LETTER: Practice of lowering U.S. flag is overused

Dec. 14, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

To the Editor:

First of all let me say that Nelson Mandela was a great man and I hope his dedication, suffering and sacrifice will continue to guide the progress of South Africa and its people.

But as a veteran and VFW member since 1971, I do object to lowering the flag at half-staff for Mr. Mandela even though it follows the guidelines set forth by former President and General Dwight D. Eisenhower. I think President Eisenhower had in mind the foreign dignitaries such as Winston Churchill and other allied comrades.

While Mr. Mandela worked hard to serve his people, he did nothing to help enrich and protect the sovereignty of the United States. I simply object to anyone using our flag for personal political purposes. Mr. Obama has made a habit of that during his time in office. This is not the first time that my flag has not been lowered in the past few years. He is not the first President I have disagreed with. On Dec. 7, the flags of our nation should have been lowered to commemorate the heroes of Pearl Harbor (where Sanford’s own Stanley McLeod was killed in action), and not for Mr. Mandela.

The practice of lowering the flag has been used way too often to suit me on a national level. It has happened at mass shootings in schools a couple of times, and I totally disagree with its use at such horrific events. It should be used to honor, commemorate and memorialize those who help to keep our nation safe and free, and the leaders of our nation who have worked hard to make it the most wonderful place on earth to raise kids.

Danny M. Baker