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Thursday, June 23, 2005

What Does Happen When You Burn An American Flag?

The House Of Representatives recently passed a measure to amend the U.S. constitution to include a ban on flag burning and desecration. But why? Why would anyone care if a flag is burned? Flag burning doesn't harm anyone.

Or does it?

Believing that there may be more here than meets the eye, I began meticulously researching the science of flag burning. I interviewed experts, observed professional flag burners in their natural habitat, and even tamed a number of wild flags.

But what I discovered was truly incredible. There is a reason that people in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives have tried so hard to pass the amendment banning flag burning. It's very technical, so I'll try not to complicate things with heavy, scientific wording.


What Happens When You Burn An American Flag

Burning a flag seems innocent enough, right? I mean, after all, it's just a material thing used to represent ideals, right? You're not really setting fire to freedom, patriotism, freedom, liberty, or freedom, right? WRONG.

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When you burn an American flag, freedom particles and liberty molecules are released into the atmosphere. "But, Andy, don't we want more freedom and liberty in the air?" You'd think that, wouldn't you? Releasing freedom and liberty sounds great in a symbolic kind of way, but the truth of the matter is sobering. We only have so much freedom and liberty to go around. That's right. Like fresh water or fossil fuels, only so much liberty and freedom exists on Earth. If you're burning an American flag, you're wasting a precious, limited resource.

And that's only part of the story. Freedom particles and liberty molecules, once released into the atmosphere, will interact with other types of particles, ones which will cause the creation of unstable, mutated and dangerous compounds. After speaking with a number of scientists, I compiled a list of the most dangerous particles, which when combined with freedom, spell disaster for our country.

Heathen particles - Released during everyday sinning
Sodomite particles - Released during sodomy
Abortion particles - Released during abortions
Gay particles - Released by gay people
Welfare particles - Released by welfare recipients
Tree-hugger particles - Released by hugging trees*

Two seen here...

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If these mutated particles were to stay high up in the atmosphere, then it would be no big deal. The problem is these particles are so heavy with ickiness that they'll eventually make their way back to ground level, poisoning everyone in their path.

So, not only do we have less freedom as a result of burning the American flag, we have more unnatural forms of freedom, nicknamed "freekdom" by scientists, which slowly poison our society.

On a brighter note, freedom particles which fall back to Earth unmutated have a positive effect in the war on terrorism. Terrorists exposed to freedom particles and liberty molecules are almost instantly consumed by the fires of their own burning hatred of freedom.

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It's important to get all the facts before jumping on a bandwagon with the rest of the torch-wielding villagers. Get educated, friend. Burning American flags doesn't just hurt the flag, it will eventually hurt you and everyone you care about. A fine job, United States representatives. A fine, fine job.

Don't burn flags.



* The act of hugging trees. Not trees that hug you.

186 Comments:

At 1:18 AM, Blogger Al Sayf said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is that heathen particle also a hidden mickey?

 
At 3:45 AM, Blogger Adrian said...

My flag burning days are OVER.

 
At 4:14 AM, Blogger Charlton said...

Damn those dangerous particles.



guilford.blogspot.com

 
At 5:07 AM, Blogger GrrlScientist said...

I am so happy to finally know why rethuglicans want to outlaw flag burning: it will destroy the vast profits to their cronies generated by government (tax payer) funding of the war machine. Thanks Andy!

GrrlScientist

 
At 6:15 AM, Blogger MEP said...

That was stinking hillarious. I am so relieved to know that after all the bad things I've seen and heard about the Republican controlled, well, everything, that the representatives are actually looking out for our best interest. Thank you Andy for a much-needed lesson in the perils of flag burning.

 
At 6:47 AM, Blogger Lia said...

if freedom particles cause terrorists to self-destruct, wouldn't that be good for the republican agenda? shouldn't they be encouraging flag burning? or are they afraid that self-igniting terrorists may incinerate in public areas, causing forest fires?

 
At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Murple said...

What happens if I collect freedom particles and then snort them?

 
At 11:14 AM, Anonymous FlowGnome said...

Freedom particles exist naturally as the "freebase", and must be crystallized using an acid of some kind before snorting. Stricter penalties are set in place for those smoking the raw freebase freedom, although generally the heaviest use of freebase freedom is seen in poor ethnic areas that the republicans don't care about.

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger Chronic_Roll said...

Maybe flag burning shouldn't become the subject of legislation, but I completely disagree with the fact that flag burning doesn't hurt people. People die for this country and maybe the families of those people don't want to see the symbol of something that they lost their loved one's for burnt in flames.

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger Devo said...

That is one of the best posts I've read yet about this insane Amendment proposal.

Honestly, don't we have ANYTHING better to be arguing about than flag burning? Like... oh... a WAR?!

Oh, no, that whole thing's all hashed out. All the dissidents who claim we wrongly shattered the Geneva conventions and fabricated evidence to support a massive troop mobilization have been silenced and sequestered.

And fortunately, all our children are getting wonderful educations at the hands of the geniuses who understand the worth of Intelligent Design as a more scientific alternative to Darwin's heathen notions. Andit's also a good thing we aren't Leaving Any Children Behind, because our public school system is SO well funded!

Great post, Stranger... if you don't mind, I'd like my very own faithful readers to see it...

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

I like the burning terrorist.

But what happens when the flaming embers of terrorists rise up and join the freedom particles hovering high, high, high in our stratospheric netherworld? Huh? I ask you.

Kind of makes you want to try barbecuing a dove, though, doesn't it?

Mm, tastes like chicken.

 
At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Joe Lisboa said...

Excellent post.

People die for this country and maybe the families of those people don't want to see the symbol of something that they lost their loved one's for burnt in flames.

Maybe the families of those people understand that their loved ones gave their lives for, you know, actual freedoms (e.g,. of expression), and not symbols of those freedoms? Unless their loved ones volunteered to fight and die for symbols, I suppose.

But everyone I've ever known in the military, loved ones included, were (are) there to defend our actual freedoms. The freedom symbolized in an american flag, aflame or on display. This inability (or disinclination?) to separate symbol from reality is striking - and distressing.

You're being played for a fool by Congress, incidentally. This is more smokescreen than a flag factory in flames could ever produce, but whatever.

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger kamylyon said...

This is good, this is very good.

I've never pesonally burned a flag, but I've seen it done, seen the hatred in the actions of the [sheep, lemmings, police, military, you choose] people who 'intervened' to 'save' the now burned fragment of a symbol that didn't mean much in the way of 'liberty' to us in the late 60s and early 70s and means even less now. I've watched people die for burning a flag.

Not a pretty sight.

 
At 2:44 PM, Anonymous joe lisboa said...

(above ire directed at chronic_roll, not original poster, obviously. carry on.)

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger Storm said...

Wait a minute.... didn't they ban the pledge of allegiance in public schools? And now they want to protect the flag? I must admit, I'm a little confused.

 
At 3:18 PM, Anonymous jeremiah said...

I am *so* changing my ways of evildoing.

-j
http://jeremiahjacobs.com

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger Chronic_Roll said...

Symbols mean different things to different people. When I was at the Coast Guard Academy, one of the first things we received was a flag, and one of the first things we learned was how to honor it. I don't expect civilians to have the same reverence for the flag, but maybe just an understanding that the flag means more to some people than it does to others. Just like peeing on a book means completely different things to completely differnt people.

