While I was in Beaufort, SC, I overheard a conversation from between a guest and the front desk clerk in my hotel. Basically, the man wanted the clerk to let the maintenance staff know they needed to lower the state flag a little as it was flying the same height as the US flag. The young lady immediately called the maintenance staff on a walkie-talkie and I heard the maintenance man say he was embarrassed that he'd not been more attentive and had been called out on it; he'd fix the problem right away.
Sure enough, as I was leaving he was adjusting the state flag - both were at half-mast due to the recent school shooting in Connecticut. Granted, Beaufort is a USMC stronghold (Parris Island is just down the road) but it is interesting to see that many people really do care about these United States and their position with respect to the individual states whether or not the politicians in Washington do or not.
On the drive home I passed a farmstead on I-16 in Georgia with three flag poles. In the middle was the Stars and Stripes at half-mast, on its right the old Georgia flag also at half mast but a little lower. On the left, however, was the confederate battle emblem at the top of the flagstaff. Not sure quite what the meaning was, though I'd be willing to bet good money that they support secession of the southern states (and most of the rest of "middle America") from the Northeast and left coast.
A message nonetheless - it's what flags are for after all.