James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association, a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media, and a professor of communication studies at Whitworth University.

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Burn a flag for the Fourth

Posted by James McPherson on July 3, 2008

The Fourth of July weekend is an appropriate time to discuss patriotism and its ultimate icon, the American Flag. Barack Obama and liberals draw considerable criticism for failing to honor the flag in ways deemed appropriate by conservatives, while some self-defined patriots apparently can’t wait to find new ways to use the flag to break the law.

As fearful as some conservatives and weak-willed legislators are about flag-burning liberals, I’d be willing to bet that more conservatives than liberals will engage in unlawful flag-related behavior this weekend–in many cases an unfortunate byproduct of combining patriotism with ignorance. And that would be true even if flag burning were made illegal, rather than just being the legally proper way to dispose of a worn flag.

Part of the problem comes because many people seem to consider the flag a religious symbol. Most don’t go as far as the Ku Klux Klan, which may offer the most extreme version of conflating patriotism and Christianity (its two “guiding principles) with its three primary symbols, “the Flag, the Constitution and the Holy Bible”–though for some modern variations of the Klan (others here and here), the Stars and Bars flag seems to be more important than the Stars and Stripes. But while most conservatives have little in common with the Klan, the various apparel versions of “these colors don’t run” T-shirts also fetishize the flag. I’m no Jehovah’s Witness, but I do appreciate the Witness’ Supreme Court-approved stance that saluting the flag (which I do, incidentally, though I don’t own a flag pin) might be deemed idolatry.

George H.W. Bush campaigned in front of a flag factory and won points by berating Michael Dukakis for vetoing a bill (which would have been unconstitutional), requiring public teachers to lead the Pledge of Allegiance (which Bush himself had never recited as a student, though Dukakis had). Bush’s actions prompted cartoonist Garry Trudeau to drape his invisible Bush characterization with a U.S. flag.

Conservative wingnuts, helped by the mainstream media, now are using flag pins and the National Anthem to try to portray Obama as non-patriotic (Time offers a short history of the relatively brief life of the flag pin). Yet many of those same conservatives regularly violate the U.S. Flag Code, adopted during the hyper-patriotism of World War II.

Here are some relevant sections of the flag code, along with examples of the law being violated–including by the current president Bush:

“The flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but it should never be used as the covering for the statue or monument.”

 

“The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.”

“The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.”

“The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.”

 

“The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.”

 George Bush desecrates a flag:

“The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.”

  

“No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations.”

 

“The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

The fact is, how best to express one’s patriotism can be complicated. For example, my three favorite versions of the National Anthem, all of which in the right circumstances can still bring tears to my eyes, all feature performers who would not even have been fully recognized as people when this nation was founded. The first, by Jimi Hedrix, is an anti-war version performed during Woodstock. The second might be viewed as a pro-war version, performed by Whitney Houston at the Super Bowl during the first Persian Gulf War. And in the third basketball coach Mo Cheeks rescued a young girl who under pressure forgot the words to the song. I’ve posted YouTube versions of all three below.

The complications of patriotism are discussed further in an excellent essay by Time‘s Peter Beinart, who points out that common liberal and conservative versions of patriotism both are flawed:

When it comes to patriotism, conservatives and liberals need each other, because love of country requires both affirmation and criticism. It’s a good thing that Americans fly the flag on July 4. In a country as diverse as ours, patriotic symbols are a powerful balm. And if people stopped flying the flag every time the government did something they didn’t like, it would become an emblem not of national unity but of political division. On the other hand, waving a flag, like holding a Bible, is supposed to be a spur to action. When it becomes an end in itself, America needs people willing to follow in the footsteps of the prophets and remind us that complacent ritual can be the enemy of true devotion.

Patriotism should be proud but not blind, critical yet loving. And liberals and conservatives should agree that if patriotism entails no sacrifice, if it is all faith and no works, then something has gone wrong. The American who volunteers to fight in Iraq and the American who protests the war both express a truer patriotism than the American who treats it as a distant spectacle with no claim on his talents or conscience.

So honor your country this Fourth of July by burning a U.S. flag, if your own flag is worn out. Then replace it with a clean new one, symbolic of America’s promise as well as its past.

