A military veteran/spouse that's become a professional photographer has set off a social-media-generated controversy that's got both sides going at it.  Typical Facebook.

What was supposed to be a wonderful, intimate photo shoot for a military family has turned into much more as a photo of the baby being held by Old Glory has gone viral and has many vets speaking out against what they consider to be disrespectful treatment of the flag.

I'm not a military veteran so I can't speak from that perspective, but I am a former military brat that spent the first 18 years of his life on and around military bases.  I carry with me the utmost respect for the military, active duty and retired.  I've never put on the uniform to fight for her, but I'm proud of the flag I fly.  I'm also proud of the veterans that served or continue to serve.

I'm guessing this flag may have touched the ground. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

That being said, I find nothing disrespectful about this picture in question.  There are a lot more disrespectful ways to desecrate our flag, and people have done far worse far more often.  This is different.  This is a family that's dedicated their lives to that flag, and if mom or dad is willing to accept that the job they have means they may one day come home draped in that flag, they can do what the hell they want with it, says one side.

The other side of this argument has a valid point, if not a little off target.  There are those that defended the flag abroad and continue to defend the flag at home.  I respect the hell out of both.  You served, and you'll be damned if some hippy's gonna wipe his butt with it, literally or figuratively.

Those that truly go by the letter of the "law" feel that if a flag so much as touches the ground it should be burned and disposed of in a respectful manner.  Those that abide by that are certainly free to criticize those that don't, but that doesn't mean this photo comes from a place of disrespect.

 

 

This is certainly something considerably more offensive to the American flag than a baby photo shoot. Unless that baby turns into this in 20 years. Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Military brats are part of the military life as well.  It's not just soldiers and spouses.  Kids are dragged from one spot on this earth to the next with zero regard to school year schedules or friends left behind.  I would have been honored had a photo of me as a baby been taken like this.

This is about honoring the flag, not about anything else.  This is a proud American family sharing their pride with the world, both the flag and the baby.  If you're a military spouse that one day may be handed a folded flag, putting your baby into one for a photo shoot is your call.  Those that have fought and bled for her have every right to defend her, just as those that have fought and bled have every right to a photo shoot with her.

Before anyone goes and starts thinking that I'm, in any way, disrespecting those that served by taking a side in this battle, remember that we're all on the same side.  The reason we're able to knit-pick every little viral story to death is because the same people that are on both sides of this story/argument (created on social media) is because they personally fought for the right to do so.

What are your thoughts on flag-baby-gate?  Does serving in the military give you the ability to take photos such as these?  Are the veterans angered by the photo right to be angry?