Memorial Day Flags “Non-Essential.”

This is one of those posts of bad news, good news, horrible news.

What are these idiots thinking?

The answer is no.

FlagZone LLC near Gilbertsville [Pennsylvania] will not be allowed to sell flags for Memorial Day observances, and Berks County is still scrambling for flags for Memorial Day cemetery events.

According to a statement to the MediaNews Group from Casey Smith, communications director at the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development: “As the administration’s main priority is protecting the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians, flagmaking operations are thus deemed non-life-sustaining. While FlagZone will unfortunately need to suspend its operations this year, we are hopeful that in the years to come, it will be able to continue to provide Pennsylvanians with a symbol of our patriotism for future Memorial Day celebrations.”

This is the list of exemptions for the coronavirus shutdown granted by the state in a searchable database.

Daniel Ziegler, FlagZone president, said Tuesday that he had not yet received word from the state, and was not hopeful about his appeal.

“We’re trying everything we can to honor the veterans,” Ziegler said. “Perhaps it will happen in June so we can celebrate them July 4. They (the flags) are in our warehouse and we can’t get them free.

Last week he said the flags could easily be shipped on short notice with a few workers brought back to the factory.

Ziegler, also president of the domestic flag manufacturers group, said there would be flags on the market but they would be made in China.

Oh the irony of American flags being replaced by Chinese flags due to a pandemic caused by the Chinese.

But there is something even deeper to this lunacy.

What is the world is a Governor thinking in outlawing the making of American flags to be placed on the graves of men and women who died fighting against oppression and for the freedoms we in the country enjoy?

Even if one assumes that the reason is not allow a factory to open because people may spread the COVID-19, that falls apart because the same governor who said one manufacturer had to remain shuttered allowed another flag manufacturer to open to make masks.

Vincent Naso, president of Colebrooke Enterprises, a sewing operation in Douglass Township, Montgomery County, makes flags for FlagZone, which is about five minutes away.

His was among the companies granted an exemption by the state to operate to make face masks, but not to make flags. He was also turned down to resume flag making and lamented the state’s thumbs-down on FlagZone.

“The people are here saying we’re making face masks, why can’t we make flags since we’re here?” he said.

It makes no sense. Moreover, since when is not honoring the men and women who died for this country not an “essential activity?”

With that as a background and a groundswell of anger, Governor Wolf reversed course:

Flags will fill cemeteries across Berks County on Memorial Day after all.

The county announced Monday that Gov. Tom Wolf has granted a waiver to FlagZone near Gilbertsville that will allow the company to distribute American flags for the national day of remembrance. The decision also means that the Berks County Department of Veterans Affairs will now be able to carry out the annual tradition of mobilizing an army of volunteers to dress up graves of veterans.

The announcement is a reversal for the administration, which initially denied the request by FlagZone to sell flags request earlier this month. Casey Smith, communications director at the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, had said in a statement that the company would have to unfortunately suspend its operations as part of a mandate by the governor aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

That decision was met with criticism from company officials, local residents and county leaders.

Ken Lebron, county Veterans Affairs administrator, said the swift response made a difference.

“The waiver is a result of the overwhelming groundswell of voices from concerned, patriotic citizens of this county who were extremely upset regarding the impending absence of American flags to decorate the graves of veterans for Memorial Day,” Lebron said in a press release. “The commissioners heard those concerns and responded expeditiously by relaying those concerns directly to the leadership in Harrisburg.”

While it never should have come to needing a “reversal,” it is good to see that the people won out.

Well, almost.

A Memorial Day tradition held for decades has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but groups like the Boy Scouts are persistent to keep it alive.

The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the U.S. National Cemetery Association prohibited public events at all memorial sites due to COVID-19, which barred the Boy Scouts and other groups from doing mass flag placements, Fox News reported.

Both organizations say due to the “national emergency,” VA ceremonies will not be hosting public ceremony events, including mass flag placements at gravesites.

Good to see that the VA is for not honoring vets. (That’s sarcasm for the sarcastically impaired.)

“If we can’t figure out a way to make sure we are placing flags at their graves to honor them, then something is seriously wrong,” Executive Steve Bellone of Suffolk County, NY told Fox News. “We will take the responsibility to say that this flag placement plan meets the state and national guidelines but give us that opportunity to do it, allow us to honor our fallen heroes.”

Bellone says he is confident officials can carry out an alternative plan that would keep the scouts safe. But New York State officials indicated they still have not met the criteria for reopening, according to a statement from Suffolk County obtained by Fox News.

“Families and community members are welcome to visit national cemeteries throughout Memorial Day weekend and place individual flags on graves to honor friends and family,” the National Cemetery Association said in a statement. “We ask that all visitors adhere to CDC, state and local health, safety, and travel guidelines.” (emphasis ours)

This isn’t about 500 people crammed in a bar or restaurant. This isn’t about sitting next to someone in small seats at a sporting event.

This is about honoring veterans in a way that meets guidelines.

How hard it is to say “Jimmy, you do odd rows, Fred, you do even rows.” That would satisfy the “social distancing” rules and warnings.

Instead, governments are showing that when it comes to an issue with simple solutions, the best thing is not to work on those solutions, but to ban any solution and punish those who want to do the right thing.

It is no wonder that people are getting so upset about the restrictions.

These types of restrictions – restrictions of flags on graves of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice – should be resisted by everyone.

One Response to “Memorial Day Flags “Non-Essential.””

  1. Percy says:

    Weren’t we warned about what happens when we give so much power to government regulators in Ayn Rands 1957 Atlas Shrugged novel?
    I guess the question isn’t “Who is John Galt?” , but “Where is John Galt when you need him?”.

    If you’re stuck at home watch the Atlas Shrugged movie series or read the book. I believe it was very controversial at the time, but now we seem to be living it.