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock

Whitney Houston at the Super Bowl

Mo Cheeks and Natalie Gilbert

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39 Responses to “Burn a flag for the Fourth”

  1. Hey, I thought you might have something to say about the fourth of July 🙂 it’s fun to read an abbreviated online version of the “flag presentation” from Media Criticism. Thanks for that.

    Here’s my favorite rendition of the national anthem, performed by Marvin Gaye at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgY94BGD_vg

  2. […] the fact that you “say” the Pledge of Allegiance and “sing” or perform the Anthem, if people keep spewing the same ignorance (admittedly, Fox News anchors did the same before being […]

  3. There’s nothing that makes me bubble with pure smiling patriotic glee than to see the American flag being burned. Isn’t that AWESOME? That we have the freedom and liberty and right to light one of the most sacred symbols of our country on fire?

    Just thinking about it makes me love America.

    Ironically, the fact that protesters can burn flags is often one of the greatest rebuttals to their cries of “fascism” and “police state.”

    Flame on.

  4. James McPherson said

    “Ironically, the fact that protesters can burn flags is often one of the greatest rebuttals to their cries of ‘fascism’ and ‘police state.'”

    Agreed–at least for now. 🙂

  5. […] Burn a flag for the Fourth […]

  6. BILL HICKS said

    YOUR YOUTUBE STAR SPANGLED BANNER VIDEO OF A GIRL FOGETTING THE WORD TO THE BANNER SONG IS HILLARIOUS BUT WHILE I WAS WATCHING IT THE THE SCREEN WENT BLACK AND THE MESSAGE “NO LONGER AVAILABLE” CAME UP!……….
    SO MUCH FOR BEING THE LAND OF THE FREE!!…..GO BACK TO BED AMERICA, YOU GOVERNMENT IS IN CONTROL!!………..YOU ARE FREE TO DO WHAT WE TELL YOU!!YOU ARE FREE TO DO AS WE TELL YOU!!

  7. James McPherson said

    Odd, I just checked it again on mine and it worked fine. Sorry about the glitch for you and any others. If it doesn’t work above, you can also see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4880PJnO2E or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXnT84Eu-oA.

  8. […] Burn a flag for the Fourth […]

  9. Ranger75 said

    I foud the article very interesting and does hold the truth in civilian life. However i assure you as a serviceman, that proper conduct is maintained in regards to our ‘star spangled banner’. The picture shown of soldiers wrapping the flag aroud the head of Saddam Hussein’s head is an unfortunate exception and I deeply regret that this had occured. All in all, the rules of cunduct for our flag is upheld with great honor and respect when it counts.

    Thanks again for a great article.

  10. James McPherson said

    Thanks, Ranger75. And I agree that members of the military are far better than most of us about following the Flag Code, and, frankly, about tolerating those of us who fail to act “properly patriotic.” Thank you for your service.

  11. […] been denigrated as America-haters or the “blame-America-first crowd,” in fact the National Anthem can make me weepy, I have a very large American flag on the wall of my office, and I know the U.S. […]

  12. […] readers). I will note that neither of my most popular posts overall–the Sept. 11 post and a July 3 piece about the flag been the most popular over time by quite a wide margin–links to CNN at […]

  13. […] “No War” yard sign, a poster showing the 1963 March on Washington, a large 48-star American flag, a poster of a controversial Artis Lane lithograph of the Statue of Liberty, a stuffed […]

  14. […] Burn a flag for the Fourth […]

  15. Nicholas said

    Well, just for fun: if you were the president of the University of Notre Dame, would you have instructed the security detail to arrest Alan Keyes and his fellow pro-life demonstartors who were there protesting the key note speakers pro-abortion opinion and record?

    (Mr. Keyes will be required to spend the weekend in jail).

    If you were a part of the security detail, would you have carried out the order to arrest the tresspassers?

  16. Nicholas said

    The argument assumes the moral relativist’s position claiming that one cannot take a position if there is evidence that you have ever either taken a counter position previously or in fact have been guilty of the same or similar act yourself. But of course we do this all the time in life and have incorporated the experience into our common language with phrases like “Learn from my mistakes!” and “Those that can’t play, coach” and so forth. We even use advertisements of smokers dying with lung and throat cancer to warn off young people from the dangers of smoking. To respond, “You smoked, so you have nothing to say to me on the subject” would be patently foolish. They most certainly do have something to say on the subject, and a wise young person would do well to head their advice.

