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Monday, June 08, 2015

A modern Barbara Frietchie

In his poem, "Barbara Frietchie," John Greenleaf Wittier told the true story of Barbara Fritchie (poets don't do spellcheck) who at 95 protected the flag as Confederate soldiers led by Stonewall Jackson marched through Frederick, Maryland.
"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag," she said.
Her spirit lives on in Ohio, where Julia Lease, 87, received a standing ovation after testifying on behalf of flag-waving at a meeting of a committee of the Ohio General Assembly.

It happened in April. Lease was among many residents who complained that homeowners associations tried to keep them from flying their American flag on their own flag. From the Columbus Dispatch on April 16, 2015:
In all of her 87 years, Julia Lease had certainly never received a standing ovation.
Yet there she was, standing inside a hearing room testifying before a committee at the Ohio Statehouse — a building that she had never stepped inside before Tuesday — as state legislators and strangers alike applauded and praised her.
“Never, ever in my wildest imagination would I have pictured that,” she said.
So what had she said that was so important, so rousing, that it got everyone fired up?
“I told them that I was a deputy sheriff for 25 years and that even though we weren’t military, we had allegiance to the United States flag just like everyone in this country should,” Lease said. “And I told them we have to all honor the flag and everything it stands for. That was it, really."
But that wasn’t it.
Lease made the news last fall after officials with New Life Multi-Family Management told her to take down the flag that hung on the porch of her Whitehall apartment, a place she’s called home since 1977.
But she wouldn’t be bullied. She went public with the management company’s notice, and supporters from far and wide rallied around her. Eventually, management relented; her flag still flies.
In America, it is OK to burn the flag, not wave it.


  1. Some people just don't have a clue. Julia does.

  2. Homeowners associations are evil! I speak from experience having fought with mine on multiple occasions and on one occasion I got a written apology.