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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officers, speaking on condition that their names not be published, say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.
Since this article was first published in August, 2000, WorldNetDaily has run several follow-up stories updating the original report, including: