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Saturday, June 30, 2007


It's an unfortunate reality that almost every news source, including the DESERET NEWS, does a very poor job of reporting news, frequently omitting important facts, which can lead to misunderstanding.
Such may be the case now, as what I'm writing about is based on the facts (or possibly, the lack of them) reported in the DESERET NEWS, as I perceived them.
Was Sergeant Stephen Anderson a military veteran?
If not, his casket should have been draped with a State of Utah flag, and not a United States flag.
I also noticed in the photograph that his son, Shawn Anderson, wore a United States flag on the right breast of his uniform.
Although that is common practice for many law enforcement agencies, it is a misuse of the United States flag.
Also, back when I worked at the Utah State Prison, our job title was "Correctional Supervisor", not "Corrections Officer".
But, I realize that things do change, for when I worked there, we wore three-piece vested suits and ties, not police uniforms, and the Department of Corrections hadn't even been created.
Now, why is it a misuse of the United States flag when it is worn on a police uniform, or used to drape a slain police officer's casket?
Are you familiar with the old saying, "Familiarity breeds contempt"?
The United States flag is used too often, in too many places, with no thought given to the effect of overuse or misuse.
Displaying the United States flag at STATE functions, such as the funeral of a slain police officer, detracts from the sovereignty and recognition of the State of Utah, to whom Sergeant Anderson and his son have sworn their allegiance, and from whom they obtained their certification.
Only if a police officer is actually a military veteran, should their casket be draped with a United States flag.
Otherwise, it should be draped with a State of Utah flag.
Likewise, the United States flag should NOT be displayed on the uniforms of police who are certified by the State of Utah.
(As a side observation, Utah's public safety officers should be barred from service in the National Guard or Army Reserve, lest they be called away from their job.)
Public schools and other state office buildings should display the State of Utah flag, and not the United States flag.
Only federal office buildings and federal military installations should display the United States flag.
This may seem to be a petty matter, but it is an essential step in reasserting the sovereignty of the State of Utah. 
Thank you.
John Robert Mallernee 

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