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Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: The vulgar flags

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Comfreak
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Pixabay

I became an avid and very competent reader during the second administration of President Eisenhower. During those formative years, I learned to read street signs, church signs, business signs and just about everything else written in the English language.

During my boyhood walks around my home town of Genoa, I NEVER — not even once — saw a sign or flag with “that” four-letter word — oh, you know the one — followed by the word “Eisenhower.”

When the White House changed parties in 1961, again, I never saw that word followed by the name “Kennedy.” If I had seen it, and repeated at the dinner table what I had read, I can only imagine the swift parental correction that would have followed.

Now, sixty years later, I only have to turn a corner on my street to confront a bumper sticker with “that” word (followed by “Biden”) and repeated again towards those who voted for him. Other residents erect yard flags with the same message.

My morning coffee group includes several men who did NOT vote for the current President. But I have driven past or visited all of their homes, and not one of them displays any crude vulgarities aimed at the President or at me personally for voting for him.

When the American flag first flew on the moon, I was proud. Now, when I see flags demonizing and attacking those with different political views, I feel shame at what many in this country have sunk to.

I'm Jim Kline, and that is my Perspective.