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Old Wed Nov 14, 2001, 08:08pm
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Hello fellow Officials,
Glad to have found this site again! Very insightful stuff; even for us guys who think we know it all. Emphasis on think.

Would like your opinions...
I am the rules interpreter for the Tri-Cities area in Wahington State.
I brought up an item for discussion at our last meeting.
Item: Do we want to, as an Association, wear the American Flag on our referee shirt?

There was some grumbling against, some for but mostly no comments.

Is this something that should be done as a whole group, or can some display the flag while others don't?

Thanks for you input.

Dan
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Old Wed Nov 14, 2001, 08:16pm
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Just my opinion

My opinion is that the flag should not be worn on the uniform. The U.S. Flag Code states that the flag should not be worn as an article of clothing or on an article of clothing (it makes specific reference to 'athletic uniforms/costumes') with the exception of a flag patch for police, fire fighters, EMT's, and members of patriotic organizations (ie. VFW).

If you are going to have flags, I would recommend making it mandatory per crew. If one of the three (or two) people is uncomfortable wearing it, have no one wear it (similar to all having Byron or V-neck collars a few years back). Also, the proper location would be the left sleeve.
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Old Wed Nov 14, 2001, 08:20pm
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I for one believe the uniform should be... well, uniform. If one is going to do it have everyone do it.

Our association distributed 2.5"x3" flags to be worn on the left sleeve. BTW flag etiquette dictates “stars forward”, which is why these particular patches are to be worn on the left. This decision to display the flag as part of the uniform has been met with approval by most and apathy by some, but to my knowledge there has been little if any negative response.

Mike
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Old Wed Nov 14, 2001, 09:40pm
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No offense Mark but...

Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Dexter
My opinion is that the flag should not be worn on the uniform. The U.S. Flag Code states that the flag should not be worn as an article of clothing or on an article of clothing (it makes specific reference to 'athletic uniforms/costumes') with the exception of a flag patch for police, fire fighters, EMT's, and members of patriotic organizations (ie. VFW).
I've heard this bull**** argument about as many times as I can stand it. There's nothing in the flag code that defines what a patriotic organization is. If my association votes to wear the flag in support of our country, then guess what? We just became a patirotic organization.

In case no one has noticed, all NFL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA teams are wearing the flag on their uniforms or helmets. I heven't paid attention to other officials but MLB umpires wore the flag. I beleive the NHL is wearing the red, white, and blue ribbon instead, perhaps because there's so many Canadian teams. I don't know if the Raptors are wearing the flag or not.

As for our association, we can wear it if we would like to. However, if one member of a crew doesn't want to wear it, then the crew doesn't wear it. If both or all 3 agree, then they can wear the flag 2 inches below the left shoulder seam.

Oaky, I'm putting my soapbox back in the closet.
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Old Thu Nov 15, 2001, 09:02am
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OK, I am a newbie but this is an area I feel comfortable in addressing...especially since I have taught flag etiquette and the US Flag Code to BSA adult leaders. The Flag Code specifically states that the star field is ALWAYS in the its own uppermost right, viewers left. Check the uniforms of police, fire and patriotic groups and you will find that it is worn on the RIGHT sleve as close to the seam as possible without touching it. If you are going to wear it or display it, do it properly...anything less is worse than not wearing or displaying it.

Also the Code state; "(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations."
In my opinion, if your organization has never worn the flag as part of you official uniform, then they would not fall in the category of "patriotic organization" since those are commonly held to be VFW Post, POW/MIA organizations, the BSA, etc. In these times however, I think it would be a good gesture of support for the nation and our men and women serving in harms way.

I agree that it should be consistent in the entire crew.
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Old Thu Nov 15, 2001, 09:09am
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally posted by DanIvey
Hello fellow Officials,
Glad to have found this site again! Very insightful stuff; even for us guys who think we know it all. Emphasis on think.

Would like your opinions...
I am the rules interpreter for the Tri-Cities area in Wahington State.
I brought up an item for discussion at our last meeting.
Item: Do we want to, as an Association, wear the American Flag on our referee shirt?

There was some grumbling against, some for but mostly no comments.

