Rep. Pat Schroeder has never been known as a fashion plate, but her attire on the cover of this month's Ms. magazine has drawn a bit of attention. In the magazine, Schroeder is wearing a business suit with an American flag draped around her shoulders. American Legion leaders have labeled her use of the flag an "unthinking act of disrespect."

John Minnick, spokesman for the legion's national office, said, "It's inexcusable that a member of Congress would do this ... clear violation of the flag code."

Schroeder and her aides have dismissed the complaints as a difference of opinion about how to show respect for the flag.

Marcia Gillespie, Ms. executive editor, said, "Most of the letters {of complaint} were predictable, from Army people. There were a few nasty ones."

Some Royalty Is More Equal ... Sexist and outdated laws governing the British throne should be thrown into the "historical scrapheap," London's Sunday Times said in an editorial entitled "Modernise the Monarchy."

The piece called for changes to laws that give a British monarch's son precedence over daughters in succeeding to the throne and prohibit Roman Catholics from becoming king or queen. "The strength of the monarchy has been its ability to move gracefully but shrewdly with the times," the conservative newspaper said.

"The principle is offensive in 1988, 13 years after the Sex Discrimination Act came into force and with a female monarch and a female prime minister," it read.

Hasty Decision: Ball & Martin The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation's oldest and largest undergraduate drama organization, has named Lucille Ball and Steve Martin recipients of the 1988 Man and Woman of the Year awards.

Ball, 76, will be honored with a parade through Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., and presented with the traditional "pudding pot" at the Hasty Pudding Theater on Feb. 16. Martin, 42, will receive his award at the premiere performance of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals' 140th annual musical extravaganza, "Saint Misbehavin'," on Feb. 23.

Since 1951, the Woman of the Year Award, and since 1967, the Man of the Year Award have been presented to performers who have made a "lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment."

Remembering Tet

At the beginning of the 1968 Vietnam Tet offensive, a 19-man Viet Cong suicide squad seized the American Embassy in Saigon. In six hours of fighting, the raiders were wiped out by U.S. troops but the televised images of destruction and carnage at the embassy, perhaps more than other aspects of the offensive, left an indelible impression on Americans and ultimately helped set the stage for U.S. withdrawal.

After the embassy compound had been secured that morning -- Jan. 31, 1968 -- Gen. William C. Westmoreland, commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, was walking out of the building when he bumped into Barry Zorthian, head of the Joint U.S. Public Affairs Office. "General," said Zorthian, "there are quite a few correspondents here and you've got to say something to the press." In starched combat fatigues, Westy stood amid the carnage and told his countrymen that the Communists had "very deceitfully" taken advantage of the Tet truce but that their "well-laid plans went afoul."

Last Saturday night, at a cocktail party before the Alfalfa Club dinner at the Capital Hilton, Zorthian, now a public relations consultant, was Westmoreland's guest. They reminisced, then raised their glasses in a silent two-man toast. Considering the half-day time difference between Indochina and Washington, their raised glasses came 20 years -- almost to the hour -- after that fateful morning press conference in Saigon. Said Zorthian later: "It seems almost impossible to believe it was that long ago."

It Might Not Be a Big Change And for another dose of "Believe It or Not," syndicated columnist Liz Smith reports that real estate tycoon Donald Trump has been asked to play the role of God in a movie entitled "Religion, Inc.," with cameo appearances by basketball star Larry Bird and singer Bob Dylan. If New York's big guy drops the offer, it'll go to Whoopi Goldberg ...