On Tuesday the "majority" of the editorial staff agreed that the American flag was inappropriately lowered for Pope John Paul II. The ending phrase reads "the admiration of the flag has been lowered on an unspoken level as the flags are physically pushed back down the pole."
I'm a political science major, and first questioned how many left-wing people felt that the lowering of the flag was obviously making a mockery of the apparent separation of church and state in this country. Most people I discussed this with believe that, although he was the leader of the Catholic Church, the Pope performed some amazing acts of goodwill that transcend the boundaries of countries and cultures. Agreed?
According to Collegian staff, "the president made an error" in his decision to request the flags be lowers. I presume he then made a mistake by attending the funeral. After all, this would indicate that Americans have some compassion for a monumental religious figure. That's correct, "the flag is a representation of our nation" and to be respectful would be inaccurate.
The United States does lower the flag for heads of state. It is not reserved merely for U.S. elected officials. I recall that in 1997 we recognized the death of Princess Diana by lowering the flag, and she was not even part of the Royal family after her divorce from Prince Charles. If semantics are the issue, was the pope not head of the Vatican, the smallest sovereign nation in the world?
Political Science Major