 
At 5:09 PM, Blogger Nadia said...

Ha, you think your amendment is bad? My country's government is proposing that singing the national anthem be made mandatory in cinemas before the screening of any and all movies.

*weeps silently for the fools*

And a question, Andy: Do this horrible effects of flag-burning only occur with American flags? Or are us third world country types at risk too? Because I wanna rebel but I don't wanna, like, get hurt, you know?

 
At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"At 2:43 PM, kamylyon said...
This is good, this is very good.

I've never pesonally burned a flag, but I've seen it done, seen the hatred in the actions of the [sheep, lemmings, police, military, you choose] people who 'intervened' to 'save' the now burned fragment of a symbol that didn't mean much in the way of 'liberty' to us in the late 60s and early 70s and means even less now. I've watched people die for burning a flag.

Not a pretty sight."

A response to this... Maybe if it is worth dying to try to save even a fragment, then maybe it really does symbolize something more important than your mind can comprend.

 
At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Joe Lisboa said...

I don't expect civilians to have the same reverence for the flag, but maybe just an understanding that the flag means more to some people than it does to others.

And I shouldn't expect you, based on your comments, to understand the difference between symbol and reality, then. It's painfully obvious that the flag means different things to different people. You're right on one front: symbols, generally, can mean different things to different people. And you're free to believe that the flag symbolizes that the moon is made of green cheese for all I care. But that's precisely why criminalizing political protest involving the flag is self-defeating. If the flag is a symbol and symbols mean different things to different people, why should Congress criminalize the burning of the flag? Until you can answer that, your position is self-refuting.

I'd wager (not wanting to put words in your mouth, or ascribe meaning to symbols that you might not share), that the flag is a source of pride and reverence for most American because it's a physical representation of our gratitude that we live in a free society. A free society, we are constantly reminded, that is made possible only by the sacrifice of the members of our armed forces.

But the men and women of the US Armed Forces did not volunteer to defend the SYMBOL: this was my previous point. The oath you take (which, evidently, you took a variation of as a member of the Coast Guard) was to preserve and protect the United States itself. And what makes the US great, in part, is its committment to keeping government out of the business of telling us which symbols we can use in communicating, ESPECIALLY when it comes to our so-called core political speech, the sort of speech that the first amendment was specifically designed to protect. Don't you realize that the symbol you're so concerned about protecting from would-be-burners derives its value from the fact that we live in a country where you're free to communicate your dissent, even in distasteful ways?

You live in a country that (until this bill passes the Senate as is ratified by the states, that is) values the reality (i.e., freedom of expression) over the symbol, and if you don't know what "oxymoronic" means, I believe we may have a new dictionary definition: outlawing our freedom to engage in critical political speech using the flag becuase the flag represents our freedoms and is therefore sacred.

That's not just self-defeating, that's retarded.

 
At 6:04 PM, Blogger Chronic_Roll said...

Thank you for the comments joe lisboa. I am able to see the difference between a symbol and a the actual reality behind a symbol. What I said, and where I think maybe I am misunderstood is that acting out on symbols means different things to different people. I am in accordance with the idea that making flag burning legislation is the waste of legislative faculties. I believe there are things happening in this country that deserve more attention than flag burning.
But what I was trying to say in my original comment was that I disagree with SuperAndy's viewpoint that burning a flag doesn't have an effect on people, because it does on me, and many other people. It doesn't hurt because I feel some sort of physical connection with the flag. It hurts because there are good people out there that worked really hard for that flag to mean something, and that didn't mean anything to the person burning the flag.

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

Yeah, what he said.

 
At 7:48 PM, Blogger Gloria Glo said...

Yeah, the comments have been funny enough. So Glo merely shakes her head and says, "In an era of failing schools, starving children, and a broken medical system - congress once again proves itself incapable of discussing anything that matters."

I may be joining that liberty freebasing crowd. Seems the only way to endure...

 
At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you get run over by a big, gass-guzzling flag-burning tree-hugging baby-abborting gay-pride truck, i would officialy declare it my second birthday. What are you in, grade school?! Yeah, gay people are so heavy with "ickiness". And your so heavy with a little something called PREJUDICE. Hopefully, someday someone will hold you up real high, and all that PREJUDICE will bring you flying down to earth, smashing into litlle bible-worshipping dumbass conservitive particles, and from there you will be turned into anal lube, and rubbed onto the penis's of many, many gay men. In conclusion, I hope you get shot in the face.

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

I've waited for this moment. This very moment. When someone read this post, saw a few key words, and then disregarded/missed the satire of the entire piece, thereby soldifying their position many pegs below myself and other brain-users on the big board of life. On a peg somewhere between coma victims and that guy was made famous by saying, "Dude, you're gettin' a Dell!" Yeah, that guy is more intuitive than you.

Mercy...

 
At 8:49 PM, Blogger jonrex said...

What if your dope was on fire?

If your flag was made of shit, would make sense to amend pissing on it?

Put your poo box away lincoln.

Uhh this one time in coast guard academy, these guys pulled my boxers up so high that my balls left little star spangled patterns on them. (the stripes were already there.)

They ran them up the flagpole and we all prayed to the shorts that God would protect us in our search for the ultimate wedgie - that is of somebody else's ass.

My anus still cries when I think of that day. With any luck God will give us all sore anus' so we can remember what freedom really is.

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger SJ said...

The symbolism of flags can't be so easily dismissed. Try reading The Lexus and the Olive Tree this book kind of explains why Olive Trees (symbols, emotions) are so valuble to people.

 
At 9:05 PM, Blogger jonrex said...

Can too.

Dismissed.
(see. . . easy)

Your emotions have no value to me unless I desire to torture you to get your true confessions.

Symbols in themselves have no value.
If everyone drove a lexus, or an olive tree for that matter, the symbol would lose its meaning.

Maybe some symbols are important to you, but damn you for thinking you can ascribe your values to everyone else. Symbolically and otherwise.

The american flag represents pretty much everything I find disgusting in this world. Now how would you feel if I suggested that it was wrong for you to feel any other way about it, cause that's the way I interpret the symbol.

But I'm not. And I don't believe it is right for you to either.

 
At 9:05 PM, Blogger 52X Max said...

I checked this post when it had about 2 comments, and I decided to stay out of it, it's not of my business what you do or don't do with your flags, or your country, for that matter.
But now that I see this blog turned into a political discussion once again, I wanna put my two cents on it.
As a democracy, the united states of america, and any other democracy, is OBLIGED to respect the rights, liberties and freedom of all of their citizens, as long as they respect the law...
so why should the government ban the burning of a flag?, they shouldnn't.
That's it, end of the subject, don't bring any other argument, it's as plain and simple as the government aplying a double-standard and squashing civil rights once again, and denying the people's rights, because even the right to burn a flag is a right.
pardon my french

 
At 9:24 PM, Blogger Flora the Red Menace said...

What about those American flags made in China, like the ones that Wal-Mart sells? Seems to me that they wouldn't count since they are only symbols of "fake freedom" having been made by little children in sweat shops or by prisoners in Chinese prisons. I was just wondering........

