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May-29-2010 19:30printcomments

Pride in the United States... Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way!

We are proud of our heritage, proud of our constitution, proud of the brave men and women who serve in uniform, proud of each other, and proud of our flag.

American flag photo by Bonnie King

(HARRISVILLE, N.H.) - President Obama has ordered the American rescue forces in Haiti to take down their American Flags so no one would be offended. This is not a joke, it is for real according to an article published in USA Today on March 15, 2010 and written by Alan Gomez and Oren Dorell.

According to the article, President Obama stated that our rescue forces flying the flag of our country could give Haiti the wrong idea.

We are the single largest contributor (in money, manpower, and other resources) of a multi-nation rescue coalition. France is flying its Tri-Color, Great Britain flies its Union Jack, Cuba flies its flag as does every other member of the coalition... every other member, that is, except the United States of America because of President Obama’s order.

This order, which came from the individual who is supposed to be our commander-in-chief, prompts me to ask a few questions of him. Questions such as:

  1. When we are leading the world in support for the people of Haiti due to the horrible recent earthquake that devastated that country, what exactly is the wrong idea Haiti and the rest of the world might get? Why would they get the “wrong idea” about the help we are providing but not the help France, Great Britain, Cuba, or any of the other members of the coalition are providing?
  2. Do you really believe that Haiti would be offended at seeing the Stars and Stripes flying over our aid stations . . . or is it you Mr. President, who would be offended by our flag?
  3. How do you believe the brave men and women who died for that flag you have ordered taken down would feel about that order? They were proud enough of it to die for it while you were too ashamed of it to give help under it as a banner of peace, friendship, good will, and brotherhood.

Mr. President, this was not the first time you have exhibited an apparent shame of the country you asked to lead. This is not the first time you have deliberately degraded our country in the eyes of the world. I am thankful that our veterans did not share your view of our country and its flag and I am also thankful that our brave service men and women have not followed the example you currently attempt to lead by.

I have a request Mr. President... please lead, follow, or get out of the way because there are far too many American citizens who are very willing to let the world know that our country is not populated by people who are ashamed of it or it's flag. We are proud of our heritage, proud of our constitution, proud of the brave men and women who serve in uniform, proud of each other, and proud of our flag.

Here is another suggestion Mr. President: Please hold one day free to visit Arlington National Cemetery. Stroll among the stones that mark the graves of those who had great pride in the United States of America. You missed your chance to do so on Memorial Day because postponing your vacation was an unbearable thought for you.

While you are at Arlington, visit the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and try to understand that to us American citizens, you will be standing on hallowed ground.

You really should consider acting as if you are proud of the country you asked to lead Mr. President... honor its citizens, honor it’s veterans, and most certainly, honor those who died for the flag you ordered taken down... but, that is just my opinion!


Writer Robert Collinsworth is an American who isn't hesitant to talk about the good side of his country, and that is a welcome thing in this day and age. admittedly, is very critical of both American politics, as well as those of other nations that we perceive is being wrong in their motives and actions. At the same time, within these structures we criticize, are many outstanding people who make each day a better place for all those around them. They embody and personify the American spirit that is sometimes fleeting, but always present. These are some of the things Robert takes into account when writing commentary that is designed reach people, to "get them thinking" in his words, and indeed it does.'s goal is for all people to be on the same page, we appreciate Bob's more conservative approach toward that same goal."

You can write to Bob Collingsworth at this email address:

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Colli June 7, 2010 5:21 pm (Pacific time)

Hypocracy: You seem to be either missing or ignoring the fact that "perception is reality in the eye of the beholder". Is it possible that the Editor has more insight into the Israel/Palestinean issue than we do. Read a bit about the Editor (as I did). His background and history re: the middle-east certainly dwarfs mine. Ask yourself, "Do I really have sufficient knowledge of the subject matter to call either side right or wrong"? Don't confuse taking different stances on different issues, after in-depth analysis,with hypocracy. Take the time to read this publication thoroughly - it is obvious that it attempts to report broadly and to give a fair amount of leeway to both sides of most issues. You are well within your rights to disagree with situations and issues but resorting to name-calling because others disagree with you accomplishes nothing but to make you appear small.

Hypocracy May 30, 2010 10:16 am (Pacific time)

It is amazing to see the hypocrisy of the editors of this paper. They take pride in the American military, which has invaded two countries and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslim civilians on the one hand. On the other hand they demonize the State of Israel when it attempts to protect itself from Hamas' declared intention of destroying the Israel. Of course my freedom of expression will be prevented from the fascist thought police who call themselves editors. This message is meant only for the so-called left-wing editor to read.

