Have pride in your county and country | RecordCourier.com

Have pride in your county and country

by Bernard W. Curtis

In the upcoming weeks, we will be celebrating the Inauguration of President George W. Bush. Douglas County, I am proud to say, has hosted President-elect Bush during the past election campaign.

The Douglas High School Band is now making preparations for travel to our nation’s capital to represent Douglas County and the state of Nevada. Douglas High is honored to be one of only four or five bands chosen to represent the states in the West. I am very proud of the high school music department and our young men and women who have been so chosen.

I am very proud of a lot of things about Douglas County. We have here a spirit of brotherhood, patriotism, Americanism, volunteerism and freedom and independence that are sadly lacking elsewhere. Douglas County today is what small- town America used to be. We take pleasure and pride in many things that are forgotten in other communities.

That is why I would like to repeat a letter written recently to the commissioners from Michael Brown, a county employee, concerning our nation’s flag.

“‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’ We say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag at the start of every Board of Commissioners meeting. This ritual is performed in almost every public meeting, at almost every school and before most sporting events daily across America.

“The flag is the symbol of our national unity and hope. The colors of the flag represent the foundation of our nation: white for purity and innocence, red for valor and hardiness, blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice. The flag tells of the struggle for independence and of the sacrifices of brave men and women to whom the ideals and honor of this nation have been dearer than life. The flag is how America signs her name.

“Douglas County proudly displays our nation’s flag, the star spangled banner, and the state of Nevada ‘Battle Born’ flag at all of its main buildings. We display them 24 hours a day at the historic courthouse at Eighth and Esmeralda in Minden. Have you seen them lighted at night? The lighted flags produce a patriotic effect that fills me with pride. Soon we will be displaying them lighted at the Minden Inn building.

“There are many do’s and don’ts when flying the flag: don’t let it touch anything beneath it, etc., too many to list. But first on the list of don’ts is never, ever, in any way, show disrespect to the U.S. flag.

“I have seen television news footage of individuals burning the U.S. flag. This disgusts me. I thought that such complete disrespect would be limited to terrorists and radicals from foreign nations. So, when I found out that the flags Douglas County displays at its public buildings have been repeatedly stolen, I was stunned and outraged.

“The U.S. flag and the Nevada flag have been stolen twice from the historic courthouse and once from the Minden Library in the last two years. The most recent defilement occurred at the courthouse about three weeks ago, and I suspect it to be a senseless criminal act by ignorant and blasphemous individuals.

“It costs the taxpayers between $70 and $200 to replace a stolen flag. We have to replace the flags on a regular basis, as the wind can beat them up pretty quickly, especially the flags that are flown 24 hours a day. Replacing stolen flags, however, is more than a waste of money; it is a slap in the face to every Douglas County resident, every veteran and every citizen of the United States.

“If you should see or have knowledge of someone’s tampering with the flags or flag poles at your public buildings, call the sheriff’s department immediately.

“Let’s pledge some allegiance to our national symbol of liberty and justice.”

Thanks, Michael. Well said and dead on!