Old Glory and Your Right to Shit on Her

Posted: June 19, 2013 in Rants
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It pisses me off when I hear about someone abusing the symbol of our nation.  The recent Lil Wayne incident (not going to give him any more press by posting a link to his video here) is just one in a long line of tragedies our flag has seen since it was first flown.  It pisses me off because I have spent the last 20 years of my wife as a member of an organization whose sole purpose is to support and defend the Constitution of the nation for which our flag is a graphic representation of our country and our way of life.

More than some committing what I consider an act of desecration to our symbol, I hate the fact that more often than not, it is less the fact that they are desecrating the flag than the fact that they do not understand what that symbol stands for.  Despite the Supreme Courts ever present ruling that it is one of our inalienable rights in freedom of expression to do so these dumb shits hide behind the same right the flag is a symbol of.

So why does our flag draw such ire from some and such violent patriotic protests from the rest?  For that we need to steal a quote from a US Government Publications site that deals specifically with Ol’ Glory and her history.  In the words of Henry Ward Beecher:

“A thoughtful mind when it sees a nation’s flag, sees not the flag, but the nation itself. And whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag, the government, the principles, the truths, the history that belongs to the nation that sets it forth. The American flag has been a symbol of Liberty and men rejoiced in it.
“The stars upon it were like the bright morning stars of God, and the stripes upon it were beams of morning light. As at early dawn the stars shine forth even while it grows light, and then as the sun advances that light breaks into banks and streaming lines of color, the glowing red and intense white striving together, and ribbing the horizon with bars effulgent, so, on the American flag, stars and beams of many-colored light shine out together . . . .”

And from a 1917 Flag Day address by President Woodrow Wilson:

“This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choices are ours. It floats in majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices, whether in peace or in war. And yet, though silent, it speaks to us-speaks to us of the past, of the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it. “We celebrate the day of its birth; and from its birth until now it has witnessed a great history, has floated on high the symbol of great events, of a great plan of life worked out by a great people…. “Woe be to the man or group of men that seeks to stand in our way in this day of high resolution when every principle we hold dearest is to be vindicated and made secure for the salvation of the nation. We are ready to plead at the bar of history, and our flag shall wear a new luster. Once more we shall make good with our lives and fortunes the great faith to which we were born, and a new glory shall shine in the face of our people.”

I have never worn rose-colored glasses in regards to patriotism and our faults as a nation have more than played out on the world stage scores of times over.  I recognize this.  As someone who has seem some of what the world has to offer I can say that I am absolutely proud to be an American and no matter who our elected leaders are, we are still better off than any place I have had the privilege of representing this great country in.  As I have listened to the debate stirred by the Lil-minded Wayne incident one thing I have come to realize it is less the person who has desecrated the flag as a means of protest that pisses me off than it is the person who uses the flag as a prop and as a publicity stunt who really makes me question what the destiny of our country is.

Protest and expression are fundamental rights for us because that was the impetus for that stoked the fires of revolution oh so many years ago.  While I completely understand the need to punch in the face a protester who is burning or destroying a flag in public gathering, I also recognize they are exercising their inalienable right to do so.  The ignorant celebrity who uses the flag as a dance floor simply because he is not going to feel any effects of doing so and because they are to ignorant to understand what cost has been paid deserves to have their grills busted out on a curb.

According to US Code:

The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.

Our Constitution is a living document that was written with very little direct and specific language that was meant to be adapted and interpreted in accordance with the times it is living in.  In this regard it is simultaneously perfectly simple and intensely confusing; no two interpretations will ever be identical, nor will they be everlasting.  Our flag flies as a living symbol of not only the Constitution, but all those people who have sworn to protect it.  It should be treated with reverence and respect, it is the oldest living being, the first true American.  Our National Anthem, originally written as a poem by Francis Scott Key, is an oral articulation of what our flag represents.  It inspires multiple times daily at various events.  It provides the heartbeat for the body which our flag represents.  Yet, as I have grown older, not only have I seen more and more intentional abuse of the flag, I have seen more and more children who have not been taught how to show proper respect during the playing of the Anthem.  Many of the times the words are sung they are not even done so without grossly embellishing it or even using the proper words.

There is no such thing as immortality, just longevity.  Our body, the flag, has reached over 200 years old, and the heartbeat behind it, the Anthem, is swiftly approaching that mark as well.  Irresponsible celebrity shitheads have treated her as if she were an inanimate object when in fact she is a living, breathing being.  We may have reached a point in our country where we have reached a high level of fatigue, at least that is my hope.  If we have reached the point where what have built is actually on its last legs then I hope the death rattle of the nation is loud and boisterous and gives birth to a better, more improved ideal that we can move forward with.

In deference to the history of our flag I leave you with the American Creed written in 1918 by William Tyler Page and the pre-McCarthy era, original wording of the Pledge of Allegiance:

I BELIEVE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS A GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE; WHOSE JUST POWERS ARE DERIVED FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED; A DEMOCRACY IN A REPUBLIC, A SOVEREIGN NATION OF MANY SOVEREIGN STATES; A PERFECT UNION, ONE AND INSEPARABLE; ESTABLISHED UPON THOSE PRINCIPLES OF FREEDOM, EQUALITY, JUSTICE, AND HUMANITY FOR WHICH AMERICAN PATRIOTS SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES AND FORTUNES.

I THEREFORE BELIEVE IT IS MY DUTY TO MY COUNTRY TO LOVE IT, TO SUPPORT ITS CONSTITUTION; TO OBEY ITS LAWS; TO RESPECT ITS FLAG; AND TO DEFEND IT AGAINST ALL ENEMIES.

 

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. geriweaver says:

    I admire you passion, and I wonder what made your fingers type ‘I have spent the last 20 years of my wife’… So many comments, too little time. =)

    Like

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