Dear Editor:

I don’t do poetry, so I won’t try to compete with Tommy Privette’s rhyming in his letter in The Tomahawk of 10/25/17 []
Instead I’ll merely offer a counterproposal to his admonition about standing, saluting, and otherwise “respecting” the “Stars and Stripes” and “The Star Spangled Banner”. My suggestion is this:
The former is a flag, a multi-colored swatch of cloth. If you want to stand and salute when you see it, stand and salute. If you don’t want to stand and salute when you see it, don’t.
The latter is a song. If you want to stand when you hear it, stand. If you don’t want to stand when you hear it, don’t stand.
Either way, “The Star Spangled Banner” remains the officially government-designated national anthem of the US, the “Stars and Stripes” remains the officially government-designated flag of the US, and those who join the officially government-designated military will continue to
join the officially government-designated military.
And for the record, what that song and flag “represent” differs among various observers. Don’t let Tommy Privette, Donald Trump or anybody else coerce or shame you into standing, saluting, adopting their views of what these artifacts “represent”, or engaging in any other rituals
you don’t wish to engage in.
Terry Wintroub
Mountain City