My initial reaction when I first saw this faded flag was that it was well past time for it to be retired, and the guidelines about flag etiquette support that idea. When the American Flag becomes noticibly faded or worn, it should be retired, at least from “active duty”. The flag should be crisp and clean, the colors bright and bold, not faded like this example. But then a thought came to me, doesn’t the very fact that this flag has clearly been displayed for years, in all kinds of weather, count for something?
We are a nation that places a lot of emphasis on the new and the young, and up to a point that’s a good thing. It is part of what drives us forward. However, when that emphasis on new and young clouds the accomplishments of what went before, when people forget on whose sholders they stand, it’s time for a pause. This flag, probably like the person who displays it, is owed a little respect, if for no other reason than because they have stood the test of time. We will never know all they have seen or all they have done. We don’t have to, it’s right there to see in those faded colors.
Olympus OMD EM5 with 14-42 kit zoom, processed with Snapseed on my iPad Air.