In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Careful.
Being careful isn’t always about keeping yourself safe, physically and emotionally. Being careful is also, I think, applicable to taking a good care of something. In fact, we should be careful in everything, even in smallest details and small things in our life. No one knows what will happen in the future, so taking precautions in handling anything is important.
One of them is taking a good care of national flag. For example, know when someone should rise and take the flag down. This country’s government has stated it in a rule. It says that someone should rise the flag at a ceremony in the morning and the flag should be taken down in evening, right when the sun is setting. Many people know that the flag should be raised in the morning, but not many know about the ceremony in the evening. Simply said, it is a rule that usually be overlooked by many people. Even myself sometimes forget that.
When I first know about that rule, I asked many people and they usually said, “Oh, come on, it is just a flag. No one will fuss over that, even if you turn it down the next day. It is only in Merdeka Palace at August 17th when they do another ceremony in the evening.”
Last Monday I saw them in a flag-raising ceremony and they did a salutation when the flag was being raised.
When I thought about it deeper, I come to a conclusion that what they’ve said doesn’t appropriate. Had the national flag hadn’t be raised in August 17th, 1945, maybe we haven’t know what is the meaning of freedom and independence. And how could we do such thing with our national flag, letting it outside while people who struggled at that time treated the same flag very cautiously?
I know that what they said is wrong but I think I couldn’t blame them because I myself don’t know about the rule. But could I generalize that nowadays, people don’t seem to be cared about their national flag?
That’s what I think… until someday, I stand on a ship’s deck, tried to capture a picture of sunset.
There is a flag raised on a pole in the middle edge of the deck. I didn’t give much attention to the flag, neither the three people in front of me do. Neither of us know that someone should take the flag down when the sun is setting—in fact, I thought that the flag is just an accessories in the ship.
The sun was setting so I don’t give any attention—I just kept taking photos. But suddenly someone entered my frame, standing near the pole. A sailor, if I may concluded, because he didn’t seem amazed with the panorama in front of us.
He didn’t do any salutation to the flag. He just untied the rope on the pole and took the flag down. Later on, he folded the flag and stored it in a box before going away.
The sun was completely gone from the horizon.
And it left me speechless. Even he, who didn’t do any salutation to the flag and maybe haven’t attended many flag-raising ceremony, know a little thing about how we should treat our national flag. But alas, for people who often raise their right hand every Monday in a ceremony, treat the national flag as just a mere accessories.
Hampura ukur sakituwae (Please forgive us for things we haven’t done).