|A US flag blows in the wind in Atlantic Beach, Florida, on October 7, 2016, as hurricane Matthew approaches the area.(Photo credit JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)|
I've never personally burned a flag, but I think in the right circumstance, I might.
I genuinely believe that burning the American flag is the greatest possible celebration of the right to free speech, symbolic speech. The Supremes agreed with me in 1990 (Texas v. Johnson).
"Paradoxically, the willingness to scale back First Amendment permissiveness comes when the divisions in American society seem to be at a 25-year low. In the 1960s the battle between flag wavers and flag burners represented a traumatic schism over the Vietnam War and national morality in general. Even in those incendiary times, there was never a serious effort to pass a constitutional amendment."--Walter Isaacson, TIME
Consider that and how we all came together after 9/11 and ceded Constitutional rights (mostly around the Fourth and Fifth Amendments) to feel slightly more secure1.
Glenn Greenwald was the voice of reason (and of reasonable outrage) at the time:
"It is that deeply irrational, fear-driven view of the world that has been used to convince Americans to acquiesce to the administration's excesses and abuses of power. And it is not difficult to understand why it works.
After all, if it really were the case that terrorism constituted the sort of imminent, civilization-ending threat the administration has spent the last four years drumming into everyone's head, then it might be extremely difficult to gin up much outrage over an eavesdropping program -- warrants or not -- or over a few American citizens being rounded up and put in military prisons without any charges."--Glenn Greenwald, How Would A Patriot Act?The Fourth and Fifth Amendments, as you know, are the ones that make English the official language of NASCAR and ban wearing white after Labor Day2.
I love me some flag burning because I love me some American flag. "If you love it so much why don't you marry it have one?" I can hear you murmuring.
For the same reason I never think about getting married: because I like to pretend I have too much respect for it. Flags aren't just all fun and games. They need to be fed and walked (or is that puppies). That picture pisses me off because, while it's not illegal to leave a flag out in severe weather, it is considered desecration.
"The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed."--"Should You Fly Your Flag in the Rain" The Waterloo/Cedar Falls CourierYou also shouldn't fly the flag after sunset unless the flag is illuminated.
Or piss on the flag at your grandfather's funeral, apparently.
Of course those so called rules also say the flag shouldn't be used for advertising purposes. Clearly we are as observant of these rules as we are of any other code. Frankly if America really wants to defeat Islam we should all embrace it. We'll undermine any of its positive attributes and turn it into a hollow monstrosity of its former self (unless someone beat us to that)... you know, the same way we demand the Ten Commandments in our public courthouses even though 5 commandments are perfectly legal3.
OMG this rant has gone on too long.
I'm going to bed.
1 Statistically speaking we were equally secure on September 10th, 11th and 12th of that year
2 The Fourth should prevent unlawful search and seizure, like "Stop and Frisk"; the Fifth should ensure due process (including requiring a grand jury for Federal felony charges to go to trial) and protect against self-incrimination and double jeopardy. And it lets the man take your shit via eminent domain (thanks Obama).
3 Actually 7 commandments are legal, depending on which 10 things you consider to be the commandments. Bet you're not even sure which answer is right (or is some other number the right answer... maybe 14?) Getting people to covet is a $500 billion+ industry here in America. And the Sabbath ends with the coin toss.