Dammit. I’m such a slacker. I’ve been ready and willing to write something about this issue for a few weeks now but I just couldn’t seem to get started on it. Now my friend Howard at Smedly Log beat me to it perfectly. He doesn’t really get into a personal viewpoint, but he has a great quote up there by Scott Adams (the Dilbert guy) that when you read the full text sums up what I feel almost perfectly.
First off, let me say that it should be obvious that the GOP is setting up an issue for the next presidential election and possibly the mid-terms as well. They failed on the gay marriage amendment and now they are on their second candidate. It is so sad that our government is wasting time on this issue. Even though the american people feel that this issue is at the bottom of their list of important things to deal with (see question 12 on page 5 of this FOX news poll) the GOP knows that if it makes it to a ballot somewhere it can swing an election.
Lets just stop and consider this amendment for a second. How would it be written? If it will be illegal to burn a flag, how will ‘flag’ be defined? Would it be just a cloth flag of certain dimensions? Or would it be any representations? Say a paper one, or a photo of one? How about the flag jacket that out Philadelphia mayor Street wore after 9/11? Does that count? I don’t want to get too technical here but what I’m trying to say is that a flag in the traditional sense is not unlike other symbols of America (like bunting and those goofy pins everyone wears).
Lastly, like it said in the Smeadly post, if the flag is a direct representation of our country and our country is the land of the free then would the burning of this symbol be an expression of that very freedom and by it’s nature be one of the most purely patriotic events that could occur? I think that it clearly is. So on this fourth of July where it is illegal in most states to light of fireworks (god knows why), I say that we burn american flags as a sign of our independence…
PS. as a public service, here is an amazing site dedicated to the issue.