Thursday, July 13, 2006

Dont like the flag-burning amendment? Dont go to Iowa

The Progressive

So kid has band practice, and Im guessing based on the bands name Coruption of Blood that its a metal band, cops get called. Cops tell kid he's in violation of noise ordinance, and to turn off the music. They end the practice. Next day kid puts an upside-down flag in his lawn with the band name written across the flag and some how got a big cardboard cut-out of a cop to put next to it. So the cops came back and warned then arreste the kid for violation of Iowa's anti-flag-desicration law. Kid faces up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. The ACLU of course has gotten on to help the kid out. The law in question in a very long winged way states that if you mark the flag in any manner its illegal, if you use the flag or any other state or national seal for any advertisment or to call attention to a product. If you use the flag or other seal for anything but flag wavin' its illegal. so aparently the national news isnt allowed in Iowa. I guess the stores cant use flags in their ads for the 4th of July.

Besides the blatent hypocracy of arresting a protester for dirgracing the flag but not going after the thousands of businesses which mercilessly throw flags in your face there is also another question I have for the police. Is the kid in trouble for using an upside-down flag for a protest which I guess could be an advertisement of sorts, or is he in trouble for writing the band name on the flag? Personally if its the latter I have less issue with it because while I agree that burning a flag is an extremely powerful non-violent action and that using an upside-down flag is a good non-violent way to get across your anger with the country and should therefore be protected. But on the other hand I'm not so against the idea of not being able to write on the flag. And honestly I love the idea that you cant use the flag in an ad, I think that the constant barage of flag that we see lessens the power of the greatest symbol of our country. If flags were only seen on flag pole standing proud then they are to be revered. When we see them on bumper stickers, tatered flags on the antenaes of cars, when there is always at least one cg flag waving on the tv if your watching the news (ok maybe only fox is still doing this) it is a whoring of the flag. I agree with this part of the law and I'm not sure that it shouldnt be taken nationally. That would be an appropriate flag-dececration amendment.

So while there are those who are too caught up in the notion that the government is always right and that any questioning of the government should be illegal, these people will not understand why I think it is acceptable and very pro-american to burn a flag or hang one upside-down out of protest. I will say that if you are going to do either of these acts please have a very well thought out answer to why you are doing it. This shouldnt be hard bush has given you a plethora of reasons. But the conservative who thinks Im anti-american for thinking its ok to burn a flag, and thinks its wrong to question government. Well get the Fuck out of this country, go back to england. Because it was the people who questioned the government and said that we have inalienable rights to freedom who started this country. It was those who wanted to protect the status quo who fought against what would become this country. You are the loyalists you will protect the status quo because change scares you, if an upside-down flag makes you feel quesey then guess what, it should. Thats the point that flag is the symbol of a people who had enough of being the bitch of imperialism and said that we as humans have rights and we are not going to be governed without representaion. So when our rights as humans is infringed upon (although im not sure that shutting down a band practice really applys) then what better way to show your disatisfaction than to raise a flag upside-down. It makes you feel a little ill because it sybolises that our values have been flipped, and that is the point. If you think that questioning our leaders is unpatriotic then you have no idea what a patriot is. The original american patriots we rebels, you think they burned a british flag or two? they fought and died while the loyalist sat back to see wait for the victor to emerge and then they would return to kissing that groups collective ass. Loyalists are and were a disgrace to this country. If you take insult to this then good, your catching on that loyalist is an insult. It is also an insult to this countries founders that some people think protecting the status quo is patriotic. At this point with a government which constantly breaks the law the most patriotic thing someone could do would be to burn a flag in front of george bush, I think it would also be quite fitting to pour blood into a gas can and spill that at his feet. But thats just me, and I dont nessasarily recomend that because there was a couragous group called the St. Patricks Four that were arrested and spent a bit of time in jail for pouring blood in a recruiting office the day before the start of the Iraq war.

Dissent is Patriotic.

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