Due respect, what?

Some days come with themes–starting very early in the morning and keeping it up all day. Today’s was announced via an email that delivered the electronic “proofs”of the formal photos some yahoo photographer took at my son’s high school graduation (back on a California day that started out hot and chilled quickly). The pix are (1) of the right child and (b) caught the subject looking happy and relaxed. However, in one of them, he’s shaking hands with a man about whom none of us can guess the identity. In the other, it’s just Fred, set against a backdrop of–gulp–the stars and stripes. And that looks creepy in a way it might not if I saw such pix on a regular basis.

Bookending this at the other end of the day is the news bit on BBC about the controversy over the backdrop in new 4-star General Dunwoody’s “portrait”.

A coworker tells me that no child in Canada would be posed in front of a Canadian flag at matriculation. Would any children anywhere other than in the nation that seems to revere its flag with a real passion?

On the other hand, the same coworker had a tale about a former job at which one of her tasks was sorting and properly displaying a variety of international flags. Flag etiquette, as any reference librarian can tell you, is a topic on which tomes have been written. One day, she found herself with two distinctly different Spanish flags and so called the embassy to find out which one was the appropriate one to the occasion. She described each one and then heard, in shocked tones from the other end of the line, “You have a flag that has what on it? Dispose of it immediately!”

So it would seem the US of A isn’t the only place that has a bar raised pretty high on Correct Flagness.


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