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Peter Riva

View from the Edge

Peter Riva of Gila has offered his many years of columns for this online newspaper. His writings have been published in East Coast newspapers, and he decided to share them with me and you, our readers.

Secret Society?

By Peter Riva

Date: Aug. 31, 2012
Secret Society?
I respect the flag of the United States of America. My father fought seven tours (6 months each) in Europe in WWII for our country. He taught me to respect the flag and what it stands for. I lost friends in Vietnam, fighting under that same flag. I have a friend now serving our country in the Sinai, proudly wearing the flag of our country.
Often I do not mind people protesting using and misusing the flag, as long as they do not denigrate what it stands for. I’ve seen underwear made up like the flag, cheap plastic tableware for celebrations with distortions of the flag, and even handkerchiefs for blowing your nose in printed like the Stars ‘n Stripes. Are these people desecrating the flag? Nope, and even those waving the flag in protest are, ironically, showing what a powerful symbol it is.
The U.S. Flag Code (look up 4 USC § 8 -g), under the topic of respect for the flag, defines the use of the flag clearly: "The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature." So all those plastic plates, baseball caps, and handkerchiefs are okay as long as it does not say “eat at Joe’s” or something equally inappropriate.
So, here’s a serious question: Why are senior Republicans in Congress, in the RNC, during the GOP convention sporting a lapel flag which has been adulterated? On these lapel pins, the flag is reproduced with a gold star. The rumor is that it is a Secret Service star, to honor the Secret Service. Besides the breaking of the flag code, the Secret Service says it has no knowledge of such a flag pin with a star being what they call “in service.”
So what does it mean? Is it a way for the elite, “real Americans” to identify each other? Are we seeing the equivalent of a secret handshake, one that works on TV and in the press, thousands of miles away? And the star is sometimes gold, sometimes red. What’s the code there? As it is a five-pointed star... is there a Masonic angle? People are already asking and, surprise, no answers are forthcoming from the GOP or the handlers.
The only official comments (same words being posted over and over on every questioning site – so it’s probably a handler dealing with an issue, meaning there is an issue) are that it is a Secret Service Star worn out of respect for the Secret Service. Pity is, the Secret Service doesn’t know it, the flag code doesn’t allow it, and there is no correlation with the fact that every old Cheney pundit and GOP handler now wear the pin. What do they have to do with the Secret Service? Maybe it is like a club pin, like a secret power base recognition symbol perhaps. Whatever it is, the media should be trying to find out.

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