Respect is respect and I feel your pain. Losing someone close is always tough....The flag is a symbol of his heritage. A heritage that he, among others, take a great deal of pride in. NOT as a symbol of hate, but as a symbol of the defiant spirit of the southern states to not stand by and let what they thought at the time was tyranny. The same spirit that motivated the declaration of independence. The helo's were not dispatched to "find" us. They were dispatched to escort us back and if need be pick us out of the water in case we had to abandon the ship. Now please understand that I am not attacking what you said or you. As a person who was intimately involved with helping to keep "Cooter" alive while we tried to get him off the ship, I am a bit sensitive to the facts. He was a Very good friend of mine and I miss him greatly.