This action caused a bit of controversy recently among critics who said it was intended to honor only high-ranking government and elected officials, not soldiers or National Guard members. I disagree and side with Granholm's spokeswoman who said, "Where is the controversy in honoring brave men and women who are fighting for our freedoms in Iraq and Afghanistan? The controversy is lost on me."
Dick DeVos didn't think our soldiers or National guard merited that type of respect.
"Dick would take a more literal approach," DeVos campaign spokesman John Truscott said. "While he certainly believes that honoring veterans who have given their lives is extremely important, lowering the flag has typically been reserved for heads of state."As you might imagine, this didn't sit well with people, and numerous editorials and letters to the editor started popping up in papers accusing DeVos of not caring about our soldiers. I'd also add that he came off as an elitist in my opinion. Why should heads of state deserve more honor and respect than a soldier who dies for his country?
Anyway, DeVos took lots of heat after that remark and his campaign manager must have decided he needed to do a little damage control. That took the form of a letter from DeVos in today's Free Press:
In recent weeks, my position on displaying flags at half-staff has been misrepresented. Let me set the record straight: I support Michigan's military men and women for the sacrifices they make and believe that displaying the flag at half-staff is a fitting honor for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.DeVos flip-flopped on this issue, pure and simple. There was no misrepresentation.
Michigan is very much indebted to the soldiers committed to defending its freedom. It is my belief that we must honor these brave men and women, as well as their families, with the recognition they deserve. We can never do enough to pay tribute to those who have died serving our country.
While the protocol for lowering the flag in the past may have been strictly interpreted to be reserved only for high-ranking officials, I believe that this action is the least we can do to honor those who have given their lives for the sake of our freedom.
UPDATE: Sorry, I forgot to tip my hat to Michigan Liberal for pointing me to DeVos' letter.