 
At 10:24 PM, Blogger jazz said...

first, for foreigners and people who've commented who just don't get it...freedom is freedom to express yourself. the flag represents the freedom to burn the flag. get it? got it? good. i'm a lawyer and know a bit about the Constitution. don't fuck with me.

that anonymous guy who didn't know how to spell is a tool who DEFINITELY didn't read the post. i'm guessing it's that crazy conservative fuck who was around earlier.

thirdly, "terrorist consumed by fires of own burning hatred of freedom"...too funny. i love you former intern!

 
At 10:31 PM, Blogger Gloria Glo said...

Dontcha just love the ignorant but opinionated? They are the very reason I protect freedom of speech (well, that and the right to talk about my breasts and/or make stuff up that I think is funny). How would I entertain myself without them?

 
At 5:35 AM, Blogger Adrian said...

I just like to sit and watch.

Also I just HAVE to say what a masterpice the Sodomite Particle is!

Im sorry people have misinterpreted and attacked this post.

ITS BRILLIANT!

Good to see the old Andy back again!

Enige ouens wat wil negatiewe kommentaar lewer kan gaan kak.

 
At 6:40 AM, Blogger Gabbahead said...

I think foreigners don't usually burn our own flags. We just set the politicians on fire instead. It saves so much more time.

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger John said...

andy, did you scrap the Smalltown Superhero blog? I was really hoping you'd continue that one.

anton's key dot com

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

Yeah, I saved everything on it, so I could start it up again in the future, but I've got other things I want to focus on and just don't have time for my superhero obsession right now. It's a shame, but I think this one is easier to keep up with.

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger Jason said...

"People die for this country and maybe the families of those people don't want to see the symbol of something that they lost their loved one's for burnt in flames."

Don't worry, burning down Haliburton's headquarters is already illegal.

 
At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jason-
The war in Iraq isn't the only war that people have died in.

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger Katie said...

The fireworks that are always available on your comments make this world so much more interesting. Why do people jump out and assume things, as anonymous did? I am confused. I do not understand such stupidity.

Great post, as always.

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger tinyhands said...

I plan to exercise my first amendment rights by burning Bald Eagles instead. (Tastes like chicken!)

 
At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What kills me is that the people who flip out when someone burns a flag in protest because it defaces a national symbol are probably also the same people who let one of those car window flags get tattered to pieces. Then, when it finally rips off, they leave it on the side of the highway to get run over, covered in mud, and ground up into bits. That pisses me off more than any protestor ever could.

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger Syar said...

heated...no wonder there's like 41 comments. almost felt a little intimidated there. i will never look at hugging trees the same way again. there should be some kind of campaign, Andy!! people need to KNOW about these particles and their dangers. I worry about the children.

 
At 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chronic_Roll - C'mon you were in the COAST GUARD for kryssakes! Oh, and it's Degas, not Degat in your profile. Sheesh...

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger Chronic_Roll said...

Sorry, for misspelling Degas as degat anonymous. it makes me happy that someone went through my entire profile, and then, actually knowing who Degas was (which makes me even happier), decided to point that out to me on someone else's blog.

 
At 11:38 AM, Blogger jonrex said...

in the spirit of being mean spirited.

We mosly checked your profile to find out exactly in which mercury mine you were raised?

And how was your coastguard experience?
oh, I'll bet you long to be in the navy though with its ancient credo:

Rum, Sodomy & the Lash

 
At 12:43 PM, Blogger Chronic_Roll said...

Aww the old mercury mine. Everytime I think back to my first home it brings a tear to my eye. Right next to it was the old interstate highway me and my cousins would play games in, like chicken and...well chicken was pretty much it. Those were the days.

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

You are bloody brilliant, Mr. ex-NY Intern. It seems to me that Wisconsin is responsible for quite a few brilliant things: cheese, beer, and Andy.

 
At 11:56 PM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

For clarity? When I said "Yeah, what he said," I meant in regards to what Joe Lisboa said, not what Chronic Roll said.

I can respect CR's opinion, I just don't agree with it.

I believe in the literal principle of freedom. If that means burning flags, then so be it. Personally, I think that people who burn flags are dicks and they need to have more respect for their nations, no matter what their politics are.

Unfortunately, even dicks have rights.

Despite the fact that it makes me want to hurl waterballoons at them and holler, "You're a twat, you selfish, unpatriotic little fuck!"

But I'm just an outspoken kinda gal.

Rise up and stab them with your plastic forks!

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger D-Train said...

Here's the way I see it: Burning a flag doesn't physically harm another person, and if that's the case, then there's no possible reason you should amend the freakin' constitution to say that you can't take a lighter and flame up a flag. If somebody doesn't like it, they should make flags less flammable.

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

Just another useless thought. Anyone else notice how this administration likes to make laws that take away rights... but never do they give any?

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger Abby Taylor said...

I'm here via Hallucinogenius.

Most excellent post!

 
At 12:52 AM, Blogger The Fat Girl said...

NO! NO! KEEP THE DEADLY PARTICLES AWAY!!!

 
At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Dylan said...

Murple said:What happens if I collect freedom particles and then snort them?

Awesome. Yes. Definitely.

Just wondering, along the same lines as Nadia's post, does burning other flags have the same effect? Example: Would burning these flags release particles? Maybe even hamburgler particles?

Heck, I know, i'm gonna go burn some flags. Maybe it'll kill some terrorists :-/.

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

MmMmmMM... Hamburgler particles.

Those come with Secret Sauce?

Wait'll you see what's in my buns.

 
At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god, all those freedom and liberty particles I inhaled in college! But I was young, I had no idea what I was doing. Note to self: next time, just do whippets.

 
At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should all be ashamed of yourselves.
Not that any of you care, but the flag represents more than an idea. It represents the life and death of Americans for over 200 years. The flag is a testament to everything we have fought and died for since the 1700s.

Now that obviously means very little to most of you because you see it al as a bunch of obscure events from the past that only exist on the pages of history books. But I challenge you to go to Revolutionary and Civil War battle feilds and touch the ground where brave men were cut down by hot lead all over a few simple ideas that a flag represents. I challenge you to go to the WWII or Vietnam Memorials in Washington DC and talk to the Veterans who are there visiting, and tell them how you feel you have the right to Burn what they endured unspeakable horrors for, and what many of their freinds made the ultimate sacrifice for. I challenge you to go visit one of the VA hospitals and explain to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have been wounded in the War on Terror (in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world) that they have been disabled or disfigured for the rest of their lives over a piece of fabric that it hurts no one to burn. I garuntee you it hurts them, and if you can do that, you are less than human.

You know, in the Civil War, Soldiers would go to any lengths to prevent their battle flags from falling into enemy hands. Entire Companies of men would willingly sacrifice their lives, to protect a flag. See, what they knew, that you dont know, was that that flag was the embodiment of everything they stood for. It was the tangible substance that made their ideals a reality and not just myth or banter. It was more than just a flag. It was their lives, their homes their families, and they would not hesitate to die defending it.

But what the hell do I know? I'm only a Purple Heart and Navy Cross winner. My Grandfather only served two tours in Vietnam and won the Silver Star, but what does he know either? I'd like to think that we did what we did for the what the flag represnts: something worth fighting for. But I also realize that it was so people could burn that same flag that represents what I love. Oh, I also did it so bottom feeding, Godless, gutless, socialists could hide like cowards behind web forrums and snipe cheap shots at the administration and conress, and country who give them the right to do that. Yeah thats why I did it.

