Saturday.. January 12, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 123
DIARY OF BRUTUS
"THE TENACIOUS FLAG!"
photos and story
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
| The following
photographs are supportive of the January 11th Diary--"Brutus--The
Tenacious Flag!!" If you haven't read January 11th Diary about Brutus,
I have repeated the story below the pictures. If you have, I have
included a shortcut link to the January 10th Diary. In summary, the
pictures below represent the struggle of one American Flag to fight off
the thorns of Terrorism trying to hold it back from flying freely. As
the diary for Jan. 11 points out, America's history of persistence and
belief in Freedom and Liberty provide a great security for its children
as well as all adults who seek its protection.. As individuals and
Citizens of vigilance, we must not become complacent in support of the
ideals of Freedom. Like Brutus, The Tenacious Flag, we must often
fight for our Freedom and Liberty on a daily basis. The rewards are
worth the effort. Brutus is an example that we must fight for Freedom,
not expect it. Our complacency to ignore that right turns into
Complacency, which is what Terrorism seeks from us. The following
pictures were taken on 15th Street between 7th and 8th Ave in New York
City, on Jan 10, 2002 by a Kodak 3400 digital camera.
Ed construction site on 15th Street, between 7th & 8th Avenue. In left
center, on second story, is a balcony. You can faintly make out an
American Flag tied to the iron fence. This is Brutus, The Tenacious
Flag. He struggles daily to fly in the face of Terroristic forces..
||PRISONER OF TERROR--The
spindly, sharp-edged naked branches of the vine clutch at Brutus'
fabric, clawing to shred him of his right to fly in the wind. He is a
prisoner of the thorns, struggling to escape their desire to muffle his
message of Freedom and Liberty. He refuses to surrender.
is hopelessly snarled in the branches, but he fights ferociously to
stretch out his colors--to fly in the face of constraint, tyranny,
oppression. Watching him battle his way out of the vine's clutches was
like watching the primal battle between "good" and "evil."
Brutus shoves his weight against the sharp, clinging fingers that yank
and pull at him, trying to smother his resolve--to tire him into a state
of complacency and surrender. The winds of "liberty" cheer him on. He
leans hard against the yoke of Terrorism, refusing capitulation.
makes a final attempt to snag his colors, to twist them deep into the
clutches of the needle-sharp limbs hungry to swallow Brutus, to shred
him in a ball of rags. His desire for Freedom dwarfs the power to
||GREAT ACT OF
snaps free of the vine's claws. He jerks himself loose, snapping in the
wind--announcing his release from bondage so that all who might have
witnessed his struggle can sense the cost of Freedom is not resignation
but rather determination.
|FREE AT LAST--Brutus flaps free
of all forces fighting to render his red, white and blue useless,
impotent. You can hear his threads popping and snapping in the wind,
and a cheer rising among those whose blood has been spilled over the
centuries to preserve its right to Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
|| FREEDOM!-- Brutus
Flaps and Furls.
He has won against tough, incredible odds.
REVIEW OF THE STORY PUBLISHED ON
--Friday.. January 11, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 122
BRUTUS—THE TENACIOUS FLAG
Betsy Ross and Chesty Puller would be
proud of Brutus--The Tenacious Flag-- struggling for his right to fly
with pride and dignity.
I met Brutus on 15th Street between 7th
and 8th Avenue in New York City yesterday. My first thoughts
were how proud Betsy Ross, the maker of the first flag, and Chesty
Puller, the “bulldog” Marine Corps General upon whom legends of heroism
and courage are heaped, would have been watching Brutus claim his right
to fly against cruel and indifferent odds designed to thwart his freedom
Flags have personalities. After spending hundreds of hours
studying, examining and photographing thousands of photos of flags
flying in New York City—symbols of the aftermath of September 11th—I
have found each one is as individualistic as a fingerprint. Each has
his or her story, genetic composition, élan vital to those who study it,
those who fly it, and even to those who don’t bother to even notice it.
Sometimes a flag stops me in my tracks. I am a flag
hunter. I stalk the streets of New York City with my digital camera
holstered on my belt. I can slide my fingers down to the zipper on the
waterproof bag that houses it, slip it into my palm, flick off the lens
cover with my index finger as I’m extracting it, and in a smooth motion
based on great practice and eagerness to capture a stitch in time, slide
my thumb on the power button so that as I pull the camera to my face and
frame the shot, I’m ready to shoot, ready to emboss the history of the
moment digitally into my camera’s memory.
