LA PORTE, Texas -- With its broad stripes and bright stars, the American flag is far from a piece of cloth.

A little more sacred than that, said one La Porte resident.

For some, the flag is more than a symbol; it is the visual image of freedom.

In La Porte the flag is everywhere; crisp and pristine. There are five of them flying within a hundred yards of the welcome sign. It is the one that is at the post office, however, that is getting the most attention.

Thursday, La Porte resident Andrew Wilson was so angry he recorded it on video.

Tattered and torn. Strips flying in the wind, Wilson said.

Old Glory just old and battered.

That is shameful, said Iris Gaddes.

The Star Spangled Banner is inspired by a flag that was battle-torn; the only battle here is getting a new one.

When we look at the flag, that is representative of who we are as a nation, Wilson said.

America is not tattered and torn. No matter what happens in it.

Somebody apparently was listening to the complaints at the post office because when Wilson came back the next day it had been replaced with another one, but it s got problems, too.

It is torn. Still, Wilson noted.

That is still tattered. It can t be a new one, said Gaddes.

Technically this one could be fixed, but cutting off the tatters and re-hemming the flag.

Wilson thinks the post office could learn something from another American institution.

Look at McDonalds, he said. Perfect Flag. Not one tear. Not one shred.

So what does the man in Charge at the post office say about it? Not much. The postmaster said that he has one on order. There was no explanation as to why it was taking so long or why all the flags seem to be in horrible shape.

The Flag is supposed to have impact, like raised in victory at the Olympics.

You are not going to tell me. One American does not have goose bumps, Wilson said.

Not the kind of impact the tattered colors have had.

To let it get in that position. It is pretty sad, another observer said.

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