American flag dips to Vietnam, China?
Naval officers claim Clinton to change regulation to placate totalitarian regimes

By Geoff Metcalf

President Clinton reportedly plans to visit China and Vietnam before the end of his term, and, according to high-ranking Navy officers, the commander in chief will alter long-standing naval regulations to allow the American flag to fly below that of Vietnam when he sails into the communist nation's territorial waters on a U.S. Navy ship.

Highly placed Navy sources who spoke on condition of anonymity believe this action on the president's part would further devastate already tenuous Navy morale.

As part of his swan song, Clinton reportedly intends to visit two ports aboard Naval vessels. Trip one takes him to the People's Republic of China, which has a regulation that no war ship of any country may enter its territorial waters flying a flag higher than that of the People's Republic of China. According to one Navy source, China and the U.S. have effected a compromise whereby both flags -- the U.S. and the PRC -- will be flown from U.S. naval vessels at the same height.

But visceral outrage is resulting from a proposed change to Navy regulations that would result in the American flag being displayed subordinate to the flag of Vietnam.

Navy regulations and tradition prescribe that no country's flag will be displayed in a superior position to the U.S. flag. However, Vietnam's rules reportedly demand that the Vietnamese flag shall always fly in a superior position to any other country's flag. High-ranking naval officers, speaking on condition that their names not be published, say the reason for all the alarm, anger and career-threatening rhetoric is that Clinton allegedly has either ordered, or is about to order, the secretary of the Navy to amend regulations to permit the Vietnamese flag to be displayed over the U.S. flag.

"I'd like to blow the g-d-thing up!" said one frustrated officer.

The United States Navy Regulations began with the enactment by the Continental Congress of the "Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies" on Nov. 28, 1775. So a long and proud history bolsters the long-held Navy tradition that no country's flag will fly higher than that of the United States.

Commenting on the report, Col. David Hackworth, America's most decorated living war veteran, said, "What's new? Clinton has done everything else to dishonor the flag, why not make it number two?"

He added, "Congress ought to pull this traitor's travel plug ... now."

Calls to the Navy Staff Operations and Special Events office were referred to the Public Affairs Office, which then referred WND to the news desk. When WND outlined the scenario, the spokesman -- whose first comment was "Wow" -- later called back to say, "We haven't been able to find anything on it yet, but we're trying to run the story to ground."

Adm. Thomas B. Fargo, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, reportedly has visited the People's Republic of China recently also, although the reason for the trip is not known.