September 21, 2011 - Bill Service, commander of Oxford American Legion Post 108 and a jack-of-all-trades for Oxford Community Television, stopped by my office Monday and gave me my laugh of the day, perhaps even the week.
He handed me one of the small American flags that were distributed during Ridgelawn Cemetery's veterans ceremony on Saturday (see Page 32).
Service pointed out that the flags were unfortunately "Made in China" and contained only 41 stars.
For those who don't know it, Old Glory has 50 stars, one to represent each state in the union.
After I got done laughing, I had to wonder why only 41 stars?
Do the Chinese have difficulty counting? Not to stereotype, but I thought standardized test scores indicate they're better at math than we are?
Was it done deliberately as an insult? A subtle jab at the old imperialist running dogs?
Are they jealous because China's flag only has five stars and one less color? Don't believe me – just go in any Oxford school and ask to see its Chinese flag.
Does China plan on foreclosing on nine of our states as payment for the approximately $1.2 trillion of the U.S. debt it owns? If so, they can have Ohio today.
Did the nine missing stars say something against the Chinese government and now, they're being held in a re-education camp?
Are we slowly being brainwashed into believing our nation is smaller and weaker than it actually is? Will we all wake up one day and think America's no bigger than Rhode Island?
Is there some sinister attempt afoot to rewrite American history? God help us if China's printing our textbooks, too. Keep a close eye on those chapters about the Korean War (or the "War to Resist American Aggression and Aid Korea" as it's known in China).
Is this part of some left-wing environmentalist statement that we need to conserve all the stars we have now because if we don't, they'll be no stars left for our children?
The mind literally reels at the sheer volume of conspiratorial – and hilarious – possibilities. Or maybe it's just a simple case of shoddy work by cheap labor.
All I know is if this country can't even manufacture its own flags, our most precious national symbol, we're in deeper trouble than I thought.
On a serious note, thanks to Chris and Loretta Acheson, who operate Ridgelawn Memorial Cemetery, for making me one of their honorees Saturday.
I was quite humbled and appreciative.
I know they're very grateful for all the coverage I've given their annual Wreaths Across America event, but as I always say, "All I do is take some photos and write a few words. You guys do the real work."
Oxford should be thankful that it has people like the Achesons who take the time to ensure that no veteran – deceased or living – is forgotten.
They've set a fine example for how this community should honor its heroes and teach its children about their sacrifices to protect our liberty and security.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.