Refreshing to see flag respected

Published 9:00 am Saturday, September 16, 2017

Lately, there has been talk in the news about individuals who have chosen not to stand for the National Anthem or in honor of the American Flag.

These individuals — everyday people, celebrities and professional athletes — have opted to use this refusal to stand as a form of protest about social issues like racial oppression or politics.

We are staunch supporters of freedom of speech and the peoples’ right to peaceful protest. And we respect these individuals’ right to protest in this fashion.

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However, we found it refreshing to see the flag get some much-deserved respect in Winchester this week.

American flags lined Chelsea Way off of Paris Road Thursday as members of the community awaited the arrival of the Patriot Guard Riders traveling from Washington D.C. to the site of a new Vietnam memorial wall in Perryville, Mo., carrying an American flag and a POW/MIA flag.

The flags have flown over the existing Vietnam memorial wall in D.C.

Upon their arrival in Winchester, the Patriot Guard was met by members of the local VFW, a representative from the Lexington Veterans Affairs office, Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham and Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner. The riders were provided snacks and drinks, posed for several photos and rested briefly before continuing on their mission.

Our country has its share of challenges and weaknesses, and we have a lot of work to do. Regardless of what sort of controversy or contention is happening around us, though, we think the American flag deserves respect.

To us, the flag is much more than a piece of cloth that hangs outside our office. The flag is a symbol of what our nation stands for. Largely it is a symbol of the greatest thing about America — regardless of our struggles, America stands as one of the freest places in the world.

Brave men and women fought to preserve that freedom. That means they fought for our freedom to stand in honor of the flag and in recognition of those sacrifices — or not to.

We were glad to see Winchester residents and visitors chose to honor those sacrifices and those ideals this week. This display of respect makes us proud of our country and our community.