Ducking Retreat sends the wrong message

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- We recently received insightful commentary from members of the Schriever community about the flag etiquette commentary we published June 8 that clarified some of the points in the article. 

“Anytime the flag is going up or down, people need to stop and pay the proper respect,” said Senior Master Sgt. Micheal Robinson, 50th Mission Support Group Superintendent. 

The original commentary contained the following reminder: “If you are in the vicinity of the DeKok Building and see a Security Forces detail lowering the flag, stop and render the proper honors.” In point of fact, it doesn’t matter who’s lowering the flag. 

Stephen M. Cooper, a member of the 50th Contracting Squadron here, is a civilian responsible for lowering the flag during high-wind advisories. 

“Your article on paying respect to the flag was right-on,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Far too many times, I’ve witnessed folks walk right by me as if nothing was happening.” 

And then, there are the flag-dodgers. 

“Just the other day, I saw a guy running into his car when he heard the (Retreat) music start,” Sergeant Robinson said. “I ran after him right after the music stopped.” 

When someone walks past a flag that is rising or lowering, or when someone runs for cover as Retreat begins to play, this is what his actions are saying: 

“I don’t care enough about the Constitution and the history of our country, which the flag symbolizes, to take a minute from my day and show the proper respect.” 

Make sure you’re sending the message that our flag is worth respect. Take an extra minute to do the right thing.