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Old Glory

By Aldo Panzieri
The American flag has been, and always been a symbol that holds intense feeling for nearly everyone who calls himself an American. He or she may ignore election campaigns, my forget to vote, but let him see a flag being dishonored, and he or she will respond with such anger an outrage that they will try to retrieve that flag with no thought to their personal safety.

I once found a large American flag late at night on a street that cut through gang territory. I just saw it in my cars headlights and stopped the car to retrieve it,and when I got close, I smelled urine on the flag, the flag was drenched in it. I went a little crazy. I picked up the flag and put it in my car in a box. Most people who have to go through that neighborhood to get on the freeway drive very fast. Being a CSI photographer for the local police department made me a familiar face there.

I walked in to the police department with that box with the flag in it. the odor of urine filled the room in less than a minute. I told a uniformed officer whet happened. It's hard to tell a cops emotions from his face, but I recognized anger all over that room. There was a washing machine and dryer in the back of the building. It took three washings to remove the smell. A radio call to all officers on patrol in that area, told them to careful in that neighborhood, and they were told why.

Eighty five percent of the patrol cars decided they should pass through there, "Just in Case," The flag flew over city Hall every day until it was retired. Eventually, a large group of retired flags ceremoniously burned with a full honor guard at attention, while a trumpet played "taps."

Tags: Photo journalism Old glory

Voters: LynneJoyce, morpheus1955, IsabelC and 4 more

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LynneJoyce Plus
14 22 101 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2014 7:57AM
A powerful symbol dramatically captured.
IsabelC 7 51 10 Denmark
6 Sep 2014 8:32AM
It works great with the story!

Isabel Smile
Ted447 Plus
9 216 1 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2014 8:40AM
Interesting image and information. Ted. GrinGrin
Joline Plus
16 38 59 United States
6 Sep 2014 11:47AM
Good for you.....I can feel the emotion that must have been in that room. Somewhere respect for anything seems to be a lost value in some. Hopefully people like you are in the majority.
Shaji84 7 4 India
6 Sep 2014 3:50PM
Brilliant - conveys a powerful message!
Chinga Plus
11 75 3 United Kingdom
8 Sep 2014 12:00PM
Poignant story and a very strong image...
Thank you for sharing,

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