Kopf: A Short Take Calling the Admiral to Action

I just returned from the Peoples Republic of Portland. The experience was jarring.

In Portland, there are no homeless people. There are, however, houseless. What that means is that homeowners cannot complain if the houseless shit on your front yard as your children skip off to the gender fluid schools. After all, where else would you expect these folks to leave their droppings?

The people of Portland are wildly woke. The City recently banned investment in evil corporations. Caterpillar is particularly evil because the Israeli defense force has armored bulldozers purchased from Caterpillar. Damn Jews.

Joan and I attended the drop dead gorgeous wedding of her nephew. It was held in a vineyard with an amazing view of Mount Hood. I especially liked the Subaru driven by the Chef. I have even photographed it for you. If you are a millennial, then you are likely attracted to the photo. In that same vein, and for the bride and groom, I extend my best wishes to them and my fervent hopes for a world protected by a really fat guy by the name ALGORE whose primary accomplishment is proving that a breakfast of biscuits and gravy is an inconvenient truth.

Anyway, with a sense of extreme relief, I got back to Nebraska. Nebraska is nice. In fact:

Yet, upon returning, I found that Nebraska is under attack. See Mitch Smith, Nebraska’s Flag Lacks Pizazz. The Hard Part Is Changing It, New York Times (August 10, 2017).  Our dear flag is, according to the Times, the worst of the worst.

The author of this slander writes:

For several days this January, the state flag outside Nebraska’s Capitol fluttered upside-down in the frigid sky. And for several days, as lawmakers and lobbyists shuffled past, no one noticed.. . .

John M. Hartvigsen, president of the North American Vexillological Association, said the state seal on a solid background is a product of a different era when state flags had a more limited role.. . .

Mr. Hartvigsen’s organization suggests principles for successful flag design: simple concepts, a distinct look, bold colors and no words. Nebraska’s banner violates nearly all of them.

“It’s a flag that would be easy to fly upside down with nobody noticing,” Mr. Hartvigsen said.[i]

I now call upon Admiral Greenfield to take action. Like Admiral Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar, his Excellency Greenfield is now charged with defeating the armada of those who would sully the flag of his adopted kinsmen (and women, of course). Even though Nelson was shot through the spine by a sniper high atop the rigging of an enemy vessel, he lived long enough to know of his victory. It is not too much to ask the same sacrifice of Admiral Greenfield.

By the way, if you take a crap on my lawn, you may find yourself wrapped in the flag of Nebraska and hoisted aloft upside down.

Richard G. Kopf
Senior United States District Judge (Nebraska)

[i] I pause only to note that Oregon has a beaver on the reverse of the state flag.

That caused one wag to write and illustrate the following:



34 thoughts on “Kopf: A Short Take Calling the Admiral to Action

  1. B. McLeod

    Good Lord. The houseless bring free fertilizer to struggling Portland taxpayer’s, and this is the thanks they get.

  2. shenebraskan

    If the new flag design goes as well as did the sesquicentennial license plates, we have a golden opportunity to be a national laughingstock yet again.

          1. B. McLeod

            I am also a temporary, honorary admiral, but only in the office, and only one day each year (by virtue of having been born on Trafalgar Day, some years ago). Perched at the apex of my coat stand is a large admiral’s hat, created by an artistically gifted colleague, and composed of black poster-board, gold ribbon, and a cardboard-and-tinfoil hat badge with feather plume.

            Left out of the video, one of the more impressive facts of the battle is that Nelson’s flagship, H.M.S. Victory, engaged the enemy line under manual rudder. Due to combined fire from five enemy vessels for forty minutes before she could fire a single shot, Victory had lost her wheel and steering, before she was even able to close with the opposing line. With no opportunity to effect repairs, a group of crewman belowdecks took her tiller beam on their shoulders and maneuvered the ship by their coordinated efforts for the remainder of the battle.

