Madison County Opinion...

February 27, 2002

By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
February 27, 2002

Frankly Speaking

How soon they forget
In the aftermath of 9-11 our country underwent a wave of patriotism.
People purchased and displayed U.S. Flags by the million. Flags appeared on automobile radio antennas, of fence posts, on freshly installed flag polls, power poles and many other places. Our nation was awash with bright, fresh flags. Each testifying to our love and devotion to our nation.
But now, five months later, things have changed. Those bright new flags are not faded, tattered and torn lose from their poles. Cars all over the area still fly tiny fragments of flags that have been ripped apart by the wind. Flags on poles are hanging limp because the top connector is ripped out. Small flags on sticks that were stuck into fences are dangling up-side-down. The same people who were so desperate to find flags last fall no longer have time to repair, replace and properly dispose of them now.
Flags are a major part of our lives. That is especially true of those of us who served in the nation’s military forces, in our nation’s embassies around the world, and those who serve our fellow Americans in political or government service. Many of us made major sacrifices to serve the flag. Many of us died or were injured in its defense. For us, seeing a flag that has been abandoned, ignored, improperly displayed or destroyed is heartbreaking.
Proper flag etiquette allows damaged flags to be repaired, as long as the overall size of the flag is not reduced. Repairs can take the form of patching with matching colors and resewing tears or separated seams. A flag with faded colors can still be flown as long as it is in good repair.
Old or damaged flags can be dry cleaned, folded and saved among your family heirlooms. Instructions for folding and storing flags are available on line, from Boy Scout or Girl Scout units or any military organization in your area.
When a flag is damaged beyond repair, or no longer wanted for any reason, it can be destroyed with dignity by fire. Flag destruction ceremonies are conducted by various patriotic and veterans groups from time to time.
If you have flags that need to be retired, contact any member of a veterans group for the date and location of the next flag retirement ceremony.
Our flags — including city, state, historical and national flags — represent our love, devotion and dedication to our way of life. These flags must be treated with the highest level of respect. That includes repairing them when damaged, and properly disposing of them when they are beyond use or no longer wanted. Flags should be stored as a memory, displayed as a historic item or destroyed with dignity. The one thing we must never do is throw a flag in the trash!
Keep your flags flying. Keep them clean and repaired. Replace them as often as necessary. And arrange to have damaged and unwanted flags properly disposed. When you dishonor a flag, you dishonor all those who love and honor it.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at

Send us a letter

B y Adam Fouche
The Madison County Journal
February 27, 2002

In The Meantime

How to speak NASCAR
Now that the 10-month racing season has begun (and what a great beginning it was), I thought I should do a service to you, dear reader.
I know you’ll likely spend many a Saturday and Sunday for the next little while watching racing on TV. For many of you, you’ll spend the next few days after the race talking about it.
But do you really know how to talk NASCAR? Well, I’m here to help you, with 11 Auto Lite spark plugs surefire translations from common talk to NASCAR.
•Common: I’m going out to my truck to get some headache medicine. NASCAR: Yeah, I’ve got to run out to the Cotton States insured Ford Ranger right quick and grab my Goody’s, ‘cause they stop pain fast.
•Common: Some idiot tried to run me off the road on the way home. NASCAR: Yeah, I was coming ‘round turn three on Apple Pie Ridge Road when Jeff Gordon tried to pass me across the yellow line and then he cut right in front of me and almost damaged my left fender.
•Common: I sure am happy to finally get my paycheck. NASCAR: Yeah, I want to thank all the people on the MainStreet Newspapers team, and also Ford, Goodyear, Stacker 2, Pepsi and so many others that supported me last week and helped me get this check.
•Common: I’m thirsty. NASCAR: (While holding a bottle of Coca-Cola). Yeah, I’d like to thank all they guys down at Coca-Cola for working to quench my thirst this afternoon.
•Common: I spilt some water in my lap. NASCAR: Yeah, I was sitting there at the table in the garage and Jeff Gordon come by and got into my right elbow while he was turning and made me spill water in my lap.
•Common: My car is finally fixed. NASCAR: Yeah, we knew something wasn’t running quite right with the Cotton States insured Ford Ranger but Mack and Buck and all the guys got in there and we made some adjustments and hopefully got this thing straightened out. Ford put a good engine in there for us and we’ll just have to get out there and see what we can do.
•Common: Man, I had a flat. NASCAR: Yeah, I was coming down that straight-a-way on 441 when Jeff Gordon jumped out in the road and put some debris out that blew my left rear Goodyear Eagle damaging my fender.
•Common: I barely made it in under that yellow light to get into the gas station. NASCAR: Yeah, I pitted it in under that caution for some Phillips 66 gas and thanks to the pay-at-the-pump, we were in and out in about a minute and a half.
•Common: I got arrested last night for cutting off a man in traffic and making him wreck. NASCAR: Yeah, I got black flagged by an official last night and they sent me behind the wall saying that I cut some guy off intentionally and caused a wreck. But I know that it was Jeff Gordon that did it.
•Common: I fell down. NASCAR: Yeah, I was just coming down off that bank and I spun out.
•Common: I was trying to pass a guy that was turning left and I got behind somebody else and rear-ended them. NASCAR: Yeah, the car in front of me wasn’t moving quick enough and I tried to get ‘em on the high side and draft off another car when I ran into the back of Jeff Gordon, who must have been trying to block me.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers. His email address is
MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.
PO Box 908, 33 Lee Street, Jefferson, Georgia 30549
Telephone: (706) 367-5233 Fax: (706) 367-8056

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