I say that as a preface for what I am about to tell you about what happened today which, to me, was unusual for me.
We took a wounded veteran out as a part of the Forgotten Coast Warrior Weekend. It was fun and we had some battles with some huge red snappers (that we released), a mammoth shark that actually dragged the boat, and an asshole porpoise that took our catch. Along with our wounded vet we were given a brand new flag to fly high.
Anyway, we also trolled and our trolling lines have multiple hooks. I say that so you understand. The rods are held high on the boat right beside the flag. All day the flag flew high and proud. I caught myself checking it a lot. It's a pet peeve of mine to see flags flown incorrectly.
We spent six hours out at sea and were on our way back to the harbor when I saw it. The flag was hooked on two side by three different trolling hooks. We were moving at a fast clip but, I tried to get up there and unhook it. I couldn't and our vet noticed and tried to help. It was impossible on a fast moving boat.
Without thinking I told the captain to stop. He did. We took the flag and the rods down and I fought with the hooks. Meanwhile, we were moving again. Something inside of me happened. I suddenly caught a lump in my throat and this sense of, this fucking flag will be flying as we enter that goddamn harbor. I don't know why it was so important to me, it just was.
I got the first two hooks without a problem. The last hook was being a fucker and the harbor was getting close. I felt almost panicked. I grabbed my pliers and cut the hook to feed it through the flag. Then I shot up, grabbed the pole holder above the cabin and shoved that fucking flag into a holder just before we hit the no wake zone and entered the harbor.
Riding through the harbor I went up and sat at that bow of the boat alone. I thought about why I don't care about people burning the flag. Beyond the Constitution, I mean.
That flag is not my flag. It's a rag they bought at WalMart to burn in some idealistic bullshit protest about nothing I ever care about anyway. It is nothing.
My flag is crossing the Delaware. My flag is still flying over Fort McHenry after the Brits did their worst to knock it down. My flag is draped over the Golden Gate Bridge welcoming home our heroes at the end of WWII. My flag is draped over the wreckage of the Twin Towers, raised from the wreckage that would send a lessor nation to its knees. My flag is in the hands of spouses and children welcoming back their loved ones from a deployment over seas. My flag is flying on a boat after an amazing day with some amazing people.
My flag is in the hearts of every man and woman who has ever answered the call.
My flag cannot be burned.
I don't have a point. I just wanted to put it all down before I forget it.