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Strehl Discusses Flag Day

The May 29 edition of the Farmingdale Observer contained two well -written and informative articles, the first by Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, gave an accurate and interesting account of the observance of Flag Day in America. The second piece by Oyster Bay Town Councilman Anthony Macagnone offered the public an Etiquette Guide for the American flag. Both timely issues as Flag Day fast approaches next week on Sunday, June 14.

It should be noted in 1989 the United States Supreme Court struck down more than 200 years of laws protecting the flag from physical desecration in a 5 to 4 decision in the Texas vs. Johnson case, thus making such acts not criminal, By the way, damaging a mail box or defacing a dollar bill are still federal crimes. The only way to right this inequity is a constitutional amendment, i.e., “The Flag Amendment.” The language is simple enough. “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.”

Polls have shown nearly 80 percent of Americans approve of such action. Contacting your U.S. senators and representatives should have a positive effect in the difficult but necessary process to protect “Old Glory.”

A second note of importance, the timely retiring of worn or torn flags as mentioned in the Flag Etiquette Brochure. Many veteran groups such as The American Legion, VFW and other respected organizations accept these flags for proper disposal in an honored manner. One such event will occur Flag Day, June 14, at 9 a.m. at the Fire Service Academy in Bethpage, off Round Swamp Road across from the golf course. The public is invited to attend. If unable, please drop off flags, neatly folded and placed in a bag or suitable container at the Farmingdale Village Hall until 3:30 p.m., Friday, June 12 or the VFW Hall on South Main Street, South Farmingdale, near the corner of Motor Avenue.

The flag is our symbol, so sacred it’s draped over the caskets of those who have given their lives defending our rights to freedoms we enjoy. Make this Flag Day a celebration of the cherished symbol. Fly the flag.

Philip Strehl, vice commander

American Legion Post 449