But like I said before, I'm just an old Marine. What do I know?

USMC, Sempre Fi

PS I only entered this as anonymous because I stumbled onto this forrum by accident and dont have an account (I normally dont like reading this kind of garbage). But If anyone feels the need to snipe at me for speaking the truth I have a better idea. Name the time and place, I'll meet you there, and we can discuss this all you want, face to face, like men.
God Bless

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Not that any of you care, but the flag represents more than an idea. It represents the life and death of Americans for over 200 years. The flag is a testament to everything we have fought and died for since the 1700s.


Well, while I respect your thoughts, everyone's thoughts on the matter, banning flag burning is sheer lunacy.

The flag ONLY represents ideas. That's what a flag IS. What the flag means to you, is not what it means to everyone. What about descendents of slaves? Placing all our powers, fears, beliefs in a material object is a weakness not a strength.

Think about what you're saying, lover of freedom. You're saying that if I burn this piece of cloth, the government can punish me? Think about how ridiculous that sounds.

Is this a religious state, a dictatorship? BEcause what you're suggesting is that the flag itself, this piece of cloth (MADE IN CHINA), is like some holy relic, as if handed down by God.

It's not. It's fabric. It, in and of itself, means NOTHING.

 
At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rock on super andy! you said it all.

 
At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am pleased that my quote has been responded to. I know I stumbled on this by accident but was intrigued by this discussion and fealt the need to return.

I also respect your oppinion sir, despite my antics, and I thank you for your response. I feel we have an opportunity for excellent debate here and it would be a shame to waste it.

To respond to your comments, I have known decendants of slaves, both in the service and in civillian life, who I can honostly say would be absolutely opposed to the burning of the flag and feel that it is much more than simply a meaningless symbol. Perhaps you have forgotton that black soldiers in the Civil War were among those who died protecting flags. As a decendant of slavery myself I can tell you that the fact that slavery once existed has next to no bearing on this issue at least in my experience. I honestly do not know of a single incident of flag burning where the primary motivation was slavery (and i encourage you to correct me if I am wrong). Besides, The flag also represents our nation's struggle with slavery and burning it is essentially denying its existence.

You have a legitimate point in that many people would not agree with me. I think that dissent is a good and healthy thing if it is done responsibley. No Idea should go unchallenged. Perhaps you will remember that the next time you say that the flag is just a piece of fabric made in China that only represents idea. As you so aptly put it, "What a flag means to you, is not what it means to everyone."

However the flag does not ONLY represent ideas to many people. Were you aware that when a nation falls, the first thing the conquering nation does is take down and burn the flag. (I am aware we did not do this in Iraq or Afghanistan, in these conflices the U.S. was a liberator, not a conqueror). So to burn the flag is in essence to destroy a nation. When you burn a flag, you are also burning those very ideas you mentioned and saying that all the sacrifices made for those ideas were for nothing. The flag not only represents Ideas, it represents the people of its nation. Why do you think Olympic athletes carry a flag into the cermonies? Because they like the flag, represent the people of their country; the best their country has to offer.

Again, I urge you to take the forementioned challenges from my earlier post. I also offer some new points. When a man or woman dies in the service of their country, the flag draped over their coffin is given to their, husband/wife/parrents/brother/ sister/ect. Perhaps you would like to go to one of these funerals and tell them to burn that flag because it is only a material object that we weaken ourselves by placing all our powers fears and beliefes in. To them it represents their loved ones life.

Still not convinced? Try this: What if I were to go and piss all over the tombstone of one of your loved ones? I should'nt be punnished, right? After all its only a rock that does'nt mean anything. Now how rediculous does that sound. I'm sorry sir but I dont believe that your convictions would hold true, no matter how much you tell me otherwise, if put to that test. Now you can say that that scenerio is personal, but so is burning the flag.

You see when people burn the flag, it is usually to protest the actions a certain other people who are in power. But what they are really doing is burning an embodiment that represents everyone in the country including themselves. Protest people all you want but dont degrade the very symbol of the country which aboards you the right to breath which is what freedom is by deffinition. The right to beath, not burn the flag. So this does not infringe on freedom, no rights are taken away. Besides, in my experience people burn the flag to get attention, and I dont see public execution or long term imprisonment being the punnishment for this any time soon (if you know what the penalty ould be if this becomes law, please let me know). Being arrested for it only further's the attention brought to their cause so why would they complain.

As for your question of religion, this is not a religious issue. While religion, all religions, are a major part of what America is and is therefore also represented by the flag, it is not is not a consideration of lawmakers in this case. I fail to see how the word dictatorship comes into play as this legislation has been brought about by democratically elected representatives. Would you rather we have anarchy sir? It is neither just a piece of cloth nor a holy relic handed down by got. It is a torch (I recognize the irony) passed down from generation to generation, and that people forget its value is sad indeed. For once the value of this "fabric," that "in itself , means Nothing," is forgotten, then all of the "ideas" it stands for are as well.

Freedom isn't free. I dont expect people who have'nt fought for it to understand that. I dont hold it against them either. Dissent is good and necessary and I thank you for it. But flag burning is simply foolish and irrisponsible. To suppurt it is what in fact is lunacy.

Thank you for you comments and I hope we may continue this debate. But of not, eh, what the hell.

USMC Sempre Fi
God Bless

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

Okay, I'll bite.

My grandfather recently died. He was a marine, so my grandma did recieve a flag during his funeral. But that flag that was draped on his coffin, again, is merely a symbol. Does my grandma NEED that flag? Without the flag, would she have no concept of his duty done for our country. Of course not. It's symbolic.

Now, if someone pissed on his gravestone, then I would be upset. Not because he was marine, but because he's my effing grandpa.

Two, it's already punishable to urinate on a gravestone. 1) Public urination, and 2) defacing property.

But you're still doing a little of that guilting people to death. Like, "Okay, you can have the freedom to burn an American flag, but then I get to kick the coffin of this veteran in front of his family." I mean, it's missing the point.

I'm of the belief that people should be able to do WHATEVER they want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. Burning a flag falls under that category.

I mean, I can respect the job my gandfather did (hardcore Democrat, by the way) and still burn a flag. I'm talented like that.

 
At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Super Andy, you said it *almost* all. But I feel compelled to write something too to the former Marine.

It's not that I *don't* recognize, respect, and honor the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women; it's that I *do.* You may not like burning flags, you may think flag burners are ignorant of history, or liberal God-haters, or whatever, but as you point out yourself, flags are important symbols, and destroying one can be a form of political speech. The example you give of the destruction of enemy flags in military conflicts illustrates this well.

Free speech is the birthright of Americans. Flag burning might be distasteful, but I disagree with a lot of political views that get expressed and that doesn't mean I should be able to surpress those views. Though some, I wish I could.

Sometimes people confuse symbol with substance. I think it's much more destructive to the Constitution and the principles which this country *tries* to live up to to surpress political dissent, even if it's expressed inelegantly, than to burn a flag or two here or there.

