the flag “controversy”

07 Sep

The latest big, stupid kerfuffle is this flag thing.

Here’s a picture of several flags wrapped in garbage bags, backstage at Invesco Field.  According to the McCain campaign, those naughty, unpatriotic Democrats were going to throw Ol’ Glory away after waving them for their elitist terrorist boyfriend nominee, showing an utter disrespect for the Most Holy and Glorious Flag of George Washington, Ronald Reagan, and Jesus (I’m paraphrasing here).

The McCain campaign proceeded to get ahold of these flags, hand them to supporters at a rally in Colorado Springs, and say “those Democrats threw out our flag! Oh HO!”

Which is just silly, and I’ll tell you why after the cut.

First of all, look at how these flags are laid out – they’re not just tossed into bags, they’re neatly rolled up and stacked together.   This would lead me to believe that these were flags that were either not sold, or were intended for later use.  The garbage bags could even be rain-protection.  If someone was just going to toss these babies out, they wouldn’t have been so OCD about making sure they were stored nicely.

Secondly (and I’m probably opening up a can of worms here), this is what one poster on the Denver Post’s website said: “People fight to protect the symbol of freedom, not the little piece of cloth made in Taiwan.”  I could not possibly agree more.

Even when I was a Cub Scout, learning how to properly fold a flag and dispose of a flag and respect the flag, etc., I was a little bit weirded out by the whole ordeal.  Never let it touch the ground.  You can’t burn the flag, except when it’s tattered, and then only respectfully.  It must be folded exactly right.  It must be raised, and saluted, in a proper manner.  It must be lowered in a proper manner.  It must be stored properly.  You can’t wear the flag.  You can’t do anything inappropriate with the flag at all, and your leaders have decided what is appropriate and inappropriate.

Why do we have all these strange rules dictating what we can and cannot do with Old Glory?  Because the flag represents freedom, son!

Yeah, I never understood that part either.  One could argue that the thing that separates the United States of America from other countries is that we have freedom of expression, and we believe in Democracy.  Other countries may have dictators, and laws about what you’re allowed to say and do in deference to the government or the state, and limitations on personal freedom, but we don’t have that, because we believe in a government by the people, of the people, and for the people, where we have a voice and we are allowed to say what we like.  We have no national religion because that would interfere with “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  So, to me, the minute we start imposing laws on what we can and cannot do to the symbols of our nation, those symbols cease to mean anything.  What is freedom of expression, really, if you’re villified and called unpatriotic for disrespecting a piece of cloth that was probably made in Taiwan anyway?

Or, to put it more succinctly:  the whole point of World Wars 1 & II, Korea, Vietnam, and (to some degree) even the current war in Iraq was that we were anti-totalitarian and the enemy was pro-totalitarian.  Brave soldiers fought and died for the ideals our flag represents, and one of those ideals was freedom to speak out against your country.  The Nazis and the Commies didn’t let their people do that – just try getting away with burning a Nazi flag, or with disrespecting the hammer and the sickle.  I thought we were different.

Here’s another picture they’re throwing around.

There are actually a few of these pictures, of the American flag being tossed out in garbage bags.  I’m guessing a few people carelessly dropped their flags after the rally, and the cleaning crew picked them up.  In Republican-World, this obviously means that all Democrats hate their country.  The same logic explains why, every time some random high school decides not to sing “Silent Night” at their winter concert, there’s a WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!!

I’m not saying the left doesn’t do this too – hate crimes legislation comes to mind as something we lefties can get weird about, like if you kill someone because they’re gay, does it mean you get two life sentences instead of one? – but the Right loves to do this.  Because, for some reason, a party that let a major American city drown, put us deep into debt, allowed most of our jobs to go overseas, and has used a national tragedy to meet its own ends, no matter how many kids have to die, … that party loves America.  And the party that actually wants to do something to help Americans hates America.  Well, obviously.  Just look how they treat the flag.

Here’s some more comments from the Denver Post article, on the other side of things:

“If the flags had been French , the democrats would have taken them home like they were a national treasure and displayed them proudly.”

Speaking as an Obama supporter, had I been at the rally, I would have taken anything I picked up at Invesco Field home and displayed it proudly – stickers, tickets, and flags, French or otherwise.  Speaking as a rational human being, however: what is it with you people and France?

“Typical of Democrats to trash the flag. I am quite surprised they did not have a flag burning ceremony after the DNC convention. As an American, I am very dissappointed in the Democrat’s call to “save the planet”, yet attempt to fill our landfills with what they call trash, in this case, The American Flag.

And they wonder why MANY people question their patriotism?”

Wow.  You really believe that a major American political party, who wants to get their nominee elected President of the United States, would hold a flag-burning ceremony?  And I’d like you to point to one, single Democrat who ever called the flag trash.  MANY people question their patriotism because MANY people believe everything they hear from Michael Savage.

There is a proper way to dispose of flags, any and all flags. While not a big deal, it is just more evidence of the ignorance of the DNC. The always seem to do the little things wrong…if they had had a afew more veterans or soldiers at their convention they may have handled the used flags a little differently. This will just be more fodder for veterans groups and current soldiers to use as proof to themselves that the Democrat Party doesn’t care for them. That might sound extreme…but it is what will happen.

Well, because your tone is slighly more reasonable, let me be sligtly more reasonable in my response: there were quite a few veterans and soldiers at the DNC (you didn’t see them because it was before the networks picked up the feed, but the guy who gave Obama’s nominating speech was an Iraq war medic, and Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a disabled Iraq vet, also spoke.  There were a few others, too.)  It’s a little bit funny how people think the GOP – the party who wants soldiers to buy their own body armor, who cuts Veteran’s benefits like PTSD therapy and the amount of money widows get, and who pay Blackwater thousands more than they do your average Army soldier – actually cares about our troops.   Then again, the GOP’s really good at staging photo ops with big rubber turkeys on Thanksgiving.

“What a ridiculous article. People fight to protect the symbol of freedom, not the little piece of cloth made in Taiwan.”

— THIS is why you don’t get it…

Well, you sure told him.


Posted by on September 7, 2008 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “the flag “controversy”

  1. Julia

    September 8, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Michael Savage on the flag kerfluffle: “not a big deal”.

    There, now I’m qualified to be a political commentator.

  2. geekusa

    September 8, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Well, I for one sure aren’t qualified….

  3. Geoff Kuhn

    January 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    As someone who is neutral on most of the flag topics, I just wanted to say that I appreciate the story you wrote. I wrote my own article based mostly on opinion about the flag and I know that most people who write about Ol Glory do so out of patriotism or disgust for government. I see a bit of each in your article.


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