    Every parent will want to raise a child that will be honorable and truthful. Would it be accepted wisdom for the child to respond “Well, have you ever told a lie, Dad?” The necessary affirmative answer would neither negate the rightness of the father’s admonition to be honest, nor should it be allowed to undermine his authority as father to instruct and enforce truthfulness in his son.

    So then, the question of flag burning cannot be answered adequetly by looking to see if the flag has been misused by both sides of the argument. The question “Is it right or wrong to burn the flag of your homeland to express your unhappiness with something” has to be answered on its own.

    Just a thought.

  17. James McPherson said

    Nicholas, there’s not much chance of me ever being president of any university, let alone a Catholic one, nor can I imagine myself working as a security who had to arrest protesters of any sort (though I once informally did volunteer as a security guard at an anti-nuclear weapons protest because I had gone through non-violent resistence training).

    Still, in my view Alan Keyes is a nut who is mostly out to bring attention to himself and to oppose Obama (he has a long history of both), and since he told anyone who would listen more than a week ago that he intended to be arrested at Notre Dame, he apparently got exactly what he hoped for. That might suggest that the security detail folks were on his side. But I can’t imagine that most people (and I am among them) care either way.

    As for burning the flag, I wouldn’t do it. But I also wouldn’t favor a law–let alone a constitutional amendment–favoring it. As long as they don’t hurt others, people should be allowed to say and do stupid things. Thanks.

  18. Nicholas said

    I am interested in how you would try to resolve the moral problem.

  19. James McPherson said

    If you mean the one involving Keyes, though I don’t know all of the details and so may be missing something, I don’t see it as an ethical issue (and perhaps that’s an answer, since you apparently disagree, so I’d be interested in what you would do, instead).

    Notre Dame has a logical (esp. as the nation’s largest Catholic school) policy of prohibiting protests by non-students who don’t have permission. Keyes knew of the policy, and announced in advance that he planned to get arrested. No one violated his rights, or did him anything to him other than what he wanted.

    Especially after our discussion elsewhere, I will be interest to see if conservative students or others try to shout down Obama. If so, perhaps you or I can point it out to our mutual friend–the one ine whose name I instinctively mentally replace an “L” and and “N” with a “D” and a “T.”

  20. Nicholas said

    That’s a good answer in my book.

    Absolutely, the decision as president is straightforward. Mr. Keyes is fully free to demonstrate against president Obama, but if he is doing so on the private property of someone else he must obtain their permission. The attempt to shame an invited guest cannot be tolerated by any considerate host.

    Keyes had been given ample warning. The president is correct in directing security to apprehend Mr. Keyes and hand him over to the police. If that means a couple of nights in jail because of Mr. Keyes’ prior actions, it is an unfortunate consequence.

    It would be much more difficult for me if I were tasked with the job of apprehending Mr. Keyes, as I agree with his position and can’t bare the thought of acting like a Bull Connor thug. Admittedly it appears inconsistent, but that is as far as I have worked through it.

    Thanks for answering.

    And as to equal opportunity offenders … anticipate being offended.

  21. Doug said

    Not to burst your bubble here, but…
    You use terms as “legal” and “unlawful” as nothing more than a single minded excuse to burn conservatives, not to burn the flag.

    I should remind you that, the Flag Code has no provision for enforcement. No fines, no penalties. There is nothing law enforcement can do when the Flag Code is violated.

    Furthermore, the Supreme Court has ruled that pretty much anything goes with the American Flag based upon the freedom of speech protections set forth in First Amendment of the US Constitution.

    Speaking of which, perhaps your pointless blog entry (save its real intention), holds the same First Amendment protection as does the Americans who choose to display the flag as a show of patriotism inspite of possible Flag Code violations. Again, the Flag Code is a guide to show proper respect for the flag. Violating the Code has no law supporting it’s “recommendations.”

  22. Doug said

    One more thing…

    As a conservative, I do enjoy proper display of the Stars and Stripes, but I do so with a couple of thoughts in mindset. I do so as I see its symbology for the US Constitution, our servicemen and all the freedoms that we as Americans enjoy from both.

    I feel a stronger need from deep within me to fly my symbol of the US Constitution as I feel it becomes threatened and some what disrespected from a perspective of modern interpretation or ignorance of the intent of the framers who put it together.