 
At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me begin by offering my condolances for your Grandfather. I can tell from what you say that he was a good man and I always mourn the loss of a Brother Marine (my Grandpa was a hard core Democrat too by the way, we used to argue about that a lot). And I would never piss on your Grandfather's or anyone elses tombstone, that was merely to illustrate point, no offense intended. And I would never kick a veterans coffin in front of his family OR burn the flag. I see all of these actions as dispicable.

This is not an issue of guilt. Now I cant begin to know the first thing what the significance of the flag your Grandmother recieved is to her. I can say that to many people that I know, It is one of the more important things that they have. Of course these people would still know what thier loved ones did without the flag. The point is that to say the flag is just a piece of cloth is like saying the constitution is just a piece of paper, The United States is just a landmass, and a tombstone is just a rock. I agree these are all symbolic things, but they are also more than that. They take on a life of their own.

All of that leads up to the point that, to a great deal of people in this country, burning the flag is just as offensive to them as someone urinating on a loved one's gravestone would be to you. So when you say it hurts nobody, it in fact does. It hurts many people as Americans the same way hate speach hurts those it is directed at (I presume you don't agree with hate speach, neither do I).

Now I am also aware that public urination and defacing property are illegal. However, at one time they were not illegal and had to go through the same legislative preocess as this. If flag burning were already illegal than we probably would'nt be arguing it. I dont see anyone lining up to fight for their right to publicly urinate, which if you think about it, does'nt really hurt anybody. Besides, flag burning would probably be punnishable in about the same way those offenses are.

I'm not trying to beat the military angle to death. Its just part of who I am and how I think. I think the whole issue here is the lack of respect. As I said, to many people the flag is much more than just a symbol. Most of the Civillians I know who were never in the military see it this way as well.

I also agree to a certain extent that people should be able to do what they want. But I also think that as a result of people doing anything they want, they often become irrisponsible and sometimes actions must be taken to prevent things from becoming hazerdous. The whole thing about doing whatever you want if your not hurting anybody is kind of an "I'm 16 and angry at my dad because he just doesnt get it," type of thing. I do not think flag burning helps anyone. I've only seen it hurt people. I guess we can agree to disagree on that.

I am glad to hear that you respect the armed services. It is good to hear that, many people nowadays dont. I would like to ask (in no malicious way) just out of curiosity where your grandfather would have come down on this issue. Like I said, its purely out of curiosity, not intended to be malicious or even part of this debate.

So keep the dissent comming if you feel like it. I both respect and appreciate it.

USMC Sempre Fi
God Bless

PS You definately have me out-talanted in that department. I am NOT talented like that.

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger jazz said...

not sure whether mr. anonymous will come back but i'm sorry i missed all this. i'm not sure that he read my comment above, but he should. re: the flag means freedom. the flag means freedom to burn the flag. the freedom to express our dislike of this country's policies, leaders, actions...all without fear of getting our hands cut off or being whipped.

some could see burning the flag as the ultimate patriotic gesture (though i'm sure few would agree w/it), it's seizing the rights that this government gives us as individuals.

 
At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well its me again, USMC. I thank those of you who joined are the debate between Mr. Andy and myself and offer you a response. As I said to Mr. Andy, I respect all of your views and opinions and appreciate you sharing them with us.

Now, I'll begin with response to Anonymous. I dont think people who burn flags are ignorant of history (but maybe of other things). On the contrary, most people who burn flags are well educated people. As far as being liberal God-haters, you said it, not me. Its beside the point so let it go. I'll tell you that I have never passed judgement on a person who did'nt believe in God. I wish I could say people who dont believe in God have never passed judgement on me. But again, leave God out of this, its not a religious question.

I think I already pretty clearly explained how the flag is more than just a symbol. I think you misunderstood the example of the destruction of a defeated countries flag. When the flag is burned, it does'nt symbolize the death of a country, it IS the death of a country. Once the flag is burned,then and only then, does the country cease to be. So when you burn the flag your in essence burning the country (which includes yourself), thats what it means.

Now the speech thing just dont fly here. Honestly, Its pretty pathetic if the only way you know how to express political dissent is by burning things. It isn't even an effective form of speech (if you consider it as one, I dont). When people tun on TV and see someone burning the flag, thats all they see. Most of the time they dont even know WHY the people were burning the flag. They just see the representation of thier nation going up in flames and are too angry to care. Meanwhile those who burned the flag are discreditted in many peoples minds as crazy radicals.

Peoples ability to express dissent wont be hurt by this. They'll just be forced to come up less radical forms of protest, which are far more effective in communicating the point. Take for example Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, and MIcheal Moore. Now I probably dont have to tell you the disdain I have for these men, and it would be beside the point. The point is that they certainly have not been silenced in thier dissent (although at times some of them have been a bit irresponsible and distasteful in how they vioce it) and none of them are out burning flags. I promise you they are far more effective in getting people to listen to their dissent than any flag burners are.

Dissent is not what is being banned, flag burning is. Dont jump to conclusions. Nobody's rights are being supressed. The Constitution gave no one the right to burn the flag. Free speech is not FREE, and the flag stands as a memorial to the men and women who paid for your birthright in blood.

I'm sorry but there's no confusion here. If you value the substance, how can you not value the symbol. And if you dont value the symbol how can you value the substance. Flag burning is not about dissent, its about anger and violence, which are both destructive to the legitimacy of dissent.

Now to Miss Jasmine, I read your earlier post and saw that you were a lawyer. Congradulations ma'am, and good luck with you practice. As a lawyer ma'am I would ask you to point out which ammendment to the Constitution affords us the right to burn the flag? Where does it say that this is what the flag means? If you can point them out to me I'll concede to you that point.

Secondly ma'am, lets not jump to outragous conclusions. I've never heard of an American having their hands cut off or being whipped for protesting in the US in modern times. I seriously doubt these would be the penalties if this were to become law, so give it a rest. I'm sure you'll want to reffer me to the Kent State incident and the Civil Rights Movement. They were 40 years ago ma'am and the violence was (on the law enforcement side) the tragic result of poorly trained troops and police officers. I have seen people peacefully and effectively protest for years without burning the flag. The only times I have seen violence towards protestors is when they innitiate it. In fact I have only seen flag burning in venues where violence broke out and that is when people are hurt.

Protest, Pettition, Pickett, and hold all the rallies you want. But burning the flag is a useless and foolish action. There is no justification for it. This law simply holds people accountable for their actions actions. And if you see burning the flag as patriotic, you are a sick individual. Flag burning is not a right. So if this law passes I guess flag burners everywhere will just have to caugh up the 50 bucks or spend the night in jail. They'll have to deal with whatever slap on the wrist punnishement they get. Small price to pay for getting to piss and shit on what so many worked so hard to give them.

Again I thank you all for you oppinions . Keep it going if you wish.

USMC Sempre Fi
God Bless

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger jazz said...

mr. anon,

in reference to gettings hands cut off, i was referring to the punishment found in other countries, countries that don't value freedom and democracy the way the United states does. i think cutting off hands was saddam hussein's oldest son's favorite pasttime. you may not think that flag burning is speech/expression but the supreme court doesn't agree with you. i love this country because i can express myself (be it my love OR hate of this country) without heinous punishment. people fight in wars and die for that freedom. the flag is a representative of that freedom. but without freedom, what does that flag mean? i believe the flag means little w/o the freedom to burn it.