Is this something that should be done as a whole group, or can some display the flag while others don't?

Thanks for you input.

Dan
I am told the GLIAC (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference - DII) had recently mailed Flag patches to all their officials "to be worn on the left sleeve".
mick

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Old Thu Nov 15, 2001, 09:30am
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Quote:
Originally posted by mick
Quote:
Originally posted by DanIvey

Is this something that should be done as a whole group, or can some display the flag while others don't?

.

Dan
I am told the GLIAC (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference - DII) had recently mailed Flag patches to all their officials "to be worn on the left sleeve".
mick

I agree that all involved should be dressed the same. In Faifield County CT we are all to affix the flag patch on the back of our shirt, 1" below the collar.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old Thu Nov 15, 2001, 03:14pm
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Thumbs down No flags

As a veteran of the Armed forces, although it’s good to see the general rallying of the public during a crisis, I feel that the patriotism is extremely misguided. There are many ways of displaying allegiance to our nation by citizens. Such as obedience to our laws, voter participation and various civic duties, these are far more meaningful ways of exhibiting public spirit.
I don’t believe that it’s appropriate for anyone to ‘mandate’ that a person wears a flag in anyway. This is America. People have the rights to decide for themselves how they choose to support the nation.
If any official chooses to wear a flag on his uniform, to me that would demean the accomplishments of the men & women who are putting their lives on the line everyday. Sports and politics ought to be kept separate.
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Old Thu Nov 15, 2001, 04:14pm
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Re: No flags

Quote:
Originally posted by ksandi
As a veteran of the Armed forces, although it’s good to see the general rallying of the public during a crisis, I feel that the patriotism is extremely misguided. There are many ways of displaying allegiance to our nation by citizens. Such as obedience to our laws, voter participation and various civic duties, these are far more meaningful ways of exhibiting public spirit.
I don’t believe that it’s appropriate for anyone to ‘mandate’ that a person wears a flag in anyway. This is America. People have the rights to decide for themselves how they choose to support the nation.
If any official chooses to wear a flag on his uniform, to me that would demean the accomplishments of the men & women who are putting their lives on the line everyday. Sports and politics ought to be kept separate.
Very nicely put, ksandi.
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Old Thu Nov 15, 2001, 05:18pm
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Thumbs up I agree

Dan,
The Seattle Officials - Women's Basketball board has authorized the wearing of a flag to match the NCAA Policy.

We have made no stipulation as to whether the crew needs to match in this regard. At least not yet.

Ron
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Old Fri Nov 16, 2001, 01:08am
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ksandi, you are so right. In the area where I live, I see many vehicles flying American flags. And I see them speeding, passing in no-passing zones, turn and change lanes without signaling, run stop signs and stop lights, etc. I even saw a woman throw trash out of a pick-up truck. All this in the name of patriotism, no doubt. Didn't someone once say, "Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels"?

Bob
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Old Fri Nov 16, 2001, 11:27am
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Quote:
Originally posted by bluezebra
In the area where I live, I see many vehicles flying American flags. And I see them speeding, passing in no-passing zones, turn and change lanes without signaling, run stop signs and stop lights, etc. I even saw a woman throw trash out of a pick-up truck. All this in the name of patriotism, no doubt.
First, it is obviously not the case that throwing trash out the window is in the name of patriotism. Breaking the law is not a form of patriotism any more than flying a passenger airplane into the WTC is a form of Islam. Does that disqualify people who are genuinely patriotic from displaying the flag?

Second of all, even if the person is less than a perfect citizen, shouldn't he be allowed to show his support for those men and women of whom we are all so proud? Are you going to say that a person cannot fly a flag unless he perfectly meets the civic code? (How long is my beard supposed to be, anyway?) Of course not, b/c nobody lives up to that. So why bring it up in connection with flag-flying? I have a flag on my car antenna, and I admit that I sometimes speed and often fail to use my blinker to change lanes (GASP!!). Are you seriously going to tell me that I am bringing dishonor to the troops by doing this? I hope not, b/c such a claim is, quite frankly, ludicrous.

