KEN: It is Flag Day. June 14th, 244 years ago Congress commemorated Betsy Ross’s creation of the Stars and Stripes as our national flag. And I was raised, like millions of Americans, you respect the flag. Even though I’m nonmilitary, I know how to fold the flag, display the flag, the history of the flag.
You never let the flag hit the ground. When you disposed of the flag in one of the — among the more special moments of when my kids were young now — they’re 17 and 20, almost — and when they were scouts, when they were Cub Scouts, Webelos, Boy Scouts, we would go to this event where everybody would get their old flags — tattered, ragged flags, and you ceremoniously disposed of them in the correct way, the honorable way. You burn them, but you burn them together, and you tell stories and you comment on American history.
I gotta say, as a scout dad back in the day, it was one of the coolest events. I have these beautiful photographs of my kids and the other scouts in uniform reading little parts of American history, and then we got new flags, and the flag looked different throughout the years. I mean, there’s 27 variations. Actually, as America grew through the colonies to 50 states, there were 27 variations. And I think the left at one time or another has hated all of them. They’ve managed to hate all of them.
Remember the big Betsy Ross thing. Remember the big fundraiser on the Rush Limbaugh Show. That started because the left, they were acting like knuckleheads again.
We have a great story told by Rush of when he received a very special delivery involving our American flag.
RUSH I’ve told this story before. Some of you who have been longtime listeners have heard the story, but it is worth hearing it again.
It’s May of 2003. A couple of months earlier, we began the invasion of Iraq, one of the first acts in the War on Terror. This was the war that was to remove and eliminate Saddam Hussein. George W. Bush had spent a year and a half traveling the country explaining it, gearing up support for it. It was a major, major conflict in the War on Terror and our response to it.
And it had become controversial, of course. The Democrats, the unity after 9/11, 2001, lasted about two weeks, and then that became politicized. And on that day in May, early May of 2003, I went home. Well, I’d gotten a note before I got home. “You have got to come straight home. You won’t believe what just arrived FedEx.”
I said, “What is it? Just tell me.”
They said, “No, you have to see this.” So I got home, and I looked at what I had received, and I was floored. I was stunned. I’d never seen anything like it. I didn’t know these things happened. I was moved. I was blown away. I felt small. I ran through all kinds of emotions. I mean, in lickety-split fashion. What it was was an American flag properly folded inside a Ziploc bag. And there were certificates stating that flag had flown on the following aircraft. And each aircraft had a — well, you would frame it. It’s like an official notification of the date that the aircraft flew that flag on a mission.
There were five different aircraft and a tanker. And all of the pilots of the five different aircraft and the tanker had signed the documents certifying that that flag had flown. The tanker pilot was the originator, the mastermind of this, and he included a handwritten note on yellow legal paper explaining that these five crew members had flown that flag in my honor on the initial bombing runs, the first bombing runs in the war against Iraq, the Shock and Awe portion. And, as their missions were completed and as they were all refueled by this tanker pilot, that flag was put in the Ziploc bag and the pilots all signed these certifications, and they were FedExed to me. And they did nothing more than that.
I received this and was floored. As I say, I went through a mixture of emotions, including humility and smallness. And I’m asking myself what have I done — ’cause this was an honor, I mean, it was clearly an honor. I didn’t know things like this happened. Just not enough experience in actual military combat circumstances to know that time was taken for this kind of ceremonial or memorial type event.
Well, we took that flag, and we unfolded it, and it’s now framed, and the certificates with all those signatures and the picture of each of the aircraft — and there’s fighters, there’s bombers, and the tanker — they surround the flag. And we had an actual golden eagle carved to stand, and it’s about five feet tall once it’s on its pedestal. It’s huge. And we put this in a niche, big niche in a room right outside my library so you can’t miss this when you’re walking into the library.
People who don’t know about this, ask, “What in the world is that?” And I get to regale them with the story. I said, “Yeah, these guys flew that flag in my honor on the initial bombing run of Iraq.” Well, the ringleader of this operation was Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hasara. He flew the tanker. He flew KC-135s, which is the military version of Boeing 707 and the KC-10, which is the military version of the DC-10.
He’s the one that had written the note on yellow legal paper explaining why they did it. And it was filled with recognition and support and thanks for the support I had given the military over the years. As I say, I was blown away by it. It was an honor that I didn’t even know existed and I had no idea it was coming. And even now when I stop and think about the fact that it happened, it’s one of those events that happens in your life or in your career that you never forget and that you’re always going to be overwhelmingly and supremely proud of.
Well, over the years, Kathryn and I have gotten to know Lieutenant Colonel Hasara and his wife and his family, and we see them now and then. And, folks, these people that you never meet, they’re just humble. When I talk about people who make the country work, these are the people I’m talking about. They’re out there volunteering every day, they sign up to defend the country, to protect the Constitution, to carry out their orders. They’re doing it because this is how they’ve decided they want to serve their country.
In Hasara’s case, it’s been his life, and most of these other pilots, they never really leave it even after their service ends. But they never seek any fame. They didn’t send me this for fame. They didn’t send this for notoriety or notification or anything else. They just sent it as a distinct honor.
I can’t tell you — I mean, I sitting here, I’m looking at this package and we’re going through the process of getting this all framed and I’m thinking, here these guys have their orders, they’re part of the initial bombing run, and before they leave somebody organizes this tribute to me by having this flag fly in every one of these aircraft. They’re the best-kept secrets in this country
KEN: You know, the most frustrating thing and painful thing for patriotic Americans which this audience is filled with, is the way some of the people on the left speak of the flag and the military and what they’re doing to the military. First of all, it’s hard to understand. It’s hard to understand where that comes from. You see a 30-year-old member of The Squad or some idiot like Congressman Swalwell, and they’re talking trash about something that we all know better about, like the military, for example, and what Rush was just describing, the honor — and there is a level of sacred respect with the flag for a billion reasons. And for that no longer to be taught in schools, it is heartbreaking.