 
At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Jasmine, it is good to hear from you.
I was not aware of the Supreme Courts stance on this issue. Thankyou for informing me on it. However, while the Supreme Court may dissagree with me, many Americans disagree with it as well. Should this legislation pass I think we will see the court revisit the issue. Their stance may change or stay the same, we will have to wait and see.

I am well aware that people fight in wars for freedom. I am one of them. Many of my friends were the people you mentioned who died for that freedom. You are correct in observation on Saddam's oldest son, Oudde. He liked to cut, maim, rape, torture, burn, mutilate and murder. I personally met several of his victims when I was there.What he did to them was truly more horrific than anything most people will ever see.

But you need not tell me that we fought and died for freedom or that the flag represents that freedom. I have said that all along. Even if this law passes you will still have the freedom to express your self without being subject to heinous punishment. Freedom is not being taken from you. You can still burn the flag, you just have to be willing to accept the consequences which will not be severe.

But your logic runs into a bit of a paradox ma'am. If the flag means freedom, even the freedom to burn it, are'nt you destroying the thing that brings you that freedom? And if you destroy it than how can you be free to do that? You say the flag means little without the freedom to burn it, so does that mean its ok to take away all of your other freedoms because that one is most important? As we speak our right to bear arms (which IS garunteed in the constitution) is under constant attack. That is a much more important freedom than burning the flag. Why doesn't that concern you(its a rhetorical question so please, lets spare ourselves the gun control debate)?

Is it impossible to value Freedom and Democracy without burning the flag? Because that is in a sense what you are saying. I could be wrong, but thats my take on it.

Thakyou again for your input ma'am. Please continue at your leisure.

USMC Sempre Fi
God Bless

 
At 9:22 PM, Blogger Seventeen Syllables said...

The really ironic thing is, if you ask me, not that anyone did, it isn't really burning a flag that destroys the freedom the flag represents. Actually, it's not even burning a copy of the Constitution in which that freedom is spelled out that destroys that freedom. It's in amending the Constitution to limit people's freedoms that destroys freedom. NOT that I'm really worked up to go burn flags or think flag burning is such a great thing to do. It's a pretty lame thing to do. But I get concerned when people start wanting to change the Constitution to prevent stuff that, even if offensive, is basically (I know that Marine doesn't agree with me) a symbolic gesture. To me, it's a bit like "sticks and stones will break my bones, names will never hurt me." Flag burning is name calling. Changing the Constitution is the sticks and stones--the one that really hurts.

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

Anonymous--

Having to accept a consequence for an action means you are not truly free to commit that action.

Murdering someone and going to jail doesn't mean you're free to murder. You're not, and you will be punished as a result.

This comes down to opinion. YOU think it's a symbol worth dying for. OTHERS think it's a symbol of beliefs, and the beliefs are worth dying for, but not the symbol.

True freedom is being able to express any dissent, to be able to show, via actions, what it is that displeases you.

I still think flag-burners are dicks, and if I ever saw someone burning a Canadian flag, I'd fuckin' rail on 'em and let 'em know why they're assholes.

But it's they're right to be fuckwads, because my country is vested in having absolute personal freedoms, thus the act of flag-burning is protected by my nation.

Just because something gets your panties in a twist and makes your heart a little sad does NOT mean you go and legislate it out of practice. That's bullshit.

Nations should not be ruled by what tugs our heartstrings, but should instead be ruled in a way that protects every citizen's right to say, do, or feel whatever occurs to them in regards to their government's policies.

Instead, the USA is being legislated on what seems to be the best moral course of action -- and that's not what your founding fathers wanted.

I don't understand why this is so hard for more conservative Americans to understand. Sigh.

The Last Ditch--The Land of the Free!

 
At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Melanie said...

Thought this little tidbit of information might be interesting to ANYONE with an opinion on the flag-burning subject.
According to the US Flag Code: "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."
(http://www.usa-flag-site.org/faq/disposal.shtml)

 
At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you should have dug a little deeper Miss Melanie. If you had actually read the entire U.S. Flag code you would know that under that same heading, ironically called Respect for flag, it begins by saying "No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America." Now the section you cited says the flag should be burned when "it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display,"(section 8k). Burning the flag publicly in protest does not meet those qualifications and is therefor disrespect.

Not good enough? I got more. Title 4 Chapter 1 section 8e states "The flag should never be fastened, displayed , USED, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or DAMAGED in ANY way." Now I believe that covers flag burning.

But we're not done yet. Section 8j reguards the use of the flag involving uniforms. But what interests me is that it then says "The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a LIVING THING." So for those of you who say it is just a symbol, your wrong, and this proves it.

But I did'nt stop there, we've only just begun. Title 4 Chapter 1 Section 3 is titled: Use of the flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of the flag. Now its quite lengthy so you'll have to read it for yourself but it basically says that in the District of Columbia it is illegal to deface the flag for advertising purposes. This is a misdemeanor punnishable by a max fine of $100 or a max of 30 days in jail or both. Now I know that this does not exatly fit flag burning to a tee, but the point is that certain inapproprite uses of the flag are already illegal and it is not a stretch to see how this could extend to flag burning. The Argument could even be made that burning the flag in protest is a form of advertisement(of ideas) and therefor could fall under this. But I'll leave that for you to think about.

And just when you thought I was out of facts, I stumbled upon this one. Interestingly enough, Tilte 4 Chapter 1 section 10 states "Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of America, set forth herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or aditional rules with respect thereto may be prescribed, by the Comander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, WHENEVER HE deems it to be appropriate or desireable; and any such alteration or additional rule shal be set forth in a proclamation." So actually the president could ban flag burning. He does'nt even need congress to pass a law, and this is a legal documentation to back it up. You should really check your resource's resources next time. Go to www.usa-flag-site.org/faq/disposal.shtml and then click the link that says Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School.

I Win.

USMC Sempre Fi
God Bless

 
At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I'd respond to some other thoughts. Miss Seventeen Syllables, thankyou for your thoughts. But I have to say that there have been 27 ammendments to the constitution and the people who opposed all of them I'm sure made the same arguements about their freedom being limmited. I'm sorry but its just not the case. You are still free to dissent, you will simpley have consequences for burning the flag. That is all. For years our right to bear arms has been limmited as I said before. Where is your outcry on that? Should we only limmit freedoms that liberals think we should be limmited? Is that not equally destroying freedom by the standards you laid out? Because that destroys freedom in a real sense. As for flag burning being merely symbolic, my previous statement reveals that to be inaccurate ma'am. Trivializing this issue nto a mere child's metephor is what REALLY hurts.

As for scribe called steff, I must point out to you that you may have overstepped your bounds as a Canadian commenting on what American founding fathers intended. I can assure you that they did not intend for the flag of the country they worked so hard to build to be desecrated in such a way. The Constitution was based upon morals and the US is legislated according to them. While Canadians are always welcome here in America, when it comes to political issues it would be best if you please remain north of the border.

Secondly, all actions have consequences. Some just happen to be legall consequences and as long as you can accept them, you are free to commit them. As for murder, it is hardly relevant here, so lets just drop it.

When it comes to the flag being a mere symbol this is not a matter of opinion. According to the US Flag Code the flag is not just a symbol. So this has nothing to do with what I think the flag means. This has to do with facts, lets stick to them.