    While I realize it’s not the the various letters or the writings including the Federalists Papers showing the thoughts and midsets of the framers that count in the legal interpretation of the Constitution, but I do think such documents are important to have on hand when the government or activists decide to twist the words in favor of some pet piece of legislation.

    Point being, that I do feel the Constitution is in much more danger of misuse and disrespect than the disrespct fot the flag. Being conservative, I can only speak for myself (and a few others, maybe) and flying the flag as a symbol for holding true to the Constitution, is a form of protest…at least in my mind. In the purist definition of conservatism, change and progessiveness is contrary to the way it was and the way it was is worth conserving. To me, this included flying the flag and respecting its proper display.

    The country is changing and moving away from the freedoms and ideals that the Founders had visioned for this country. Perhaps its time for that change, but I fear change for the sake of change is, in my opinion, desperate and dangerous.

    I’ll fly my flag as I see fit and with repsect. If this is wrong to you or merely a point and source for you and other dime store bloggers to find humor, so be it. I would hope that someone with your level of intelligence would at least avoid resourcing false claims of legality where non existists and using presumptions on what those opposing your belief might do based upon that flase legality and should be avoided.

  23. James McPherson said

    Doug, as you note, violating the Flag Code has no law supporting its “recommendations”–though many conservatives wish that were not the case, and would like to see a Constitutional Amendment favoring a prohibition of flag burning.

    I also respect the Code personally enough not to wear a T-shirt with an American flag, or to put a flag sticker on my car, and will continue to fly my flag in accordance to the Code. The point, which may not have been as obvious as I thought, is not that some conservatives will “break the law”–it’s that many of those same conservatives are hypocrits who complain “issues” such as flag pins. Thanks for the comments.

  24. Doug said

    As you wrote and thus attempted to falsly claim illegality and subsequently, hypocracy…

    “…some self-defined patriots apparently can’t wait to find new ways to use the flag to break the law.”

    “…I’d be willing to bet that more conservatives than liberals will engage in unlawful flag-related behavior this weekend…”

    I guess I did miss something – and perhaps you also missed mine, this blog entry has little to do with flag pins as I see it. It has to do with reaching for a complaint against one current conservative tendency.

    Flag burning is an odd place to try and pick a fight. I don’t have an opinion on the subject, really. I get both sides. As far as a Constitutional amendment, though, I think we have enough amendments. Leave it as it is. Modern amendments are so junked up with legalese that the true meaning can be distorted.

    I’d almost rather allow the flag burning in demonstration, because then I can aptly identify the enemy…*wink*

  25. Doug said

    I take that back…this Amendment should be followed up with number 28, which would permanently suspend the 27th…I’m just saying…

    Amendment XXVII
    No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

    The dirty bastards…

  26. “This blog entry has little to do with flag pins as I see it.”

    I think that may be partly because of the time that has passed since I wrote it last July 3. The second sentence, which starts, “Barack Obama and liberals draw considerable criticism for failing to honor the flag in ways deemed appropriate by conservatives,” was referring to an issue much in the news back then. That issue later faded.

    And truthfully, I wasn’t trying to pick much of a fight, though I have an obvious liberal bias, and have gone so far as to enjoy tweaking conservatives at times. In this case I was writing about the topic that has become one of my students’ (mostly conservatives) favorite lectures, discussing symbols in my media criticism class. The students like the lecture because they generally know nothing about the Flag Code, despite their common desire to honor the flag (and a common majority desire to ban the burning of it, though I then further confuse things with the introduction of symbolism regarding Muslim cartoons, etc.).

    I generally favor discussion/debate over fighting, though admittedly have engaged in more of the latter than I probabl should. Perhaps the best example of my view on that, if you’re interested, can be found here: https://jmcpherson.wordpress.com/2008/06/09/begging-to-differ/

    And I agree with you that we don’t need any more amendments, with the possible exception of the one you noted. Thanks again.

  27. Mark Steyn and the Steynmart shoppers agree with something here, and offer a figleaf to liberals about this whole flag bruha:

    Let liberals burn the flags. Good and unsoiled ones as well as the ones displayed in kitcsh portrayals or wrapped around naked women.

