Over Memorial weekend, I had the privilege of sharing a dinner with a young Marine who had just returned from Afghanistan. The subject of this letter came up: The care and treatment of the American Flag.

This young Marine said, “When you spend a lot of time in a place like Afghanistan where you seldom see the flag flying, you develop an attitude: Don’t let that flag touch the ground.” He added that not everybody has that attitude.

Indeed. Some people at the table were not aware that there are still standards of flying the flag.

When I was a Boy Scout (Eagle, Troop 349, First Presbyterian Church), I was taught that there is more to respecting the flag than simply flying it on national holidays. The flag is not to be flown at night unless it is illuminated by a spot light.

When the flag is taken down, it is to be folded into a triangle so that the field of stars is on the outside of the fold. It is easy to do with two people folding. Rolling the flag up on its pole and throwing it into the back of a truck is definitely abusive.

The flag, as my young friend noted, is not to touch the ground.

Finally, the flag is not to be flown in the rain. As I write this, it is raining. All over this end of town the flags are getting drenched. It is truly a good thing those colors don’t run.

David M. Henderson



Congressman Louie Gohmert’s policy of embarrassing the First District of Texas continued recently, when he was asked for his opinion on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Gohmert (admirably) admitted ignorance and said he didn’t know what that bill did. When it was explained to him that ENDA prohibited workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Gohmert didn’t let that slow him down: “Who wants to go talking about sexual orientation when they’re working? Good grief.”

Pretty much anyone who mentions their spouse, or boyfriend, or girlfriend (topics that do come up in casual coworker conversation, even up on Capitol Hill), is necessarily speaking about their sexual orientation.

I am no longer shocked by anything the man says. That he dismissed sexual equality in the workplace is not shocking. It is predictable. And it is highly inappropriate conduct for a member of Congress.

Evan Harris



Reading the article, “Tyler ISD authorized to sell bonds in coming months,” on page 3A in the June 22 Tyler Paper, I was reminded of a recent column reporting that TISD had some “left-over” bond money they were going to use for building maintenance or other improvements that were not included in the voter-approved bond issue.

It seems to me “left-over” bond money should be used to reduce the incurred bond debt.

To do otherwise would appear to be misuse of the taxpayers’ money.

I’m not suggesting anyone is personally benefiting from such action. I’m merely pointing out that spending “left-over” bond money is a bad precedent. If the recently approved bond amount results in “left-over” money, shouldn’t there be some limitation on how it is used versus reducing the bond expense (over 30 years)?

Norm Beavers



When I saw the story in the Tyler paper recently I did a double-take. It was headlined “Where’s Jimmy Hoffa?” My first knee-jerk response was “Who cares?”

If you’ll recall, past tips of Hoffa’s burial place have included a back yard swimming pool, a horse farm, a concrete slab garage floor and beneath a Detroit house, all of which entailed expensive investigations and accomplished nothing.

I don’t know what the total cost of these searches amount to, but feel strongly that the money could have been put to better use. As worthless as Jimmy was, I believe that even he might agree.

Hugh Neeld


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