Quote:
Didn't someone once say, "Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels"?
Probably, but I prefer the insight that "War is history's way of teaching geography to Americans."

originally posted by ksandi
Quote:
any official chooses to wear a flag on his uniform, to me that would demean the accomplishments of the men & women who are putting their lives on the line everyday
Somebody is going to have to explain this to me. Here we have literally millions of people who are proudly, happily, defiantly displaying our flag (to which most of us pledged allegiance every day in grade school); we have citizens donating time, money, and blood; supporting their commander-in-chief (to the tune of 90% or so); we have citizens who are convinced that the men and women flying and fighting in Afghanistan are doing the morally right and honorable thing. They choose to offer a visible sign of their strong support and well-wishes for their fellow countrymen at arms. And this seen as "demeaning"?!?!? How in heaven's name can anyone say that?

I think, rather, that the citizens are demeaned by those who think that we are somehow unworthy to display a flag to show our pride and support; or that we are too ignorant to understand the meaning of the symbol that provides a link between all of us. We are not claiming "the accomplishments of the men & women who are putting their lives on the line everyday" as our own. Rather, we simply want to say that we are all on the same team. We want to cheer for the team in any way that we can. Can this really be "demeaning"? I would submit that it cannot.

Now back to your regularly scheduled baskeball thread. . .

Chuck
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old Fri Nov 16, 2001, 11:56am
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Exclamation

When I say those officials wearing flags is demeaning, I admit that it’s a bold statement. But that it is my honest opinion. I’m not trying to incite a riot, or run for office, rather to allow for the exchange of thought and ideas. It doesn’t have anything to do with right versus wrong. That is a matter of opinion.
The originator of this post asked a poignant question. With that comes a certain expectation of disagreement amongst a wide range of people. Diversity of ideology comes with that.
To sum it all up, again my opinion is that officials should not have to wear flags on uniforms. It should be an individuals discretionary choice. Not the officials’ associations. This is America. Politics should not be mixed with sports.


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Old Fri Nov 16, 2001, 12:32pm
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OK gentlemen...let's stay calm. If we debate and disagree over the "spirit and intent" of the rules of the game does anyone expect us to all agree on this rhetorical question? Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Isn't that what those fine people are fighting for as we speak, err, write? Besides, even if the extreme happens and your association decides to mandate the flag on every shirt, you still have a choice. If disagree with the decision so adamantly you can choose the extreme and turn back the games.

I may not agree with you're opinion, but I will defend to my death your right to express it.

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Old Fri Nov 16, 2001, 01:17pm
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Quote:
originally posted by LarryS
OK gentlemen...let's stay calm
Larry, I appreciate your efforts to remind us to be civil to one another. I mean that without any sarcasm whatsoever. One of the problems on the other board is the nasty tone that sometimes develops. Having said that, I believe that my last post, while written with deep conviction, was calm and (for the most part) rational. If anyone thought I was trying to shout down ksandi or bluezebra, I apologize. I don't believe that's what I did; and it's certainly not what I intended. This exchange probably doesn't belong on this board, but I didn't start it, so I'll just continue it here.

Quote:
Originally posted by ksandi
When I say those officials wearing flags is demeaning, I admit that it’s a bold statement. [snip] It doesn’t have anything to do with right versus wrong. That is a matter of opinion.

And while I support your right to express an opinion, you've given us absolutely no reason to accept your opinion. You simply state that it's demeaning. What I said in my last post is still true: "Somebody is going to have to explain this to me". You haven't done that. I honestly, sincerely have absolutely no clue as to how you could think I am dishonoring our soldiers by flying a flag from my car.

Secondly, it is naive (and an historically recent development) to think that your opinions (or mine, or anybody's for that matter) have nothing to do with right or wrong. Either it is demeaning to fly a flag, or it is not. We disagree. One of us is wrong. It's a simple matter of logic.

Quote:

To sum it all up, again my opinion is that officials should not have to wear flags on uniforms.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. But that does not address the real issue that is being discussed. Please, please try to explain to me, however, how my flying the flag on my car or on my garage demeans the very people that I am purporting to honor.

If your real point is that FORCING people to display the flag dishonors the soldiers then I might agree with you. But that's not what you've been saying to this point, as far as I can tell.

Chuck
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