Is your flag suitable to fly, fly, fly? Hanaba Welch Column
Flags, flags and more flags. Memorial Day, Flag Day and July 4th.
How is your flag?
Never store your flag even under a small roof leak.
How do you get rid of a moldy flag? Bury it or burn it, not without ceremony. You can greet him and take the pledge of allegiance. This is my plan.
If the funeral is your choice (it’s mine), you first fold it correctly to end up with the standard triangular shape. Start at the end away from the stars. We learned how to fold the flag in the fifth or sixth grade. My partner and I were the best.
When properly folded, the flag fits in a pretty box. I’ll build a simple one. It’s the least I can do.
The burial site will be the pet cemetery in the windbreak. (If you’re new to “windbreaks,” think of a row of trees planted to reduce wind erosion from the Dust Bowl.)
The ground is soft there. Under the trees in the archway, a large chunk of red granite marks the main grave – the final resting place of old Bill, my parents’ trusty Boston Bulldog. I don’t remember him, but there is a black and white photo of the two of us together, me in my stroller. We digress. But why not?
Bill was so smart my mom could use it as a smartphone. In Frederick, Oklahoma, dad was a dairy manager. The mother could tie a note to Bill’s collar and tell him to go to JZ. I guess the note might say something like “bring home a quart of milk”.
Bill almost died while my parents lived in another town in Oklahoma. The city marshal was known to have poisoned dogs with meat containing strychnine. He even threw it over fences.
When Bill got sick, mom and dad went to get the vet. He stayed home with Bill all night, monitoring his seizures and managing to keep him from dying.
What a home visit! What a vet! This is the story mom told me. Believe it or not.
Near Bill’s grave are also the remains of Mother Barn Cat, Fritz, Pounce, Baby, and Spot. When the breeze blows through the southern trees on a summer day, it’s a place cows like to lie down for a midday respite. When it rains, a large puddle forms nearby, sometimes holding water long enough for the tadpoles to hatch and turn into small frogs. New life.
A human cemetery might be a more dignified place to bury a flag.
On the other hand, maybe not.
In the meantime, where to buy another flag?
Cheap me, I first shopped at my favorite pawnshop. They didn’t have one, but the locksmith across the street heard me ask. By the time I got back to my truck, parked curbside in his store, he had a beautiful flag for me. A gift.
I pledge my allegiance to a flag which represents a republic with very good people. I now think of a vet and a locksmith.
Hanaba Munn Welch, a Times Record News correspondent who divides her time between Abilene and a farm north of Vernon, appears on Monday. Its columns, in homage to the Childress Engine 501, still contain, surprisingly, 501 words.