Holy red-zone symbolism!

DSCN1047Attention all talk-radio producers. Here is a story with legs, in red pews and zip codes. And, while this little piece ends with the magic words "The Associated Press contributed to this report," I cannot find any other references to it in Google News. Honestly, I wonder why. Yes, I realize that this is probably written straight off a press released from a U.S. congressman's office.

So at the moment this is a story in Midland, Mich. Go figure. What happens if Drudge runs it?

Midland Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Camp is among lawmakers objecting because the U.S. Capitol's architect won't allow God to be mentioned in certificates of authenticity accompanying flags flown over the Capitol and bought by constitutents.

"This is as insulting as it is absurd," Camp said in a prepared statement. "The architect has gone way too far. If we can put 'in God we trust' on our money, then we can certainly put it on a flag certificate when a citizen wants it there." ...

A 17-year-old Eagle Scout from Ohio reportedly was denied the request to have a certificate read, "This flag was flown in honor of Marcel Larochelle, my grandfather, for his dedication and love of God, country and family."

This issue keeps come up on a semi-regular basis and it's easy to understand why. Anyone who has done regional reporting for a small mid-American daily newspaper knows that this is one of the most popular and most symbolic services provided at the U.S. Capitol.

I have, through the years, had a number of student journalists write feature stories about the whole process of how an ordinary citizen can obtain one of the flags that has "flown over the Capitol" -- there are many that have this honor each and every day, to produce a stockpile -- in order to honor someone.

This is very symbolic stuff. But is it news?

I think it's a very interesting and emotional religion news story -- the minute the right publication prints it. At that point, you would see an immediate response, I would imagine, from the Democratic Party leadership.

Symbols matter in this town, where elections are never very far away.

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