Whitney Houston Flag Tribute Is an Insult to Real Heroes

Rant 235

Whitney HoustonFolks, can we talk about the hullabaloo surrounding singer Whitney Houston? Her death last Saturday in a bathtub in California was certainly tragic. But here's what it wasn't: worth lowering the American flag to half-staff (or half-mast) -- no matter what New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is telling the public today.

Now before the Whitney fans jump down my throat and give me a line about her incredible voice and her addition to the American songbook, let me point to sentence number two of this here blog post. The fact that a young girl lost her mother, that a woman with such great talent saw it snuffed out at just 48 is sad. But let's talk about who Whitney Houston wasn't for a moment, shall we?

She wasn't a government official.

She wasn't a foreign dignitary.

She wasn't a member of our nation's armed services.

More from The Stir: Whitney Houston's Funeral Details Sound Perfect for Her Farewell

Whitney Houston was just a celebrity. A talented one? Sure. One who could do an incredible rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner"? Absolutely! She even did some nice things for our troops (anyone remember that free concert she did for the folks coming home from the Persian Gulf War?). But still, the New Jersey native doesn't fall under any of the categories delineated in the flag section of the official United States Code as worthy of lowering Old Glory.

Christie has been spending a lot of time defending Whitney from comments about her history of drug abuse, saying it doesn't mean "that somehow she's forfeited the good things she did in her life." He's right. Drug abuse or no drug abuse, Whitney Houston did some very good things. But what he forgets is that for all the good things she did, Houston didn't do the ones that would earn her this particular honor.

By lowering the flag tomorrow during her funeral in the Garden State, Christie is thumbing his nose at the entire code and at the nation as a whole. He's treating the flag like the symbol of our nation is a play toy, one he can meddle with on a whim. He's laying an insult at the feet of the men and women who have gone into public service, the men and women who have worked so hard to ensure that we live in a country where that flag still flies. If the flag can be lowered for just anyone, what does it say about the country's ultimate tribute to their service?

Who do you think flags should be lowered to half-staff for? Celebrities? Politicians? Who?


Image via asterix611/Flickr

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jaxmadre jaxmadre

I agree with you

jen1130 jen1130

I agree.

Adell... AdellesMom

What many people are failing to realize is that there's nothing new about flags being lowered for celebrities. I honestly think that if there wasn't a history of drug abuse, people wouldn't care.

Where was the outcry when this was done for Paterno or MJ?

The fact of the matter is that lowering the flag for celebrities is NOT illegal. Until it is, please shut up about it!

ashjo85 ashjo85

For once, I agree with you! Shameful. Service members, police officers and firemen who lost their lives ONLY. The only time I think civilians should receive this honor is in the event of a national tragedy, like 9/11.

Laurlev Laurlev

It's really stupid to get upset about how anyone chooses to honor a dead person.

Cherry Lawson

I agree with you fully. Being a spouse of someone in the military and being a daughter to one who have served, I believe that no celeb should have that right for the flag. Its only my opinion though. And I am allowed that right.

Jorgene Robinson

I agree-she was a crackhead-did we not see this coming? really>? I was not surprised

Debbi Renova

@AdellesMom.. normally I would not make a comment about issues where people argue over petty things. This is NOT a petty thing. My husband just came back from a tour in Afghanistan. He and the brave men and women he served with have put their lives on the line for people like you and me. I would not feel like I deserved to have the flag lowered because I died, but for my husband or service members it is earned and deserved. Further more, no one says that doing it for Paterno or MJ was right either and in fact I disagree with that as well. My final statement is that this country is founded on the very rights you are telling us to "please shut up about" .. I lose my husband avery other year FOR A WHOLE YEAR to defend the rights and freedom of others and I do it willingly because I love this country and the people in it so much. You have NO right to tell anyone to shut up about it. And for the record, as great as an artist Whitney was she is not part of the group who have earned it. May she rest in peace! ♥

Jeanie Annon

I served my country for 20 years and bleed red white and blue.  I have nothing against Whitney Houston as I think she had a beautiful voice.  And yes, she used drugs.  However, I don't feel that it is proper to fly our flag (a symbol of freedom) for her .  I think it should be flown for our fallen military, police, firefighters, people who serve our nation.  Flying for Whitney is like a slap in the face to our fallen military members.  Our really believe the governor of NJ has made a bad decision with this situation and I bet he will loose alot of support for his state.  I support my troops!!!

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