Cynthia M. Flamminio {Free for All, Dec. 26} expresses concern over the graphics design for the "Summit in Washington" coverage.

She should, however, notice that President Reagan is not really "in the shadow of the Soviet leader," he's in front of Mikhail Gorbachev -- in the foreground!

Not only that. While the American flag is in fact located below the Soviet flag, that is also the more fundamental position relative to the Soviet flag, signifying the superficiality of the whole transient concept of communism.

Notice also that Reagan is to the right of Gorbachev. And, if you look closely, Gorbachev's face is enthusiastic in his view to the left while that of our president is obviously hesitant and even resistant.

There is one question though: Why are both looking to the left?

Really, though, who cares?

Robert Burruss

Pure Froth?

The expressions in the editorial "Time for Congress to Grow Up" {Dec. 15} must have been taken from a cook- book or an automotive manual: "salted," "hollow out," "meringue," "curlicues," "target prices," "pure froth," "pony up," "the backfires it has lit," "the hit," "it's time for Congress to grow up."

For shame, for shame. You show little regard for your readers.

Christine Fotos

'Spurious Argument'

Although Edwin Yoder Jr. makes a good point regarding arms controllers' tendencies to lump all nuclear weapons together in one category {"Could the 'Henny-Pennys' Be Right?" op-ed, Dec. 17}, he makes a spurious argument.

Yoder asserts that the INF Treaty "kicks the middle rungs out of the U.S. ladder of deterrence, leaving only the first and last in place." By this he means that battlefield and strategic nuclear forces will be the only nuclear options available to NATO war planners after the provisions of the treaty are enacted. The fact is that the United States and NATO have several options -- some of which are already in place -- to reinforce the "middle" rungs of the ladder of escalation.

Before the decision to deploy the Pershing II and ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) was taken, NATO maintained a force of F-111 fighter-bombers. Currently, there are approximately 150 F-111s stationed in Great Britain. These bombers have long been a mainstay of the NATO nuclear deterrent and are capable of a wide range of nuclear missions, including penetrating territory covered by the Pershing IIs and GLCMs. Second, the British modernization program replacing the Polaris sea-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) system with the extremely accurate, hard-target capable Trident II, D5 SLBM, could be incorporated into NATO nuclear targeting plans. Third, and perhaps most important, NATO could implement plans now under consideration to deploy sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs) in Europe. Like the ground-launched cruise missiles that are slated for destruction under the provisions of the INF Treaty, SLCMs can perform the intermediate-range surgical strike missions that were formerly the province of the GLCMs. A significant difference, however, is that SLCMs, deployed as they are on ships or submarines, are much more survivable and, therefore, more stabilizing than the more visible GLCM support convoys.

Yoder (as well as NATO's Nuclear Planning Group) would do well to consider seriously options two and three, as they would significantly increase NATO targeting flexibility along the intermediate range of the continuum of deterrence.

Gregory M. Moreau

Counsel I

I would like to act as independent counsel to counsel Carl R. Meininger {Free for All, Dec. 26} by giving him a little counsel on the use of the word "counsel." At least three modern dictionaries of the English language recognize three uses of the word: 1) as a mass word that is neither singular nor plural, in the sense of "advice"; 2) one who proffers such advice (a counsel or several counsels); and 3) a finite verb.

George C. Steyskal

Counsel II

Now that The Post has been quite properly corrected for using "counsels" as the plural of "counsel" {Free for All, Dec. 26}, please attend to another frequent abuse of legal terms: the use of "innocent" instead of "not guilty" for a verdict in a criminal case.

There is no verdict of innocent for the simple reason that it is not the purpose of a trial to determine innocence. A cardinal principle of our law is that the accused is presumed innocent until proved guilty. Therefore, there are only two possible verdicts, depending on whether the prosecution sustains its burden of proving guilt: guilt or not guilty (there are variations of both dealing with insanity). A verdict of not guilty is not a finding of innocence; it is a finding that the prosecution has not proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, to the satisfaction of the judge and jury. Failure to do so does not imply innocence; it can be due to perjured testimony, excluded evidence, missing witnesses, prosecutorial ineptitude or a brilliant defense.

You will surely agree that this is not a Letter #3 because the matter is far from trivial.

Donna R. Fitzpatrick