I’ve never been a huge fan of burning the flag. I think it’s a generally unpleasant display done by generally unpleasant people. Not to mention it’s not a very effective way of getting your point across since it has the effect of making everyone upset with you and your entire position.
Come to think of it, I hate flag burning. It is probably one of the most unpopular expressions of free speech.
But isn’t that our most important kind of free speech? After all, the decisions to declare independence and allow women and minorities the right to vote were once unpopular as well. They were so unpopular, in fact, that bricks were thrown through windows, homes were set on fire and people were killed because other people were so opposed to it.
The flag stands for a nation with freedoms, including the freedom to burn the flag in protest. Shouldn’t our elected officials know this? Shouldn’t they have been given a pamphlet or something?
What about articles of clothing with the flag on it? What about disposable paper plates? Notebooks? Buttons? The flag inserts that the newspaper gives out on patriotic holidays?
Will there be outrage when Mr. Middle Class American is pulled over because of a desecrated American flag sticker on his back bumper and his wife in a stars and stripe bikini? You’re under arrest, thanks to an ignorant Congress.
Folks, you can’t burn the flag of the United States by burning a representation of it any more than you can burn the Declaration of Independence by burning a copy of it.
You can, however, destroy the very concept of free speech by curbing it because it upsets people. There’s no cover here. It’s shameful censorship and a throttling of free expression by the very governmental body that’s sworn to protect it.
I suppose many reading this will say that I am ”out of touch” with America for feeling this way, but I would rather be out of touch with America than out of touch with the concepts being an American is all about.