Sunday, October 28, 2007

Do We Really Need To Scratch Our Heads Over THIS One?

Local Veterans Bristle At Ban On Flag-Folding Ceremony
By Greg Welter - Staff Writer

A complaint about a a flag-folding ceremony at the Riverside National Cemetery in Southern California has sidelined the tradition in all 125 national cemeteries, and enraged some Chico-area veterans.

Upon the request of survivors, Memorial Honor Guard details fold the American flag 13 times at military funerals, explaining as they go the significance of each fold. The folds once represented the original 13 colonies, but veterans groups developed secondary meanings.

The first represents life, the second eternal life, the third departed veterans, and so on. The National Cemetery Administration pulled the ceremony when it got a complaint about the 11th fold, said to represent the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in the Hebrews' eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The National Cemetery Administration pulled the ceremony when it got a complaint about the 11th fold, said to represent the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in the Hebrews' eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Chico veteran John Schultz said the 11th fold is meant to honor Jewish veterans of war, whom he mentions when he performs the flag folding ceremony several times a year at churches and service clubs.

Schultz and other area veterans are perhaps best known for demonstrating the tradition at Chico's annual 9/11 tribute. "I don't know exactly what's behind this, but I'm going to find out," Schultz said.

National cemetery officials released no details about the complaint that led to the ban.

Schultz has been performing the ceremony for years, usually as the "caller" who explains the folds, and said nothing will make him stop. He said the reference to Judaism never bothered him, adding that he was honored to fight beside several Jewish soldiers in World War II. Schultz was upset when he learned about the ban Friday, pacing the floor for several minutes, according to his wife.

"Every time we turn around, something else is going down," Schultz said. "Next they'll be asking us to take all the crosses and flags out of the cemeteries, too."

Schultz promised to alert veterans groups, and said they wouldn't take the affront casually. "I think some of the will come unglued," he said. He believes Elks Lodge members, about 1,000 strong in the north state, will be especially upset over the decision. "We're going to give them hell," Schultz vowed.

A call from the Enterprise-Record to the Anti-Defamation League headquarters in New York, seeking comment on the ban, was not immediately returned.


Blogger Pat said...

We are living in a country populated by uneducated idiots! Do you know that? When and where was the original intent of the 13 folds substituted for this BS?

If I didn't know better, I'd swear some bored, unemployed malingerer, who's on public assistance, invented this whole "non-issue" to have something to complain about.

But no, comtemplating one's navel has become the national pastime. There just one problem, the 13 folds are for the original 13 colonies of the USA, period, always have been, always will be.

This is stupid!

7:20 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

I know--any regional, or colloquial meaning people have assumed have nothing to do with the original meaning of the flag folds (and that's ALL it ought to be judged by)--and thus, it's a non-issue!

8:50 AM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

And if the families of the veterans WANT it done that way...for crying out loud, LET THEM! It's a funeral for their loved one!


9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the veterans have developed a different symbology for the 13 folds of our flag, what of it? These secondary symbols obviously have great meaning to them.
I fear for our times, when everything that possesses religious meaning is being trashed by secular-obsessed liberals. OK to be "spiritual", but not OK to be religious. Something isn't right here!


10:42 AM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Religious is alright, as long as it isn't Judeo-Christian...heck, in Santa Cruz, CA they have a yearly druid festival...


12:16 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

TMW---Druid Festy--LOL!

1:05 PM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

I tell you, it was creepy seeing the guy parked next to you at the K-Mart wearing a Druid Festival t-shirt...:shudder:


4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you erase a nation history and its traditions, you are erasing that nation in the process. Its the veterans who have kept us free, not the campus radical or the feckless leftie whose ''offended'' at any display of patroitism. This is a disgrace, its an insult to our veterans. J"Mac.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a practicing, Jew, educated in my religion, I wish someone would explain the "lower portion of the Seals of King David and King Solomon" - what does this mean? I have a feeling that this is related more to Masonic ritual than to Judaism.
This week is the 1st I have heard of this flag-folding ceremony, & I have seen online versions of the text which mention God but neither Judaism nor Christianity - more appropriate for an "official" rite. As tmw said - let the family choose their ceremony. Hannah

8:20 AM  

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