O U R   F L A G

Desecrate any one of us -- but DO NOT harm OUR FLAG!

Why can't you get the true meaning of "Old Glory" into your heads?  Most of we Marines, who fought to preserve America's freedom, would rather have someone desecrate us than our flag, and many of OURS have given up their lives, limbs and futures for our flag and what it stands for.

We may have fought for some First Amendment rights - but certainly not those that allow persons to utter profanities against our nation nor against what our nation stands for.  We didn't fight for the right of those to bring smut to our kids, to heap ridicule on those who go to war when our country calls (Vietnam) nor to burn the symbol of everything we stand for -- our flag.

We didn't fight for First Amendment rights that allow any American to spit on another; to hit another; to insult another; nor to degrade another.  We fought for the freedom to get along together, to grow together, to raise families together, to prosper together and to live without fear together.

Our flag represents everything we sacrificed, fought and died for, everything every American dreams about, everything our forefathers risked their lives and worked so hard for, everything - yes everything we stand for, every ounce of our being.

Our flag was born out of the blood, sweat and toil of millions and millions of American Patriots who sacrificed and built this great country of ours.  It was born of the sacrifices of those who traveled with Lewis and Clark to discover new land; those who gambled all to travel west in wagon trains to build this new nation; those who experienced the great depression and lived through that greatest of all recessions to raise families and to produce the products that sustain us all.

OUR FLAG is the symbol of all sacrifices made by all Americans in all our wars including those who died at Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guam and the Philippines; those who limped in the Bataan Death March; those who landed on the beaches of Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Normandy and many other places most of us never heard of before.  It was born out of the misery and total devotion to country of those who were imprisoned and tortured by the North Vietnamese and those who risked their lives in the Gulf War.

Freedom of speech IS NOT BURNING, it is not the desecration of the symbol of the greatest country in the world - a country we risked all to defend.  As Frances Scott Key wrote: "our flag was still there", "o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

Let there be NO LAW, nor no decision that allows anyone to defile our symbol of freedom - our flag of the United States of America, our beloved "OLD GLORY."  Let her wave over us for ever and ever!

Kale Danberg
Brooklyn Park, MN

This "Letter to the Editor" appeared in the Minneapolis Star- Tribune on July 4, 1995.  It was in answer to the Minneapolis' paper's editorial perspective on "FLAG  BURNING" where they tried to convince us that our "Old Glory" needs no protection and that "free expression" and "free speech" are more important than what our flag stands for.