Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
For all his hugging of it and his sanctimonious bluster about “disrespecting our troops and the flag” when sports figures “take a knee,” Trump does not really care about the flag. If he did, he would go after his own supporters who display the Stars and Stripes with Trump’s own image imposed upon it. He would tell them he does not approve. He would tell them to respect the flag. Instead he is silent. If challenged, no doubt he would cover his own butt by saying he is unaware the offending flag exists even though it has been seen on national TV being waved by supporters at his rallies.
Imposing an image of anyone’s face over the 13 stripes is not just disrespect, it is desecration. Our flag is desecrated and disrespected in many ways. It is used for advertising and for underwear, outerwear and even for face masks today. Sometimes it is burned or dragged through the mud. Our First Amendment — one of the many things our flag stands for — allows all of this.
The flag is a sacred symbol of real heroes who worked and fought and died to secure the American ideals of freedom and equality. It does not belong to any person and should not bear the image of any person — especially a president who avoided fighting for it when his country called. While Trump supporters have the right to fly that flag, they should have the decency — out of respect for those who protected that right and protect it today — to find a better way to express their misguided support for this president who pays only lip service to our real Stars and Stripes.