[FoRK] flag burning...

Corinna corinna.schultz
Mon Oct 31 08:55:38 PST 2005

I think this is a wonderful way to protest - seize back the meaning, instead 
of allowing other to define the meaning for you...

I'm not a flag burner (nor a flag pledger*), but I think people should be 
free to, but at the same time, protesters should keep in mind what they're 
trying to communicate.

* I made it a point in my classes to discuss the constitutionality of the 
Texas law requiring students to pledge. But either way, it wasn't a big 
deal. I made everyone stand up, though, to show respect.

How then should we preserve the flag? First and most important is to protect 
its essence. It does no good to protect the fabric from flame if the symbol 
has been attached to something unrighteous and become soiled thereby. When 
our flag is soiled, it is supposed to be burned. Therefore, our first effort 
must be to separate it from unwholesome associations.

Therefore, I have thought it better, in a time of protest, to take flags 
from the government rather than to burn my own. If I view the government or 
one of its agencies as unworthy of displaying our flag, then I am inclined 
to take its flags rather than burning mine.

I can see future flag protests happening this way: Patriotic citizens, under 
the watchful eyes of a free press, march up to a flag pole outside of an 
offending government agency. They gracefully and respectfully lower the 
American flag there, fold it carefully, and put it into an appropriate 

Then they staple a receipt to the flag pole, posting their grievances and 
the conditions for the flag's return. The flag should then be placed in the 
care of a citizen sworn to return it if and when the government cleans up 
its act. Our flag should not be burned because an arm of the government 
betrays us.

Then, if you want to add an exclamation point to your protest, raise a flag 
over the offending agency that you think more appropriate for its behavior. 
You could have a lot of fun with this one...

Thus publicly defrocked (and perhaps relabeled), the agency will no longer 
be able to desecrate our flag with government's dirty business. Thus 
protected, the flag's reputation will decrease its chances of people burning 
it. Moreover, when people view our flag as something to be seized during a 
protest, then they'll be even less likely to burn it.

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