Yesterday when the American flag went up on the face of the soon-to-fall statue of Saddam, I wondered the following: Clearly Centcom and the folks at the Pentagon are rightly cautious about giving any symbolic evidence or sign that this an American occupation rather than a liberation. The best example of that is the hoisting of American flags, as we already saw in Umm Qasr a week or two ago. So why do the US soldiers and marines seem to have all these American flags on the ready to hoist up?
A post that went up on the BBC this morning gives a clue.
We’ve just learned from the US marines that the US flag that was put on the face of Saddam yesterday – it was replaced by an Iraqi flag when the people shouted for that – was the flag that was flying over the Pentagon on September 11.
For a lot of the American marines, they think this war is all about defeating terrorism, they will tell you that over and over again. There is also a connection in the minds of the American public between the regime of Saddam and what happened on September 11, and apparently the flag that was draped over this face was flying over the pentagon when the plane crashed into it.
So apparently this wasn’t just any flag.
It was still a slip-up. But this puts it in a different, deeper context. It’s also one of those gives-you-faith-in-America moments to find out that the Marine who hoisted the flag — Cpl. Edward Chin — is apparently Chinese-American.
LATE UPDATE: He’s more on Chin from Abcnews.com …
“And the flag â it was on the Pentagon when it got hit on 9/11. That was the same flag, and me being from New York, it kind of all goes together a little bit. It was a team effort, which made it even better, you know,” he said.
Chin, 23, and his family are ethnic Chinese from Myanmar, formerly Burma. The family moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., when Chin was just a week old. Chin, a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, joined the Corps in 1999 and was assigned to the First Tank Battalion at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., before being shipped off to Kuwait in January.