By Nathan Barton
We were reading news tonight (Thursday, 24th October) and ran across this article concerning flying flags at half-staff (half-mast if onboard ships and boats).
We had wondered last week why we saw so many (but not all) flags at half-staff as we drove across Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. It is an increasingly common sight to see federal, state, and local flags being flown at half-staff for days or even weeks.
I think this is just another symptom of the cult of death growing in the Fifty States, as well as the deification of government and the politicians (and military and cops) that serve it. Like the ad-hoc memorials that spring up at the sites of various tragedies, such as multiple-murder sites, building and bridge collapses, and the like, the symbolism has gone to extremes.
In the past, the national flag was put at half-staff on a national basis for a very few events: the death of a former president, a major catastroph such as the Bloody Tuesday (9-11) attacks, or the traditional memorial day observance. A state might have flags at half-staff due to the death of a governor, and a locality might have half-staff for the day of the funeral of a local police officer or soldier. It was an accepted (but rare) sign of a community mourning the loss of someone whose life and actions had significantly contributed to the community, usually in the public sector.
Today, it seems that any death with some political connotations must be observed by days or even weeks of flags at half-staff. It is now a political statement, and almost always part of the political agenda of one or another (or both major) parties, of special interest groups, and of political parasites seeking to turn the person’s death into political capital.
Most recently was the death (admittedly untimely) of the scumbag Member of Congress from Baltimore, one of the more corrupt members of a corrupt fraternity. A man who stole millions (if not billions) of dollars supposedly intended to help his district (which has the reputation of a third-world city) is honored and extolled as an example by the national mourning of flags at half-staff, his body laying in state in the Capitol, and a state funeral. (Perhaps it is because his successful corruption IS an example to the other criminals whose habitat is the District of Criminals.)
(There have been others: the passing of Senator John McCain (another member of the fraternity of corrupt, scumbag political parasites) is another example.)
As for the guy from Baltimore: If this man’s passing deserved a period of national mourning, we need to question why, and what our priorities are supposed to be. Recognizing a man, admittedly from a poor, disadvantaged family, who spent virtually his entire life as a parasite on the body politic. First through scholarships from government, then as an attorney for government, and mostly as an elected official. No military service that I know of, no other useful work. Yet he grew wealthy and apparently got truckloads of money for his district and city, which deteriorated steadily during his lifetime. Hardly a role model, or a paragon of virtues, except for scummy politicians and “public servants.”
We can talk about the need for public mourning after a mass murder in some big-box store or nightclub or even a school, but is this really suitable for such an “honor” as flags at half-staff. Far better to declare (as some leaders of the past here in the Fifty States have done) a public day of prayer and reflection and even repentance. But of course, public prayer is virtually forbidden today. And not even the killers have anything to repent from: after all, the guns made them do it. And we all know how “our thoughts and prayers are with you” are thrown back in people’s faces.
Civic religious rituals like lowering flags to half-staff are increasingly dominating our society. They are replacing true (and undefiled) religion (caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you ). We worship not just the creatures, but THEIR creations: evil ones like government and bizarre perversions of nature. Losing the benefits of faith, morality, and liberty.