I saw a blog post with this title recently: God Hates Flags: The Public Nature of Theology. It’s a pretty good piece written by Artur Rosman regarding the events going down in Ukraine.
I respect Rosman’s viewpoints regarding events in Eastern Europe, as he is from Poland. But I’ve been reading the Bible a little, and from this passage in Numbers it appears that no, God does not hate flags.
“The Israelites shall camp, each in their own divisions, under the ensigns of their ancestral houses.”
And God doesn’t hate the military, either.
“Take a census of the whole community of the Israelites, by clans and ancestral houses, registering by name each male individually. You and Aaron shall enroll in companies all the men in Israel of twenty years or more who are fit for military service.”
I’ve only made it through the first five chapters of Numbers, but so far you would need to be an Embark NCO to really appreciate what is going on there. That’s because it’s all about preparing movements for 40 years through the wilderness in the Sinai. Not that they realize they’ll be on deployment that long, but God gives them the movement orders to be utilized from the very beginning.
Speaking of Embark NCO’s, that brings me to the second part of the title of this post, as well as to the iconic photograph by Joe Rosenthal you see above. Old time readers know this, but first timers are excused if they don’t realize that the blogger in residence is a Marine. And Marines don’t bother making statements like, “God Hates Flags.”
We know better.
Which reminds me of a joke I’ve told a time, or two.
A soldier, a sailor and an airman, all senior enlisted ranks, were arguing in a bar as to which was the best service. Each put forth many great qualities about his branch.
The Sr. Chief Gunner’s Mate talked about the long history of the Navy, the many times it has been called forth to defend our shores, the sacrifices made by families due to long deployments.
The Army First Sergeant put forth the many battles in the Army’s long and glorious history, how it started things off with the battles of Lexington and Concord, through the wars of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the famous 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).
The Air Force Command Sergeant Major expounded at length on the dedication and heroism of the men in blue, how they constantly exposed themselves to danger above and beyond the call of duty in the wild blue yonder.
Unable to reach a decision, they turned to the nearest chaplain affiliate, the bar tender. This worthy gentleman was also a padre on the side, and suggested prayer to the Almighty as a possible recourse to their problem. All three gents got down on their knees right there in the bar and prayed long and hard to the Lord, asking him which was the best service. Several minutes transpired during which there was complete silence in the bar.
Suddenly the heavens opened and a choir of angels dressed in scarlet and gold, complete with a band, appeared to their wondrous eyes, and a bar napkin floated down from above. Written in letters of gold were these Words from the Man;
“Gents, you each have nothing to be ashamed of. Your Services are all equal in My eyes, each having done the utmost in gallantry and service to your country. I am proud of each and every one of you”.
God, USMC (retired).
Note: At that moment the Angelic chorus broke out in the Marine’s Hymn. *true story*
On your feet, Marines!
Take a few moments now and head over to Michael Flynn’s place to spare a moment to remember the event that took place on a volcanic mountain, above a pork chop shaped killing field called Iwo Jima.
Back to flags again for a moment, watch this video all of the way to the end.