            1. Michael Lockard

              B. McLeod

              If permitted by His Royalness Admiral Scott Horatio Greenfield, we really need proof of said hat via pictures

            2. B. McLeod

              Not knowing the site rule as to pictures, I will send His Lordship a shot of the happy Trafalgar Day celebration at which the hat was conferred, and it can be his call.

              [Ed. Note: Boom!]

      1. Fubar

        Are you admiralty? Got to have fringe.
        Or the Sovereigns will fall off their hinge.
        And while we’re on that,
        Just throw in a brass rat.
        Be a good parent — make your kid cringe!

  3. F5

    You missed an opportunity to point out that when that when you follow NAVA’s advice you could end up with a flag like Portland’s flag.

  4. Jim Tyre

    Judge Kopf:

    You’ve raised a truly serious issue indeed, one that, understandably, makes you passionate. But though I say this with the greatest respect (and fear of being held in contempt of blog), please don’t let your passion make people stupider. (I think I’ve heard that somewhere before.)

    The author of this slander writes:

    Written slander is a legal impossibility.

      1. Jim Tyre

        On the flip side, Judge Kopf increased my vocabulary with a near-perfect word: vexillogical. The article uses it correctly (I looked it up), but the alt-meanings for what passes as modern discourse are the stuff of imagination.

    1. Richard Kopf


      I would have thought by now that you would have learned that nothing is a legal impossibility. Having been reversed twice last week, I continue to insist that written slander exists, and far more importantly, is propagating at a rapid rate.

      All the best.


      1. Patrick Maupin

        IIUC, “reversed” is just a matter of feelz, and it’s “remanded” that really hurts.

  5. CLS


    You and Admiral Greenfield have my sword in the battle to come.
    No person sullies the flag of Nebraska and survives unscathed.

  6. Brandon Figueroa

    I urge you to reconsider, Judge. Take it from a resident of Washington : you can feel proud of your state but it’s hard to feel the same for a flag that’s just another ‘Seal on a Bedsheet’. It’s just lazy design all around.

    Individual cities have upped their game and you’ll find much more elegant solutions there. Take, for example, Portland, Phoenix, Washington D.C. or, the cream of the crop, Chicago. They’re attractive, easily recognizable and just simple enough that a child could draw them.

          1. Richard Kopf


            Game on.

            Q: Why did Forrest Gump choose ‘Bama over Colorado?

            A: He wanted an academic challenge!

            All the best.


          2. Brandon Figueroa

            Perhaps the young lady or her parents are just Lincoln Husker fans despite being from Omaha. Their flag uses a big ‘N’ motif. Could be worse though. She could matriculate at Kearney.

            1. Richard G. Kopf


              You have really pissed me off. I graduated (if you can call it that) from Kearney State College (now the University of Nebraska at Kearney). How dare you insult my mater. (Is alma supposed to proceed mater?)

              It is true that I am the first and only person to have been admitted there on academic probation. That confessed, my unique ability to read at the third-grade level stood me in good stead.*

              All the best.


              * Let me be serious for a moment. Having spent my time drinking beer and playing pool through high school in Ohio, KSC was literally the only place that would take me. I owe a debt that I can never repay to Kearney and the people of Nebraska for giving me that opportunity.

  7. Brian Cowles

    I suggest a simple solution – remove the top half of the gold fringe from the state flag, and make the bottom half mandatory. This has several advantages, though:

    Pro: The state won’t have to buy several hundred (thousand?) brand-new flags at the same time.

    Pro: The lack of fringe on the top should be as good as a printed “THIS SIDE UP”, even for those not paying attention.

    Pro: The fringe-making businesses will have an extra source of guaranteed income.

    Pro: It will be the only flag with a half-fringe, allowing Nebraska to stand out as a trendsetter.

    Pro: It will confuse the hell out of sovereign citizens.

    Con: It will look like the flag has a beard.

    Pro: Beards are in style.

  8. Richard G. Kopf


    I hate all of your reasons for changing the flag in the way you suggest, save one. Confusing the hell out of “sovereign citizens” has considerable merit.

    All the best.

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