Tuesday, July 05, 2005

She's a grand old flag

I have never to my knowledge desecrated a US flag. I actually don't know anyone who has. I haven't seen a lot of news reports the last few years about people in the US desecrating the US flag, although occasionally it looks like those foreigners will take a match to one. But I suppose I just haven't been paying attention since the Congress seems to feel that it's an important enough threat to our freedom or something that they're determined to get an amendment to the Constitution to protect the flag rather than spending time on more mundane things like, oh, the budget or what to do about the rising cost of health care.

So if they're going to do this, they should do it right and define "desecration" as not following the US flag etiquette as laid out in the Flag Code. So when you see some bubba flying a flag from the aerial of his '81 Ford Bronco until it's nothing but tatters, place him under citizens arrest. And when you walk into Party City and see all of the napkins and paper plates emblazoned with the flag on sale for half price, report 'em to the proper authorities. Guess you'd better do the same for the US Postal Service as those flag stamps are clearly a violation. Your neighbors that insist on flying their flag 24 hours a day 7 days a week to "show their patriotism" but don't properly light it so that it can be seen at all hours? Better turn 'em into the flag cops. And when the flag that you've been flying with all appropriate honor starts to get a little faded, it "
should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning". Huh?

All that is to say that clearly the intent of the proposed amendment is in no way to protect the flag but instead to prosecute people for what they were thinking when they "desecrated" the flag, since I can't imagine any of my scenarios above of thoughtless desecration actually being of any concern to these fine patriots. I actually thought that the brave men and women that the proponents keep saying fought and died for the flag were actually fighting and dying for the country it represents, including the right to free speech (and one assumes free thought). Guess not.


At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this latest version gets passed and ratified, I've already got a line of designer Burning Flags(TM) in the works. They'll be almost but not quite the same as US flags; maybe the stars will be on a purple background, or maybe the red and white stripes will be reversed, or maybe only 49 stars.

Since they're not US flags, it will be totally legal to burn them, tromp on them, or wipe your ass on them, but I bet it'll still piss off the Bushies when you set one alight at a protest rally.


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