RE: Flag Burning
STARS & STRIPES VS. THE SWASTIKA
There are two reasons to make desecration of our flag a crime. One
reason is emotion. Good emotion it is, reflecting devotion to the
ideas and ideals underlying our country's political and social
structure. Emotions incline us to punish anyone who doesn't share that
Base emotions move us to strike out at desecrations of things we
revere. I often want to punish those who pollute the air with
ear-shattering rock "music." I'd like to outlaw their raucous-racket.
But then, if their ilk should take to voting, they might retaliate, and
legislate my ilk into jail for playing Begin The Beguine with the car
The second reason to criminalize flag-burning is to protect The Republic
For Which It Stands -- to protect it from those who would strike a match
to show contempt for it. Contempt! Good Lord, do the anti-burners ever
think about how contemptuous their position is of the heart, soul, and
sinew that is the USA?
They are cut of the same cloth as those theists who have so little faith
in the endurance and vitality of their religion that they burn, banish
or bludgeon heretics.
The flag of the United States does not need protection from heretics.
The swastika did. I don't know whether there were written laws against
burning Hitler's banner. Probably not. It didn't symbolize a nation of
laws. But my sense of the political reality is that when the swastika
flew over Berlin, only a candidate for martyrdom, or an idiot would have
burned it in front of the Reichstag. The swastika needed protection
because it flew over a rotten, reprehensible institution.
The flag of the United States does not need protection from one who
would show contempt for it by burning it or sewing it to the seat of his
pants. When it does, the Republic For Which It Stands will have become
fully deserving of that contempt. The Republic will be lost, and no
inquisition will restore it.
The flag can hold its own, my friends. To hold that it can't is the
Billís E-mail address = Mailbox@BillSwart.com