Flag-flying bikers not bar flies
Mr. Rooks: Those riders parked at the American Legion are indeed veterans. The American Legion and its riders are first and foremost a service organization. At a riders’ meeting, you will find more soft drinks than alcohol being consumed. Riders seen at the American Legion are usually conducting business or attending an event for the legion or community.
One of the tenants of the American Legion is to promote a 100 percent Americanism. Flags flown by riders are intended to promote awareness of our national pride. Flags are flown in strict accordance with the established rules of the American Legion. Most veterans are proud of the flag they served under and do not feel it should be hidden away except for a few special occasions. Most are Vietnam veterans and are used to being disrespected by our fellow citizens.
Although we feel you are sadly misinformed and saddened that you would characterize us as disreputable bar flies, we are still proud to have served so that you can freely express your opinion. We will also continue to proudly fly the flag we served under and still serve for our fellow veterans and our communities.
Rules changed on displaying the flag
David Rooks' column in the Journal about motorcycle flags was well-meaning perhaps, but a bit over the top.
Flag flying changed after 9/11 to include vehicles, arm patches, badges, lapel pins, etc. and is not likely to change back to parades and official locations only. The flag symbolizes Americanism and patriotism and is a positive indication of freedom of expression as well. It also has a common purpose to show our enemies in battle or otherwise that we are one proud nation, always together when push comes to shove.
The more United States flags in the air the better. Fly one.
Lieutenant colonel, retired, USAF