Personally, I think that grotesquely overweight people wearing American flag-T-shorts is a form of flag desecration, not to mention car lots using gargantuan flags, waving - or not waving, depending upon the wind - to sell cars is flag desecration, but I’m not sure that Arkansas Congressman Steve Womack would be inclined to agree with me.
Actually, I’m not really sure what he does personally consider to be desecration, since he doesn’t actually go into detail in the latest issue of his farcically named “From the Front” emails which goes out to constituents.
He did have this to say, however:
“This week, I introduced H. J. Res. 9, a joint resolution which restores Congress’s constitutional authority to ban the desecration of the United States flag. Until invalidated by the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Texas v. Johnson, 48 states had laws banning flag desecration. H. J. Res. 9 reinstates Congress’s authority to protect our flag by giving states the ability to take a stand on this important issue, which states have overwhelmingly supported throughout our nation’s history.”
This is, of course, so vague almost to the point of being made out of thin air, but The Scowling One knows his audience well, those who post furious comments on Facebook and Twitter about “flag” desecration, without being too sure themselves of just what they mean. In their angry minds, hordes of liberals can’t get through the day without desecrating the American flag in some fashion.
Here are just a few examples of what are considered to be “flag desecration.”
Writing slogans across the flag
stepping or spitting on it
Hurling insults at it
Hanging it upside down
making napkins or doormats out of it
Last year cries of “Desecration!” were hurled when an LGBT group in Tennessee used a flag with rainbow stripes instead of the usual red-and-white colors.
Boy, if you look at it that way, there’s a whole bunch of flag desecration going on, especially when you consider that in 1907, in Halter v Nebraska, the U.S. Supreme Court - TSO must surely have heard of them - held that folks could not use the flag for advertising purposes.
And again one says, Oops.
Actual flag burners don’t get much press, and I sort doubt of that there is a whole of burnin’ goin’ on, anyway. But if you spend overmuch time on Facebook or Twitter, you may well think there is a grand conflagration going on at the local Farmer’s Market on Saturday afternoons.
There are lots of fat guys wearing American flag T-shirts at the mall, and they are hurting my eyes a whole bunch. I wish that TSO would do something about that. But hell, they probably voted for him.
Shall we send the County Sheriff . . . who is probably conservative to start with . . . to the local SUV Mart and arrest Bobby Joe Big Butt because he is using the American flag to sell cars?
Shall we send a SWAT team into the local Dollar Store because they are selling US flag napkins?
Should we send LGBT groups to Gitmo every time they do something naughty with the flag?
I could say a lot more on this subject, but at this point I will yield to the honorable John Glenn, who had this to say about the flag desecration amendment which came before the Senate 1999, a man whose shoes Steve Womack could never begin to hope to fill, especially not by pandering to the hysterical among us.
“The flag is the nation's most powerful and emotional symbol. It is our most sacred symbol. And it is our most revered symbol. But it is a symbol. It symbolizes the freedoms that we have in this country, but it is not the freedoms themselves. That is why this debate is not between those who love the flag on the one hand and those who do not on the other. No matter how often some try to indicate otherwise, everyone on both sides of this debate loves and respects the flag. The question is, how best to honor it and at the same time not take a chance of defiling what it represents.
“Those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, who died following that banner, did not give up their lives for a red, white and blue piece of cloth. They died because they went into harm's way, representing this country and because of their allegiance to the values, the rights and principles represented by that flag and to the Republic for which it stands.
“Without a doubt, the most important of those values, rights and principles is individual liberty: The liberty to worship, to think, to express ourselves freely, openly and completely, no matter how out of step those views may be with the opinions of the majority. In that first amendment to the Constitution we talk about freedom of speech, of religion, or the press and right to assemble. “
For the entire speech, go to:
Quote of the Day
How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment when we realize we have discovered a friend. - William Rotsler