December 13, 2005

Flag Burning Amendment: The Vitriolic Perpsective

Posted by Amanda Toering
Wednesday July 06th 2005, 11:08 am
Filed under: Flag Burning


The Seacoast Online’s Chris Elliot delivers a truculent tirade on the perenially proposed flag burning amendment.

The visceral disgust that the sight of a flag being burned in protest provokes is being leveraged by a Republican administration that seeks to gin up patriotic fervor, at least partially to distract attention from the daily rising body count in Iraq. Any smoke screen that diverts attention away from Dubya’s Vietnam is welcomed by the White House, and this here-we-go-again stinker of a proposed Constitutional amendment is no exception. Every time this proposal is floated, the bullet-headed thugs in the House of Representatives pass it, and then the more sensible Senate shuts it down.

This time, however, it seems that the right-wing propaganda machine might actually have enough zombie Senate Republicans and pantywaist Senate Democrats sufficiently bamboozled to tack this antonym to the first amendment onto the other extreme end of the document. Should it come to pass it will be one of the biggest judicial messes this nation has have ever foist upon itself.

The proposed amendment should be rejected on practicality alone. Passage will foster frivolous prosecutions of persons such as myself, who in protest of the flag-burning amendment will blithely shred its credibility by burning a flag with 49 white stars and one green one.

Next it will be a flag that bears an uncanny resemblance to an American flag, but that has 14 stripes, or perhaps one with aligned rather than staggered stars, or seven whites stripes and six red ones rather than the other way around, or even a flag of the future with 51 stars — portentous of the eventual annexation of Puerto Rico.

The language of such an amendment would be impossible to construct without leaving holes big enough drive a truck through. If it were worded to prohibit flag burning, it would implicitly permit and thereby invite urination on the flag, blowing one’s nose in the flag, flag design toilet paper, and various other forms of flag desecration. Were the amendment’s language to include the broader term of general desecration, an ambitious Texas district attorney might go after Willie Nelson for wearing a red, white and blue headband.

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