Patriotism: Postman loses Old Glory

Whenever I see the mailman arrive at the Oak Harbor office where I work, my spirits lift. He has always proudly flown a small American flag from his UnitedStates Postal Service delivery truck and displayed a small decal on the windshield with the words “God Bless America” printed below the stars and stripes.

Recently, the absence of the flag from his truck led me to ask him why he stopped flying Old Glory. I was disheartened to learn that he was told that he could no longer display the decal on the window of his truck because it said “God Bless America.” Someone apparently saw this as a political or religious statement and complained to the post office management. My mailman removed the decal and then decided he had better not fly the American flag any longer either, lest someone construe it to be a political statement and become offended.

I thought we were a country of tolerance. Is the expression “God Bless America” a religious one? I remember singing a song with those words many times as a child in the Washington State public school system. I pity the poor soul who is perpetually offended by what gives meaning and joy to others. Since we live in a democratic society, shouldn’t the wishes of the majority rule? I suspect a quick poll of our community to determine what the majority prefers would put this matter to rest, and my mailman’s sentiments could again be expressed openly.

I urge fellow Oak Harbor citizens to register their support of our mailman’s desire to display his “God Bless America” decal and to fly the American flag freely by writing to the postmaster at 1155 SE. City Beach, Oak Harbor, WA. 98277.

Chris Lanz

Oak Harbor

(Editor’s note: Oak Harbor Postmaster Michael D. Harvey replies postal vehicles are subject to nationally established requirements concerning the content and placement of any labels or markings, which are needed to ensure consistency in the vehicle fleet. As a result, the “God bless America” sticker was removed “as it is not part of the standardized labeling of USPS vehicles.”)

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