I learned that unctuous movement in Vietnam. My hand was
always at the ready of my .45, poised for that moment when the enemy
might fire upon us and trigger my reflexes to draw and shoot and lay
down heavy firepower against those trying to eliminate me.
Brutus leaped into my sights with the same excitement as an
enemy trying to ambush me thirty years ago. However, time changes a
man’s purpose in life. Unlike the days when I was a “trained killer,” I
now seek to capture Liberty, Purpose, Human Majesty, and the Power of
Freedom in my camera sights. I prefer these days to extol the virtues
of Liberty with words and pictures rather than by measuring America’s
might by body count.
That’s why I’m a “flag hunter.” I believe if any American
stands under a flapping flag and watches it beauty singing in the wind,
the history of this nation’s pursuit for Liberty will rain upon them
with much more force than any history course, or movie, or political
speech. The power of America lies in studying the symbols of our
Freedoms. It radiates into one's marrow, as does the beauty of a rose
carefully examined, or the study of a humming bird feeding, or a
mountain lion leaping thirty-five feet across a ravine to return to its
litter and protect them from the potential harms lurking outside the
entrance to its den.
Brutus represented to me the tenacity of our nation to struggle
through its great challenges, and, even though torn and battered by its
critics, to fly with dignity and resolve in the final analysis—a symbol
to the world that America is willing to go to any lengths to preserve
and protect its legacy of Freedom.
Also, Brutus represented to me the decay of patriotism, and
the settling in of complacency as the war on Terrorism drags on, pouring
billions of dollars into bombs and bullets targeting an ancient,
unproductive land of deserts and mountains, and people who scrabble to
stay alive while we worry about our credit card limits, and whether
there are enough X-Box’s to fill the demands of our children, or whether
we should have Chinese, pizza or just good old steak for dinner.
Brutus smacked me in the face with countless feelings,
emotions, and desires to see him overcome his difficulties—to win the
battle between his “constraints” and his “freedoms.”
I stood under Brutus for
nearly an hour, shooting him from various angles, rooting him on when it
seemed he would be snarled perpetually in the sharp punji-staked tips of
the naked tree branches fighting to capture him, to make him a prisoner
in their spindly clutches.
I could see he was worn by battle. His color was fading.
The threads of his weave were being exhausted as the wind billowed his
guts, straining to release the prow of the flag from the branches that
manacled him from flying straight and free. And, when he did
momentarily break free by fierce gusts of wind, he flaunted his freedom
so doggedly that his leading edge would become ensnarled again in the
nest of branch tips waiting like booby traps for his red, white and blue
to walk into.
When Brutus broke lose, time after time, I wanted to cheer.
It was like watching a great football game where your favored team got
one more point, only to be pushed back by the opposing team, and then
fighting back again to equal the score. It was constant touch and
go—“would Brutus fly or, would Brutus be trapped in the clutches of
those who wanted him to go away?”
As you look at the pictures of Brutus, think about finding a
flapping flag and standing under it and watching it. See if you can
feel the power and might of America’s history glowing from the energy
the flag creates as the wind whips and furls it. Think about those who
died on September 11 as being part of the weave of the flag you are
watching. Imagine they are embodied in the energy that comprises the
red, white and blue.
If you find you feel something unique, perhaps stirring, think
about bringing your child, or grandchildren, or a loved one to share the
experience. Tell them what you see and feel about the flag, and what it
represents to you. See if you believe that it stands for Semper
Vigilantes—Always Vigilant—and that the ferocity of its ability to
withstand the pressures forced upon it, ultimately evolves into the
preservation of Liberty, and the Freedom that we often take for granted,
but can never afford to.
While viewing the flag, see if you can see Courage in the white
of the stripes, Conviction in the red representing those who died to
preserve its value, and Action in the blue signaling our quest for
prosperity not only for ourselves, but for the world. As you look deep
into the flag to find its courage, conviction and action, think about
Terrorism's flag, and how it is engined by the winds of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency.
Even if you're not a flag lover, I think you'll feel something
extraordinary when you compare our flag to that of Terrorism's. And, if
you bring a child along and watch it together, you might also feel an
added measure of pride and vigilance.
To Jan. 11--Brutus--The Tenacious Flag Story
Skip To Jan.10--TEENAGE
TERRORISM--FEAR OF BEING A "NOBODY!"
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