and drug across the asphalt as the flag waver spun and twirled with glee. This is not the fault of the young girl waving the flag, it is the responsibility of her elders to convey the proper care and respect of our most important American symbol.

Perhaps next year, the good folk at the American Legion could put out a flier on flag etiquette for those participating in the Independence Day festivities. Until then, here is a link from The Old Farmer’s Almanac: www.almanac.com/content/american-flag-guidelines. There are dozens of sites rife with information regarding flag care and etiquette.

Let’s give our flag the respect it deserves.

Patsy Bauman