DEAR SUN SPOTS: I was traveling Route 4 in North Auburn on July 23 when, unbeknownst to me, I hit a sharp object and had a tire that was slowly losing air. Luckily, Sgt. Chris Hatfield from the Auburn Police Department signaled to me to let me know. He graciously waited with me on the busy road so I wouldn’t have to be alone, and when he had to leave, he called in Officer Shawn Dyer who began to change my tire for me. After my car was jacked up, another officer, Travis Barnes assisted.

What could have been a stressful situation turned out to be made easier by three great policemen from the APD. Their generosity and willingness to help did not go unnoticed. Thank you, APD, for your outstanding efforts in keeping us all safe. — Sally, no town

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In Monmouth, we see many different USA-style flags of different colors. What is this all about? We’re sure it’s to pay respect to a group, but which ones? — Maurice, no town

ANSWER: Recently, our flag, which always has had significant meaning for us as Americans, has been colorized in various ways to symbolize things that some of us take pride in and could be anything from sexual orientation to support for the various branches of the military.

For example, a black and white flag with a thin blue line honors our law enforcement officers. A flag with a thin red line honors firefighters and EMTs. If there is both a red and blue stripe, the flag is displayed to honor both entities.

A flag with a green stripe honors members of the military as well as federal agents such as border patrol personnel, park rangers, game wardens and conservation personnel. If you want to honor all the above, you can get a flag with a blue, a red, and a green line.

If the flag has a stripe of rainbow colors, it supports gay pride, while a flag with a pink stripe is to note breast cancer survivorship and the power of women. An orange stripe is for search and rescue personnel. Silver is for correctional officers, and yellow is for security and loss prevention officers.

A purple stripe stands for those who died or suffered great injury while in political office due to violence.  Alternatively, it is sometimes attributed to civilians in possession of a conceal and carry permit and willing to help when needed. Purple and teal stands for suicide prevention.

I saw a black and red striped flag with a green background for the black stars. That one is hung in support of Black Lives Matter.

There is also a “blacked-out” flag. The meaning for this flag is somewhat mixed and sometimes controversial.

I hope I covered them all, but if I didn’t please let me know what ones you have seen and what they support if you know.

If you would like to purchase any of these flags, Amazon sells them all and there are other flag stores online that have all or most of them in stock in different sizes.

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