    While not recommending that we pull the full monty here and use the flag to haul the garbage to the street, as did the Iranian “students” back in 1979 while manning the hostage compound during the tutelage of James Earl Carter, I’d say we need to keep track of who’s who here.

    What better way to flush out the nutroots of all types than to watch for the dripping flags?

  28. Wakefield Tolbert said

    As you know, I’m scatterbrained with a touch of adult ADD, but I meant to add on a serious note here that IMHO, the burning of a flag other than making way for new ones, has generally fallen under the notion of a kind of threat display.

    Obviously the samples you posted and cited about the various forms of desecration, whether as panties and bra on some cute chick, or being wrapped up like a night-time blankie, or the course use of it to sell fireworks and drape things are all inappropriate.

    The the USSC has already hinted (or one justice did, Renquist, if memory serves) that this whole “burn baby burn” issue falls under the “fighting words” category of the very select category of those ditties people think are “speech” but are the equivalent of giving the middle finger.

    So I maintain, as did at least one member of the highest court in the land, that we need to be careful about category distinctions when it comes to all the many ways we can diss the flag.

    Just a thought.

    Take care.

  29. James McPherson said

    “What better way to flush out the nutroots of all types than to watch for the dripping flags?”

    I’m not sure what you mean by dripping here, but I do put those who burn flags and those who drape themselves in the flag in pretty much the same category. As for “fighting words,” I think that’s a silly distinction even if it involves middle fingers. Frankly I’m more offended by seeing a woman driving while talking on her cell phone, especially with kids in her car, than I am by some dimwit who demonstrates his range of intellectual argument and/or patience by flipping me off.

    Thanks for the several comments, Tolbert, and please forgive the limited response. With a new school year underway and a father in the hospital recovering from open-heart surgery, I’m not checking in much here.

  30. Hi James,

    I understand time constraints very well. This week things were slow so I’m just making the rounds here. I noted you were visited by Nick as well.

    In any event:

    What I meant by dripping, James, is that’s what happens when you have nylon (most flags sold at stores) melting when burned.

    A silly distinction on fighting words?

    The Court was not sure sanguine about such possibilities. Obviously you don’t normally jail people for the middle finger (or even detain them in cuffs until the festivities of the street action come to and end and everyone goes home) but we know how things can get out of hand quickly when a crowd is agitated over certain actions.

    Frankly I’m more offended by seeing a woman driving while talking on her cell phone, especially with kids in her car, than I am by some dimwit who demonstrates his range of intellectual argument and/or patience by flipping me off.

    As to people on cell phones, that IS obnoxious, but is more to do with public safety and the person’s reckless disregard for his or her life than some kind of mission statement or protest.

    So it’s not quite the same.

    I was not making some absolutist claim about flag burning, but was simply pointing out that having flag thongs and flag hats and other silly (however inappropriate by the “rules of the flags” violations–and their are hundreds) uses, don’t get under people’s skin the same way as a good burn down. The object of commercial and cheesy art is the object itself, being drapped or covered or decorated in some way for patriotism, humor, emphasis, etc., as the sidebar message, much as a sports nut has a virtual shrine in his or her basement to whatever college team he likes.

    Is it good art? No more or less harmful, as William Henry III said, than the fact that good art has been displaced by pictures of our kids plastered all over the house; bad in the sense only that this is art for the quotidian masses rather than a true appreciation of art, etc.

    However, people generally associate burning–not unfairly–with a protest that’s gone far beyond mere words on posters; it is a goading of people to ball their fists up and get into a good donnybrook right then and there. The audiovisual intent of flag-burners is not a commerical statement, to be sure.

    And, the people who’re usually doing this kind of thing typically hail from an ideology that is decidedly something other than praise of apple pie, baseball, grandma, puppies in a wagon, and a pro-American demeanor.

    They are typically NOT in commercials, or just doing cheesy, cornball art, or making commercial use.

    Since you of all people understand and appeciate the interaction of media–and this includes some handy visual aids to boot–and society, you might like the following site:

    http://zombietime.com/

  31. Also–I wonder if mere flag PATTERNS eblazened on something or used for political purposes, like the W of the Bush bumper stickers, or the Big O of Obama, is really an abuse of the FLAG per se, or can just be considered a knock-off.

