We woke up a recent Saturday morning and found American Flags had again been placed in front of our home and as far as we could see north and south on Forest Avenue. These, we knew from prior years, had been set there by agents of Emmert Real Estate here in Brazil. Apparently they have been doing this for about five years, planting them on Forest Avenue from about city limit to city limit and in some other areas. We moved into town July 4 2006, but didn't get our first one until the year later. Guess previous owners took the 2006 Flags with them.
A day or two after the Flags were placed we received a very nice card from Emmert which Kay intends to frame. Their card says they put out about 500 Flags. There is no question this Flag campaign promotes their business, and I am all about promoting local business. But, I know enough about advertising to believe that if self-promotion were the only incentive, there are better ways to expend one's resources. Overall, I take it as an honest attempt to "promote" God, country, and community.
The American Flag is perhaps the most important symbol of who we are as a people. From childhood we learn to recite The Pledge of Allegiance. Life teaches that the important part of that pledge is "to the republic for which it stands."
We end up with two Flags each year. Sometime after the July 4 holiday Kay puts one on our mailbox where it hangs all year, the other we display off the back porch. The result being we get almost a year's use out of them. Thank you very much Joyce Emmert.
I had an article in The Brazil Times soon after 9-11 about the various Flags we were then seeing around town which really needed replacing. Since then most of those Flags were replaced, which is most certainly due to the rise in patriotism following 9-11 and not anything I said.
A couple of months ago we realized two of our Flags had gotten worn and faded from the sun. We had saved a Flag from the year before (the house next door had been empty so we requisitioned an extra) and were able to replace the worn Flag in front.
The worn Flags we dropped off in the converted mailbox provided in front of Moore Funeral Home. Rob and Vinita Moore have been collecting old and worn Flags for several years. When they collect 40 or so they cremate them and bury what little remains in a place reserved at Cottage Hills Cemetery. Rob tells me they've respectfully disposed of over 1,000 Flags in this manner.
I suppose this, too, could be construed as advancing one's own cause. But the Moores are under no compulsion to offer such a service, and have gone to some expense and effort to provide it. Certainly such a respectful, lawful end of a Flag's usefulness makes us a better community. Overall I take it as an honest attempt to "promote" God, country, and community.
Just an observation, but it does seem to me that as long as we continue to be a community peopled by people like the Emmerts and Moores we will continue to be: "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.