Bear Hugging the Flag ...Proper Etiquette?

Discussion in 'Other US Flag Etiquette' started by richard.a, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. richard.a

    richard.a New Member

    I'm not sure if this has been discussed ...or it may even be against forum rules.

    First, allow me to preface my comments by telling you a bit about myself. I'm in my late 60s and, like trump, did not serve in the military (I regret that but it's a long story). I was an Eagle Scout, however, so learned at an early age some flag protocol and developed a deep respect for the flag at that time.

    I also have been a Republican voter for most of my life and voted for Republican candidates for president from Nixon through George W. Bush. Although I never was a right-winged conservative, l started drifting more left during the late 1990s from being a life-long moderately conservative voter until the election of 2008. I most likely would have voted for McCain in 2008 had it not been his choice of Palin as a running mate. Being as it's a binary choice when it comes to electing individuals to most major political positions, I voted for a Democrat candidate for POTUS the first time in my life by voting for Obama.

    I am now firmly on the left because I'm not a trumpian. trump has changed the GOP forever and the values I voted for the majority of my life now appear to be complete gone. Since I'm now old and decrepit, I know the party will not recover from trumpism in my lifetime so now consider myself "liberal" --believe me, I never thought I'd say that-- and in fact, am almost a "Progressive Liberal" as what the transformed GOP espouses is almost exactly opposite of what I once thought that party stood for --and mostly what those presidents I voted for during my adult life stood for ...Nixon (eh, ok, that didn't turn out well), Ford, Reagan, Bush, (Dole), and Bush.

    So at any rate, back to the subject at hand. I find it repulsive and disrespectful that trump bear hugs the flag each time he gives a speech at CPAC.

    I attempt to respect the flag in all circumstances by not only displaying it according to correct protocol but to follow flag code as much as I can although I'm not necessarily completely versed in all aspects of the flag code.

    As one article put it, "it certainly is not respectful to the flag to put one's genitals against the it as is done when giving it a bear hug in a loving caress" --I don't want anybody's bon*r against the flag, even the president's ...especially the president's. But he's the benevolent ruler of our country so I suppose we should all look upon such a display of affection towards our flag as being patriotic. I for one, will not be following suit.

    He insists on standing for the National Anthem but giving our flag a bear hug I'm guessing is the perfect expression of patriotism. To me, it is the ultimate form of breaching flag etiquette as it is extremely disrespectful but that's just my opinion and I haven't seen many others expressing disdain for the act so I'm pretty much alone.

    My apologies if I am offending any trump supporters and those who have unconditional adoration for this man.

    I do not wish to engage in a political discussion. I'm just expressing my frustration and should this post stand, I thank you for allowing me to do so.

  2. David Wagner

    David Wagner Member

    Is hugging the flag any better or worse than not being sure where all the colors go? There are 3 colors and it can be so confusing with all those stripes and stars and stuff.

  3. richard.a

    richard.a New Member

    please delete
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  4. David Wagner

    David Wagner Member

    I really should not have responded earlier. It just seemed like such a beautiful pitch too nice to pass up a swing.

    This forum is exclusively about flags and the moderator does a great job keeping political discussions off of the forum. I fully support that position. Flags represent patriotism, and it is too easy for patriotism to descend into political discussions. In today’s political climate those discussions can quickly become hostile. We don’t need that here. I apologize for my earlier post and believe this discussion thread should end.
  5. richard.a

    richard.a New Member

    Thanks, David. I suspected this forum was not for venting or discussing political views. I'm sure this thread will be short-lived and will be gone shortly. Sometimes frustration builds and being able to vent online becomes therapeutic. My apologies to all.
  6. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Dave is right that we try to keep political discussions off the forum. However, patriotism itself is a subject that's closely related to the American flag, and I think it's within bounds as long as we keep the discussion civil and nuanced.

    Back in 1990, Jonathan Yardley wrote a review of a book about the Dallas Cowboys football team. Yardley used the phrase "exhibitionistic religiosity" to describe how NFL teams and players constantly and publicly invoke religion to pat themselves on the back. He commented that " . . . when people start putting their holiness on display, it's time to activate the baloney detector." The point is that there's a clear distinction between religious beliefs and overt, look-at-how-religious-I-am displays. A truly religious person doesn't need to flaunt his/her beliefs -- they're part of the way he/she lives and interacts with others.

    It seems to me that there's a parallel distinction between patriotism and exhibitionistic displays of patriotism ("patriosity"?). The image of Trump hugging the flag is clearly the latter, and Yardley's comment about the baloney detector applies. The issue isn't that it looks disrespectful, but that it looks phony.
  7. richard.a

    richard.a New Member

    Thank you for you thoughts on this, Peter. Your point is well taken fact, I believe it's spot on in many ways.

    Although what the POTUS did was indeed phony and can aptly be described as an "exhibitionistic display of patriotism," it was also inappropriate behavior and I'll explain why.

    In my opinion, it didn't only "look" disrespectful, it WAS a disrespectful act. To me, it was flag desecration, plain and simple (again, it's only how I personally feel). Even though it was an exhibitionistic display of patriotism, that in and of itself was disrespectful when involving our flag.

    Had he stood at attention and saluted or put his hand on his heart and paused for a few seconds before the flag, that possibly could still be a form of subtle exhibitionistic display of patriotism as it isn't necessary and done only for exhibitionist purposes. But what he did was abhorrent in my view and more than just an exhibitionistic display of patriotism.

    I have always treated the flag with respect and feel that it should always be handled with solemnity. I was taught that any aspect of flag handling and display is to be done with seriousness and in a dignified manner.

    I mentioned putting ones genitals against the flag previously but Colbert took it a bit further last night in his monologue. He described it as "dry humping Old Glory" and the "...the first time a flag has ever volunteered to be burned." But that is the way I interpreted when I first saw trump do it several years ago ...humping the flag to me is the ultimate disrespect to the symbol of our nation that I believe to be sacred. The act is pure sacrilege to me. Again, it's just my own reaction to what I consider a despicable act.

    The reason I prefaced my comments in the opening post in the manner I did is that I wanted to be clear that I do not feel the way I do purely from a partisan standpoint. Sure, I'm obviously not a supporter, adorer, or worshiper of DJT but was firmly in the corner of what the GOP stood for during most of my life. So I'm not describing my feelings just because it appears that I may be a reprehensible liberal namby-pamby socialist as many call me because I don't support, adore, or worship trump.

    I was a Reagan supporter and didn't like it when he reached over and grabbed the flag to kiss it. At the time, I thought, "gee, he really shouldn't be doing that" but what trump does is repugnant and disgraceful in my opinion as it takes it several steps beyond what Reagan did.

    I appreciate allowing this thread to stand as it is therapeutic for me to express my frustration in writing. Thank you.

    Colbert on the CPAC Speech

    p.s. and btw, sure, this by far is not the worst despicable thing that trump has done in his life and the time he's been POTUS but is just stuck in my craw right now so again, I appreciate the chance to vent a bit.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  8. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    And Now For Something Completely & Patriotically (But Quite Possibly Also Seen As Maybe A Little Politically) Different . . . .

    So, What Did I, Personally, Think Of trump Bear-Hugging & Molesting The American Flag At Last Saturday's CPAC???


    And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Program. . . .

    Robin Hickman
    "Registered Independent, Non-Affilliated Voter"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
  9. Dexter Cole

    Dexter Cole Member

    When I saw President Trump hug the flag it made me smile. From my perspective it showed great love of the flag and country.

    Many people hate everything that President Trump does and therefore found this inappropriate. Pretty simple.

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