As I have said before numerous times, dissent is not being limmited here and there are much more effective actions than flag burning to express it. Feel free to read my earlier posts if you like, I'm not going to rehash that subject here.

I'm glad to hear that you do not condone flag burning. But judging from the people who have responded to this post, as well as the responses in the media, I'd say that its the people in favor of flag burning who got their panties twisted. This legislation has nothing to do with panties nor heart strings. It simply says that flag burning is desecration, which it is. Theres no denying it. THAT would be bullshit.

I'm happy for you that Canada has so many personal freedoms. As an American I really cant comment on what Canada does which is how it should be. Americans are not Canadians and Canadians are not Americans. That is why what you say is so hard for us "more conservative," Americans to understand.

But did you really need to recite the ACLU handbook? Enjoy your Koolaid.

Thankyou all again for you thoughts and lets keep this going. I appreciate and respect them as always.

USMC Sempre Fi
God Bless

 
At 3:03 AM, Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

Yowzah, So this is what the blogiverse is all about. My two cents: http://rogerowengreen.blogspot.com/2005/06/ragged-old-flag.html

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger Seventeen Syllables said...

Sempre Fi,
I still disagree with you.

The reality is this. If you burn a flag, you lose the $$ you spend on the flag and probably the respect of the majority of your fellow citizens. If you start amending the Constitution to prevent people from burning flags, or copies of the Constitution, or from saying mean things about each other, you really do harm. I believe in the principles of the Constitution, the principles for which the flag stands but which are not actually generated by flags. The principles of the US, for which our service men and women sacrifice, are embodied in *laws.* It's when you destroy the *laws* that you pee on freedom, the US, and all that (to borrow from your graveyard example.)

I'm sorry that you found my reference to the schoolyard saying offensive. It was only meant as illustrative of the difference between essentially ineffective and effective methods of causing harm to the principles of the United States. Freedom and liberty for all includes freedom for people to do some pretty dumb things. (Which, incidentally, includes not just flag burning, but also owning guns, as far as I'm concerned.)

OK, I'm stepping off the soap box. Now I go back to being kind to kitties and ponies, in good liberal tradition.

 
At 1:13 PM, Blogger Seventeen Syllables said...

OK, I can't help but post a PS: Sempre Fi, most of the 27 amendments to the constitution were *expansions* to the constitution's basic guarantees of rights for US citizens. Others just clarify procedures, etc. in the legislative body. The first ten amendments, aka the bill of rights, clarify and sometimes EXPAND the basic rights of US citizens. 13, 14, and 15 ended slavery and defined citizenship and voting. The 19th protected women's right to vote. The 23rd amendment repealed the 18th (outlawing liquor sales). I can only come up with 16 (income tax) and 18 as limiting Americans' freedoms. And we all know how popular 16 is, and how long 18 lasted.

Also, whatever the flag code says doesn't ultimately matter in a court of law if the flag code is deemed unconstitutional. That's still the gold standard. As it should be.

 
At 3:17 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

Flag code isn't law. That's all that needed to be said. Just like the pledge, which was written in the 50's, if it was THAT important to the basic laws of our country, the founding fathers would have added it. THEY DIDN'T. Why? I'll let you think about that.

 
At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Andy, it is good to hear from you again. I knew you would'nt dissapoint and I thank you for that. I'll start by saying that the Flag Code is actually federal law (Public Law 94-344). I will say that you raise an excellent point in that the founding fathers did not include it in the basic laws of the country. I also took your advice and thought about it. The founding fathers probably did not include it because they probably never forsaw it (like many other things) ever becoming an issue. That is why they created both a legislative and judicial branch of government to deal with such unforseen things. Now what they would have thought of this legislation is anyone's guess, but I can say with certainty that they would probably have looked down upon flag burning.

Miss Seventeen Syllables, thankyou as well. You pointed out an innacuracy in my statement on the 27 ammendments and I stand corrected. You are absolutely correct about the Bill of Rights and about the ammendments that clarify legislative proceedures. And I am aware that most of the amendments expand freedoms. Allow me to clarify my statement. What I was saying (regaurding those amendments that you pointed out) was that the people opposed to those ammendments, in many cases, made the argument that THIER freedoms were being limmited just like people are saying about this propposed ammendment. For example: Slave owners would have said that 13, 14, and 15 (which actually expand freedom) limmitted their right to propperty as they saw it. Now as vile as I see that argument to be (as a decendant of slavery myself) and as much as I dissagree with it, it was (at its most basic level) the same type of argument.
That was all I was saying. And as you pointed out yourself there have been ammendments that limmitted freedom (16 and 18) before. But I must correct you on the point that it is actually the 21st ammendment that repeals the 18th (23 give DC the Presidential Vote).

Now I'm no expert on the law but as far as I know the Flag Code has not been deemed unconstitutional and therefor does matter in a court of law (but please correct me if I am wrong). But I beg to differ on that being the "gold standard" ma'am. You may remmember a ruling known as the Dredd-Scott decision. That was anything but golden. My point is that the Supreme Court can be wrong. If this law passes I'm sure the court will at some point be reviewing it. Weather it is correct in its judgement or not, history will judge that. I will say that I believe that the courts purpose is to interpret, not legislate. But that is another argument for another time and place.

Now I'm going to say this for the last time, peoples right to dissent is not being limmited, only certain actions. People will be held accountable for those actions and there is no harm in that. Say all the mean things you want, that's your right. No laws are being destroyed here maddam, laws are infact being made which as you pointed out, service men and women (like me) sacrifice for. Not just the ones they like, but all of them. I have sacrificed on many a battle field protecting peoples rights, including the rights of those who burn flags. If you were in my place, and this law were to pass, would you be willing to do the same? America is the whole package which includes the flag, and that is what I deffend. As for your personnal feelings on flags vs principles, we can agree to dissagree. (you are welcome to borrow my examples any time ma'am.)

I was not offended by you schoolyard saying ma'am. What I meant by that is that people often legitimize things that are wrong by trivializing them and it is THAT which is hurtful. Not to feelings but to the state of affairs in general.

Now what I meant by my argument on the Right to Bear Arms (which coincedentally was meant as a means of protecting our other rights) is that we should not limmit freedoms on the basis of one viewpoint. If you think owning guns is dumb fine, but again thats a different debate all together. Again, agree to dissagree. I think I'll join you in stepping off the soap box for now, I'll avoid the liberal tradition though. Your on your own with that.

Thankyou all again and I hope to hear back from you.

USMC Sempre Fi
God Bless

 
At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, you should hear the flag scream when it is burnt in protest (as apposed to when it just becomes too soiled.)

Yeah, it is probably a much more horrendous sound that it drowns out all the combined sound s of anguish of all the honorable men and women who defend are freedom, when they are, it turns out, just trying to protect the flag.

Hey they didn't need to go to Iraq, Afganistan, Panama, Granada, Vietnam, the Balkans, Somalia, Rwanda, France, Japan, Germany, Phillipines, Korea to defend the flag, they could have just stayed here.

 
At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arguing over the internet is like competing in the special olympics. even if you win, your still retarded.

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger Seventeen Syllables said...

