Flag Suckers Beware! " Your time is gonna come..."
It has come to my attention in the last few months that there are certain groups and individuals who are once again celebrating their annual Mission to Undermine the Constitution and limit the rights of free speech for the rest of us proposing, once again, an amendment to the Constitution Of The United States of America to ban the desecration of the U.S. Flag. Some of these people are random crazies who saw Saving Private Ryan and thought they saw Nazis everywhere they turned. They’re the same ones who think that Osama Bin Laden is lurking in the corner of their favorite bars in all places at all times waiting to blow them to smithereens for loving freedom. I’m not endorsing Osama Bin Laden by the way, I’m just saying that him wanting to kill us because of our freedom is a very simplified and deceptive sound bite that is more for newsreels than intellectual debate. It’s cheap and the men and women in our government and media who peddle it should be slapped in the head until they promise to be more honest in the future.
Anyway, before I get much further into that I need to get back to my original point. Senators Orrin Hatch and Rick Santorum, both up are reelection in 2006, have endorsed an amendment to the constitution to that effect and in the House an amendment proposal was sponsored by Rep. Duke Cunningham, who recently announced that he would not run again in 2006 after he was immersed in scandal(his immersion, by the way took place after the proposal). Do you see a pattern here? I know not all of the people favoring this thing are up fpr reelection next year, but at least a pile of them is. Silly me I just don’t know where I get off questioning the integrity of politicians.
The point of the whole thing is to amend the constitution so that the Congress can pass a law banning the desecration of the flag. Desecration for those of you that don’t know is like violating the sanctity of something or treating it disrespectfully. The whole point of the thing is to be able to finally get a ban on flag burning passed. There have been people trying to do it for years. Flag burning has been a major issue since 1969. One side claims that the flag should be safe-guarded as a symbol of our democracy and America and our troops and the noble efforts of all the above to protect and defend the freedoms we have here in America. The other side claims, and I believe rightly so, that flag burning is protected under the first amendment and that an amendment banning it would be a violation of our right to free speech.
Maybe I am looking at this all backwards. They want to ban flag burning, a powerful statement of disillusionment with our government, and an even more powerful form of expression, because it violates the sanctity of all that which we hold beautiful and dear and near to our hearts as red-blooded Americans, but they don’t want to anything about shorts designed with a pattern cut from material with the flag printed on it. Let me get this straight. They don’t want to do anything about people running around with their ass stuck to the stars and stripes, dirtying it up on park benches and public bus seats and the floors of public toilets. I supposed that Free enterprise, consumerism and Tommy Freaking Hilfiger are more patriotic than the first amendment. Go figure. For that matter what about all the napkins and paper plates and table cloths and God knows what else out there with the flag printed on it that comes out every year on the Fourth Of July? What about all that sh*t? Is it not desecration of the flag for someone to slap a half pound of potato salad on Old Glory and then use a napkin with the Stars and Stripes on it to wipe their mouth off? Is it not desecration to drop a piece of chicken slathered in barbecue sauce on the flag which has been printed on a plastic table cloth? What the hell? Is it still not desecration when all of those things covered in the leavings of a picnic are then thrown into a trash can in a public park paid for by the government instead of them being burned, which is the honorable way to dispose of old and weathered flags? Which is more disrespectful? Burning the flag to protest the government, which is constitutionally obligated to protect your right to do just that, or to wipe your mouth with the flag and then throw it away? Don’t forget covering your ass with the flag just because it is fashionable! I am not saying that we should ban these other things, though I am against them. I am particularly against those tacky ass ribbon shaped magnets with the flag and the American Eagle on them. Damn those things are stupid.
My point is that burning the flag and wiping your mouth on it and sitting on it or making a fashion statement with it is protected under the first amendment and it should stay that way. Popular moral order should not be the law of the day, the law should. In addition to that the law should not be the moral order of the day. The law should never be used as a tool to get reelected and the constitution should not ever be used to stifle the expression of free speech. It’s there for just the opposite.
Call your Senators and Representatives and make sure they know that. You can find contact information for all of them at thomas.loc.gov under their appropriate menus.
You can also get a better perspective than mine from this site.