Take a look at this picture and try not to well up with pride for our Country's Military.  The photographer did a beautiful job capturing just what our men and women in uniform are fighting for.

But can it also be that the flag here is being improperly displayed?  According to the U.S. Flag Code, and often ignored but priceless guide in the display and treatment of and sanctity of the U.S. Flag in general, it is being improperly displayed.  Not desecrated, and certainly the photographer means no disrespect, but the code clearly states that this type of use violates the Flag's integrity.

  • (d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

If we continue to allow single mini-violations for our own reasons, you could make the argument that all real sanctity would eventually cease to exist.

My disagreement with this display says nothing about my love for the emotion the photograph captures.  That's the photographer's job, and as an artist she is covered by freedom of speech to present the flag any way she wishes.  But out of respect for the flag code, sometimes you can't have both.

Would there be another way to capture the same emotion, yes.  Should we all strive to in the display Old Glory in the manner that doesn't place any individual above her? Yes. Just because it's a photo of  service member and their baby doesn't exclude it from adherence to the flag code.  Just because many people don't care to know the flag code doesn't excuse ignorance in good intentions.

I have held for almost my whole life that the only person qualified to wear the flag is the one who dies defending it.  All military servers, whether you carried and bedpan, rifle, typewriter or clipboard, have my deepest respect for dedicating their lives to a purpose higher than their own.  Using the flag should carry the same weight.  For a purpose higher than your own. This is an example of the opposite.