Define "a Life"...

... still searching for a clear definition of that thing people keep telling me I need to get...

Name:
Location: Springfield, PA

Friday, November 05, 2004

all of us are in the gutter

I just popped by the Proud Liberals website, and found the following:
http://www.proudliberals.com/home/flag.htm
(well, click and see)

The American Flag. Old Glory. The Stars & Stripes. That thing.
Upside down.

It's an image that disturbs me, and I'm thinking about why. I respect the flag, in that I respect what it stands for. (What I believe it stands for, not necessarily what folks tell me it stands for when they try to co-opt it for their own ends.) I have an emotional resonance with it as well. I believe so strongly in what it represents that I defend your right to burn it, although it's unlikely that I'd ever take part in such an act myself, precisely because a significant part of what it represents is that right.

Yes, it bothers me when citizens of other nations burn our flag; it bothers me, in a somewhat different way, when citizens of our nation burn our flag; it bothers me most of all when the political leaders of our nation, and anyone else claiming patriotism, assert that we don't have the right to burn our flag.
Hell, if we don't have the right to burn our own flag, who does?
The United States is a nation of flag-burners, tea-dumpers, idealists and revolutionaries. Those are the principles upon which this country was founded, not blind, unquestioning, unthinking "my country, right or wrong" pseudopatriotism.

I wish I could slap a flag sticker on the back of my Ford pickup and have everyone who sees it understand that it means I love this country, not that I support George W. Bush.

5 Comments:

Blogger Rob S. said...

What's tea-dumping? It sounds like tea-bagging, only much, much worse...


(Seriously, I get yer point...)

11:54 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Since PL seems - at least for the time being - to be down - check out http://www.blogitics.com instead. Not quite as prolific, but still good nonetheless.

--*Rob

5:58 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that Rob S. would make such a comment. *snicker*

I agree with you that even though I am likely to never participate in or encourage flag-burning, I do recognize that Americans do have the right to do so, if they wish. They also have the right to hear what others think of their actions, since that is also freedom of speech.

As a member of the armed forces, I have been taught the proper methods and means for displaying the flag, as well as showing respect for it. It bothers me that the majority of the populace probably has no clue that you're supposed to only display the flag during daylight hours, unless it's illuminated. Only certain types of flags (material-wise) are to be displayed in inclement weather. The flag is never to touch the ground. The flag should always displayed in the speaker's right. There are lots of rules governing proper display and respect for the flag, but it seems that fewer and fewer folks are getting these values instilled in them by their parents.

5:35 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Flying the flag upside down is a distress signal (at least that's what I learned in Boy Scouts). That being the case, the message of the Proud Liberals site is pretty clear: we're in trouble.

Here is a related story which also involves flying the flag upside down.

I don't really see these displays as desecrating the flag. They are a very direct expression of their point of view that does not involve the destruction of the flag.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Jeri said...

The only time I'd ever burn an American flag is if they DID pass that flag-burning amendment. Because at that point everything it stood for would have already been lost.

As far as I know, it's perfectly legal to burn a copy of the Constitution. Or use it as toilet paper, if you're the Attorney General.

8:16 AM  

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