    These are NOT actual flags of the type the military and police and Boy Scouts handle with kid gloves and strict protocol in ceremonies and presentations.

  32. James McPherson said

    “The Court was not sure sanguine about such possibilities.”

    I’m surprised you have such respect for the Court. 🙂

    “People generally associate burning–not unfairly–with a protest that’s gone far beyond mere words on posters; it is a goading of people to ball their fists up and get into a good donnybrook right then and there.”

    Such displays do often reflect a lack of maturity–but anyone who can be goaded into fisticuffs or worse by the burning of a political symbol (or religious symbol, for that matter) is at least equally immature or misguided.

    “The audiovisual intent of flag-burners is not a commerical statement, to be sure.”

    Indeed. In fact, unlike with the flag-wearers, it’s more likely to be an anti-commercial statement. But it is a POLITICAL statement, which–unlike commercial statements–the Supreme Court has ruled do have First Amendment protection. Thanks, Wakefield.

  33. Such displays do often reflect a lack of maturity–but anyone who can be goaded into fisticuffs or worse by the burning of a political symbol (or religious symbol, for that matter) is at least equally immature or misguided.

    Indeed. In fact, unlike with the flag-wearers, it’s more likely to be an anti-commercial statement. But it is a POLITICAL statement, which–unlike commercial statements–the Supreme Court has ruled do have First Amendment protection.

    Truer words not spoken, James, and I’m glad you’ve defended such with such logic.

    I’ll have to ponder this some more.

    For the moment:

    On the other hand, that Court, overall, of which we all need to have respect and for which depending on one’s ideology makes law rather than interprets it–regardless of how one feels about such prospects for legal precedent–also reminded us that there IS a category of “protest” that might be considered “FACIALLY INVALID.”

    Which means that the message is not all that clear.

    IE–Just exactly WHAT is being said here when you have a flag go up in flames??

    Is flag burning akin to a Chinese pictogram?

    Is there a real translation embedded here, as with a stop sign merely missing the English letters due to spray paint or vanadalism, etc?

    Are we protesting a particular policy?

    Or the very existence of a nation itself?

    Or is this just pure mockery for impishness sake?

    A run-down of some common protest methodology over at http://www.zombietime.com would seem to indicate that for some of us, it seems the latter two are what’s on the agenda for most protesters who engage in this kind of behavior.

    As to respect for the Court, while I know that the phrase “Original Intent” is subject to wide mockery by Steve Kangas, Cass Sunstein, and more than a few legal scholars who declare the Founders to be funny-britches racists and slaveowners who abused barefoot women and had such “diverse” opinions and compromises that “no one” can ascertain just what they meant when writing, on the OTHER hand, we have to have encoding set SOMEWHERE. The common critique from the Left has been that the Constitution is just too “hide-bound” and “history-bound” and “time-bound” to make any headway for social justice, etc.

    The reality to me is that it is LAW-BOUND, and if we DO care to change things (and liberals and all other flavors of collectivists and progressives should dig this point as well..) we have a legal mechanism that is difficult and cumbersome to address this. But it is cumbersome for a reason. Change SHOULD be difficult, and law should not be by ideological fiat pertainting to whomever’s notion gets to sit on the bench.

    It’s called Amendment. And it’s been done, however difficult, more than a few times.

    🙂

    Thanks mucho gracias.

    Hope all works out with your family, etc.

    Been there, done that. Got the T-shirt.

    –W

  34. […] was surprised by Palin’s treatment of the American flag, which she seems to be leaning on. That’s no better than her usual method of wrapping herself […]

  35. […] the rest of us–and now, despite their all-too-common ignorance about such things as the U.S. Flag Code, even more patriotic than their […]

  36. […] a great Fourth of July. Be patriotic by not wearing an American flag, though you may want to burn one. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Make Up and Make Nicerush limbaugh’s fun: […]

  37. […] than my name)  is the word “flag,” which apparently takes people to my most popular post. And third, with 667 visits, is the combination phrase, “Sarah Palin bikini.” Fourth is […]

  38. […] “Yellow Ribbon” is even more appropriate coming on the day before Independence Day. Like Utah Phillips, Joanna and I both hate war. Hence the song below (lyrics […]

  39. […] who also performed one of my three favorite versions of the National Anthem, knocks it out the park with this song. Lyrics here, with video […]

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