Today marks the day that the United States Senate once again tries to take our attention away from what is truly important in this country, to argue for a hollow, destructive, and truly un-American amendment - the "flag desecration" amendment.
As regular readers of my blog know, I've already been on my soapbox over this smokescreen.
If this Amendment passes, I will never fly an American flag again. This may sound extreme, but let me explain. I view the flag as a symbol... a symbol of our freedoms as American citizens. By amending our Constitution in this way, the symbol becomes hollow, and as such, loses its intrinsic values that are allegedly being protected.
I find far more heinous "desecrations" of the American flag every day in my community - the magnetic flag slapped on the back of a minivan, caked in mud - a supposed sign of uber-patriotism. The miniature flags parked along the curb by a realtor on Flag Day to draw attention to an Open House - long since forgotten and left in the rain soaked gutter. The American flag "Made in China," hanging as decorative trim in a store window's Fourth of July Sales Extravaganza.
Need more examples of flag desecration currently unrecognized as such? Take a look at some of the pictures I posted earlier.
The President of the United States, writing directly on the flag, in clear violation of the current United States Code - the individual who is allegedly the Standard Bearer is a Flag Desecrator:
According to the Citizens Flag Alliance, an organization that SUPPORTS the amendment, there were only twelve instances of flag desecration in this country in all of 2005. In 2004, there were three. In each of these cases, laws were already in place to punish the perpetrators.
More often than not, those who choose to desecrate a flag intentionally do so to someone else's flag - not their own. In other words, they choose to destroy the property of someone else. As such, there are laws which ALREADY exist to punish these people. The amendment is simply unnecessary.
Is flag burning ugly? Absolutely. But in America, we protect the rights of people to do ugly things. I cannot believe some of the ugly, despicable, and utterly hateful things that come out of the mouth of Ann Coulter. But she is protected not only to speak those words, but to publish and distribute those words in a variety of means. My stomach turns at the thought of the mere existence of the KKK in this country, but we protect the right of this hate group to assemble, to this day.
These are the costs of living in a country where freedom is TRULY a valuable commodity. And an occasional flag burning may be a part of that cost, as well. Despicable? Certainly. But meritorious of amending the Constitution? Never.
I've linked to this Washington Post story above, but this specific paragraph bears highlighting:
Fortunately, the Senate will have plenty of time to discuss that matter. The chamber has scheduled up to four days of debate on the flag-burning amendment this week. If that formula -- one day of Senate debate for each incident of flag burning this year -- were to be applied to other matters, the Senate would need to schedule 12 days of debate to contemplate the number of years before Medicare goes broke, 335 days of debate for each service member killed in Iraq this year and 11 million days of debate on the estimated number of illegal immigrants in the country.The United States Senate is guilty of perpetrating a fraud against the American people in even pursuing this amendment to our United States Constitution, and should be ashamed for trying to protect our rights by limiting them. By placing such importance on the mere symbol, they disregard the importance of what they symbol represents.