OK, now I have to ask you Sempre Fi, if you are declining to join me in being liberal generally, or in being nice to kitties and ponies specifically?

;)

 
At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Miss Seventeen Syllables, I would have to decline joining you in being liberal generally. I got nothing personal against kitties and ponies, I dont think I've ever been MEAN to one. But I'm not exactly running out to hug'em either. ;)

Good to hear from you.

USMC Sempre Fi
God Bless

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger Ghost Dog said...

Wow.

I don't like flag-burning. You burn *my* flag, I'm disemboweling your ass. Go burn your own.

I don't like it, but I respect your freedom to do so. Heck, I was in the Army for 8 years, protecting that freedom. Just don't block traffic when you do it. Please.

Why's it so important to be free to burn it, anyway? Is that for the people who hate what it stands for but can't write? You got a message, write a sign, a song, a book. Start a blog. Run across the country with your message on a T-shirt. Drive a car painted with your message. None of those things put you at the risk of ending up in a hospital burn ward. Well, maybe the car thing, if you aren't careful.

I don't like the legislation to ban flag-burning, despite my hatred for the practice. It's precisely the kind of heavy-handed government crap we despise as freedom-loving people.

 
At 8:38 PM, Blogger Roger L. Sieloff said...

I've seen the future in this medium. This was a very, very funny piece of comedy I enjoyed without a bunch of beer commercials or ads for feminine deodorants. They key was it was unsponcered, and I now understand sponcership = censorship. Took me half a century to understand this, but who knows what I'll learn in the next 50 years! It's good to be alive.

 
At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems you all agree that things mean different things to different people, brilliant conclusion. That being the case maybe we shouldn't be allowed to destroy anything, just in case it means something to someone else. For example, the wilderness in Alaska means something to me. In fact it could be a real symbol of America for a lot of people. And yet, the current President thinks distroying it is a jolly great idea. I know I'm missing something here.
Sorry to be anonymous, but I didn't have time to sign up. This is my first post, I'm not any of the other anonymous poster.

 
At 10:52 PM, Anonymous This Flesh Colored Band-Aid Dosen't Match... said...

Sure people have died for specific colored banners, but what people often forget (or ignore) is what evil and wrong has been done in the name of certain banners. I believe the wrongs that have been done far outweigh the rights. To have a symbol of which to rally behind without question, is a sure path to nationalism, and that's never a good thing.

But a more important point in this post that I think a lot of people seem to have missed is the notion of "freekdom" . The same people that get emotional towards the very notion of dissent or sedition, are the same people that would deny the freedom the so loudly tout to others whom may have other beliefs (or no beliefs at all). Conservatives want to spread "freedom" around the world, but not the freekdom to have two people who love each other get married, just because they happen to share the same hoo-haa's. Republicans want freedom of religion, as long as jesus (yeah, it's a lower case j) say's that religion is a-ok. Freedom of speech, as long as it doesn't offend ANYONE. "Freedom" yeah sure. Pass the freedom fires please

 
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At 3:46 PM, Blogger Predator73 said...

When did "my county do or die" turn into "fuck this shit"?

 
At 1:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burning the flag is a slap in the face to those who died and fought for it (nothing you dipshits would know about)

Burning the flag has nothing to do with "freedom of speech" either. I never knew action would be considered speech.

 
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Oh so they weren't suicide missions, they just happened to be carrying explosives, causght a whiff of the flag burning down the way and poof.

 
At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Hate-Mail-Optional said...

Dearest protesters to this satire..

It honestly pains me to hear the absolute conviction as you discuss how horrific torching an american flag is, what a distruction of yadda yadda... seriously, Honest to god, is it really all that important? I understand the symbolism and understand that it is perhaps INAPPROPRIATE, but illegality seems a touch overzealous in terms of response. Yes, all those flag buring self proclaiming "anarchists" should probably lay off a bit on the old liberty particle inhalation, but when the government does something the people disagree with, and protesters light the flag, i think you'll find it isnt the same symbol they are burning - as no one else seems to have pointed out - burning a flag which is the symbol of all your freedoms and those who die for them is NOT good, BUT protesters burning a flag, though it may be physically the same are burning a very different symbol, a symbol of an inefficent government, of hypocrites, or of corrupt officials..

in essence stop getting your wires crossed kids.

Besides, who cares INTERNATIONALLY about flags burning when american armed forces have left innocent bodies burning, peoples homes aflame and acres and acres of forest torched.. I'm neither siding with nor arguing against the 'war' on terror, nor do i have any urge to hug trees, but flags and symbols whether psycholgically harming you objecters or not, do not truly matter when burnt, the things i stated above DO

fuck, you PATRIOTS who are so offended should probably stop whinging on this blog, on the internet and go out and make a difference.. because there is no doubt in the eyes of the world that America, though great (I know i lived there for 3 years and enjoyed it thoroughly) is completely hypocritical and fucked up.. SORT THAT, then worry about people who ar eburning your symbol of perfect freedoms

Cheers

 
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At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahah nice bs...thanks nigga for the info...it really FRESHENS my mind and makes me feel that America is actually PROTECTING freedom.

 
At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your retarded

 
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At 8:51 PM, Blogger Captain Cool said...

You've GOT to be kidding me. This is by far the most ignorant thing i've seen written. and i've watched fox news.. once.

Please. Kill yourself.

 
At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay. so what if there is flag buring. People should be allowed to burn the American Flag as much as their heart desires. i'll buy them all of the flags they want and after they have this huge pile of ashes that was once the flag i will buy them a oneway ticket to Iraq and the stupid flag burner can burn Iraq's flag and then see what happens. Because the US's flag is a symbol, but thats all it is, destroying a symbol is one thing, but destroying the US is another impossible thing, because the ideas that this country was founded on, made on, and runs on can never be destroyed so if a couple thousand people want to burn our flags let them, because the way i see it if several countries at once ((i.e. the entire middle east)) can't destroy us, what makes a bunch of stupid, spoiled, ignorant, sorry excuse for americans think they can destroy ideas and beliefs that are hundreds of years old?

 
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Good Job! :)

 
At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, that made me bust out in my school library! especially the picture of the terrorist burning due to his hatred for america, priceless!!! keep up the good work my friend.

 
At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

....this is great!,but i have a question.
what happens after you burned a flag,do you go to jail?
please answer asap!
Im doing an essay about this! :D

 
At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i honestly dont believe in any of that "liberty and freedom particles" junk. i dont think that burning the flag is right, but i don't blieve any part of this article. i think that this person just wasted their time on that stupid blog. i feel sorry for them.

 
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y is it really bad to burn the flag, please answer.

i have to do a persuasive paper on this. i'm doing it on y u shouldn't be allowed to burn the flag. but i do know u shouldn't burn it unless it's torn. but i need some good info, if you could

 
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Flags can be destroyed by burning or can be defaced with slogans or daubed with excrement, etc. Flags can be walked upon, spat upon, or dragged through the dirt. Flags may simply be used unconventionally: they may be hung upside down or reversed (in some countries, however, this is also conventional protocol to indicate a problem). Toilet paper, napkins, doormats, and other such items may also be manufactured bearing the image of the flag, so that the flag's image will be destroyed or soiled in the course of everyday activities. It is increasingly common to see clothing with the image of flags forming a substantial part of the piece.
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