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Controversy Over Lowered Flags in NJ for Whitney Houston - "The American Flag is Not a Prop"

Chris Christie announced earlier this week that he was putting the request in to lower all flags in New Jersey tomorrow (Feb. 18) for the late Whitney Houston. Her funeral takes place in Newark.

***The Associated Press will stream Whitney's private funeral service live at:

This in turn has stirred up controversy - for whom is it okay to lower a flag for?

The Asbury ParkPress reported Christie has ordered flags to be lowered 43 times since taking office as governor in Jan. 2010. The overwhelming majority of those instances — 30 — were for servicemembers from New Jersey killed in action.

The Record columnist, Alfred Doblin makes a good point in his article "Governor Christie, the American Flag is Not a Prop" when he said:

"Celebrate celebrity. Respect the flag. It is not a prop."

In Doblin's article, he also said...
"Respecting a celebrity is more important than respecting the thousands of men and women who have died defending this nation. Respecting someone with an extraordinary singing voice is more important than respecting the thousands of men and women who put on uniforms every damn day in America and risk their lives to keep us safe.

This country is at war. U.S. troops are under fire in Afghanistan. Just last week, Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca, a Marine from North Arlington, was killed in combat. Christie has ordered the flag to be lowered, as it should be, on Tuesday. But if it is lowered for a dead Marine and for a deceased diva, the flag, and all it represents, is cheapened.

The American flag is not a prop.

Christie isn’t the only public official with a skewed understanding of American sacrifice. Again, last week, officials in New York and New Jersey outdid themselves to honor the Giants’ Super Bowl win. A parade in lower Manhattan. An event at MetLife Stadium. 

We can hold a parade and a stadium rally for winning athletes, but we cannot do the same for U.S. troops returned from Iraq.

This is what America has become: A nation of self-indulgent public officials washing themselves in the fake glory of pro sports and pop media while less-celebrated Americans don uniforms and are washed in the blood of their fallen comrades in Afghanistan or on the troubled streets of Newark or Paterson. What are these heroes dying for? 

Have the stars of “American Idol” become more important than the defenders of the American Dream?"

I am a huge Whitney Houston fan, but this columnist makes a good point. Where do we draw the line of lowering the American flag? Many soldiers have died for this country and yet a flag has not been lowered for them.

Should the lowering of the flag be reserved for military deaths only? What do you think?


  1. I agree, keep that for American representation. I love Whitney too but she isn't an American symbol.


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