Editor: I'm sorry, Israel protect itself?  Did you really say that?  Israel is committing genocide against Palestinian people, real Americans don't support that kind of BS.  We have pride in the people who are our brothers and sisters in uniform, they didn't start these wars, and they are lied to by the networks and papers and off they go, they need our suppot whether we like the mission or not and I could honestly care less if you or anyone else likes that.  There are many writers here, everyone doesn't see it the same way, and while has some serious points to cover daily and several things we cover regularly, we don't forget what country we live in, or which one we want to see saved the most, our own.  Who cares if you like that or not?  Israel's elimination of the Palestinians is the single worst thing taking place in the world, in my opinion; it is of Biblical proportions and if that could be turned around, there might be an example in place that led to more change.   You call criticism of genocide 'demonizing'? You seem to have the grasp of a small child on the issue, and I don't care one way or another, just know there are stories every day that should horrify people about Israel's murderous daily routine in the place it stole from the Palestinians.  1400 civilians killed in Gaza, a reprisal to Hamas unguided rocket attaks that killed five people?  Israel uses illegal weapons, the UN says they are war criminals, and I hope that every SOB connected to it ends up rotting behind bars for the rest of their natural lives, with a Palestinian holding the key to the cell.  

Douglas Benson May 30, 2010 9:24 am (Pacific time)

I know its memorial day weekend but we have a lot to be ashamed of .We have been the invaders or "assisting " revolution ect. over and over our flag has become the symbol that causes the instant yankee go home stay out of our beeswax response . I see no reason to fly our flag on foreign soil . Im a yankee doodle dandy ,do or die .I love my country but hate our goverment . Peace

Henry Clay Ruark May 30, 2010 9:06 am (Pacific time)

To all: "Sentiment" expressed in this one, denigrating FIRST and ONLY Negro President in o history since Constitutional declarations, rates easily on content analysis as racist statement, unconscious or not. Ersun points out pure hard-edged fact/of/issue, and his interpretation is fully documentable from reliable sources. What Ersun writes re the public-relations values of our President's sensitive and courageous action is exactly correct, as 60 working years in communications AND the most difficult communications-area, education,has most painfully taught me. "Public opinion" distorted, perverted, is primary reason for educational distress in this decade. International relations, too, suffers from same insentivities, same misunderstandings, same hard-head insistence on failed nationalistic fervor,for which we pay massive toll in lives, dollars, and probabilities for progress. Communism made similar false demands on its adherents; will we fail by same massive error?

Dan May 30, 2010 8:12 am (Pacific time)

I guess as per the opinion of some we should instruct all of our overseas embassies to take down the American flag? We have been flying our flag [all] over Germany and Japan for over 65 years now. Has that been a big hinderence to our relationships with them? Or any other country where we fly our flag?I wonder when our military went to help those in Haiti (or countless other locations) while wearing an American flag on their uniforms, or were flying our flag in different command centers, promulgated ill will from the Haitians whose lives they were saving? Or maybe there are some people who (usually 99.9% non-veterans is my guess) just place no value on our nations flag, and always see it as a symbol that conjures up negative feelings for them? My guess is that on Memorial Day and on July 4th many of these people never fly an American Flag?

Vic May 30, 2010 6:34 am (Pacific time)

Isnt one of the signs of a fascist society an irrational facination and obsession with the regime's flag? Its a goddam FLAG !!!Get over it. Is this the biggest problem you can find in the world today??? Im with Ersun.

Ersun Warncke May 29, 2010 8:49 pm (Pacific time)

I respect the viewpoint asserted here, but I think that it is incorrect to think that not flying the American flag on a peaceful aid mission somehow equates to being "ashamed" of one's nation. It is a fact that flying a flag is a long established symbol of military victory and occupation of territory. Nobody can argue with that. The U.S. certainly could fly its flag in Haiti, and the Haitians would accept it, because they are in no position to argue. However, to generously and graciously forgo a privilege out of respect for the sensibilities of the local population demonstrates our goodwill, and wins far more for our efforts there in the long term. So what if Cuba, France, and Britain fly their flags. Since when is U.S. policy dictated by Cuba, France and Britain? Let them appear to the local population as arrogant occupiers, and let the local population see that the Americans provide far more, but do it with humility and respect. This is not a war, we are not occupying, it is not our territory, therefore there is no basis for flying a flag. Every member of the armed services there wears a flag on their uniform. There is no question as to who it is on the ground getting work done. For the record, the statement that "President Obama has ordered the American rescue forces in Haiti to take down their American Flags" is unsupported by any evidence. The original USA Today article only states that the "Obama Administration" commented on the issue.

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