Thursday, 8 March 2007

Respect the Flag

One of my fond memories of Primary School was to be on 'Flag Duty'. The grade 6 kids were in charge of putting the flag up every morning and bringing it back down before we went home. We each had individual lessons on exactly how to fold the flag, how to make sure it NEVER touched the ground, either as we were lowering it or folding it, and how to carry it with dignity and place it in a special spot in the school office. It was a two person job, because of the risk of the flag touching the ground. We had a roster, and we took the job seriously.

It seemed like a lot of work, just to fly a flag on our school grounds, but it taught me a real respect for the flag, and an almost ritual way in which it should be handled to maintain that respect.

Fast forward to 2007 and I’m not sure about your local Macca's, but mine has the Australian flag flying out the front.

Yesterday when I was driving home I noticed the young Macca's worker out taking the flags down for the evening. I was stuck at the traffic lights, so sat there watching him. I was shocked to see how he brought the Aussie flag down... letting it drop all the way onto the ground, sit there while he untied it. Then he picked it up, screwed it in a ball and carried it under his arm back inside.

I was disgusted, I almost wanted to pull in and have a go at him. But it made me think, do the young people today even get taught to respect our flag? Is there anything in their younger lives that would encourage them to treat the flag with any sort of dignity… without the grade 6 flag duty would I even care???

For me it seems like a really big thing, just the utter disrespect this guy showed, but maybe he doesn’t know any better, and so I’m thinking about writing a letter to the McDonalds Brassall store manager just to see if maybe there should be some sort of information given before they are told to just ‘run out and bring down the flags’.

Maybe I’m just old fashioned and anal….


Rodney Olsen said...

I think that you're right. He's probably never been taught anything different.

I reckon you should shoot off a letter to Maccas. They obviously fly the flag as a way of gaining favour with patriotic Aussies. They need to know that the public display of the flag also includes the public display of the raising and lowering of the flag each day. If flying the flag is more than a cynical exercise in marketing, they must take your concerns seriously.

Anonymous said...

Interesting you say that because i once had a similar experience waiting at traffic lights and watching the maccas worker pulling the flag down...only for me i was very impressed at how he did it - i was impressed that he DID treat it with such dignity and respect.

Definitely worth sending an email to maccas - actually I probably should have sent a POSITIVE email to them too.

But i think as u said, the issue goes beyond McDonalds and back to society in general.


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