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June 26, 2005


It would seem Kelo has driven the Flag Burning Amendment from the right side of the blogoverse I inhabit. I admit, I don't generally vist the Leftish Spiral Arm, so I have no idea what they are blathering about. It's a failing, I know.

It didn't take long for the sharks to scent blood. The gun-bloggers are pretty much a depressed, angry group over Kelo. Here is a sample:

Nashville Files
Say Uncle.
Clayton Cramer.
The Smallest Minority
No Quarters.

You get the drift.

There are some alternative views.

The Commissar sends us to Dean Esmay for a roundup of same. Sorry Stephen, after my little run-in with the city over their slicing 13 feet off of my front lawn and then threatening to charge me for installing the unwanted sidewalk (add 2 more feet) if I didn't just accept the fait accompli (funny how the sidewalk was going to cost exactly $1000 more than they *might* have paid me for the land - oh, and btw, even though I'm not allowed to do anything in the little green strip between the sidewalk and street *I* am still responsible for keeping it up and mowing it...) and that was all over a true public need (*I* after all, was dumb enough to buy a house on what they subsequently designated a major feeder road, sigh. It's a real pain in the butt to get into the traffic stream now). I'll put my pitchfork back in storage, and the torch back in the flammables box - but the Castle will maintain a stockage of M1369 Pitchforks and M1040 Torches should the peasantry decide it *is* time to storm the Bastille... (the key is under that rock, over there, in case I'm gone).

Anyway, what was I going to blither about? Oh, yeah, the Flag Burning Amendment.

This is the second post on the subject for today. The first one was eaten by the new IE bug that has shown up, where it won't save a post, it would rather have a page fault of some kind and close the window, instead. MS-Denizens, any thoughts?

Anyway, you benefit from brevity now. Really. For me, this *is* brevity.

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The Armorer is *not* for the Flag Burning Amendment. The flag, like it or not, *is* a symbol of the American polity. That shoves it over into the 'speech' arena for me.

The best counter for flag-burners is quiet contempt, or amused, raucous laughter. I prefer the second. Counter speech with speech. Criminalizing the act only enhances the burner's street cred with his or her peers. They'll wear it like a badge of honor. How many Civil Rights protestors, Anti-Globalization protestors etc, *don't* wear their arrests and subsequent convictions as proof of their commitment to the cause? Why give these bozo's a badge of honor to wear? Just exercise your speech right back at them. A little trick I've used before in a dissolute youth was small, magnetic American flags attached to the offender's vehicles in not-likely-to-be-noticed locations. Besides, I just don't like incremental erosion of the Bill of Rights for emotional reasons. Bad enough we keep doing it to the Second Amendment, let's not turn our attention to the First.

As long as they are burning flags they bought or made, I don't care. Burn mine, well, that's a property crime. Trespassing, theft, destruction of private property. Sic the Police on them then. Burning their own, at best it's 'burning without a permit' or 'creating a public nuisance'. At least if ya slap 'em with property crimes, they'll have to do some 'splainin' when those job interviews come around. "Flag Burner" isn't likely to cause those people problems in the places those kinds of people like to find jobs. Just sayin'

Since veterans seem to be accorded a 'more special' voice on this issue, I'll lend mine. I've worn the flag as an aiming reference point for people who hate what it stands for, like this young soldier of Raven 42 did (and does). I've marched behind it. If I'm out and about on post at 5PM, I stand and salute as it's lowered for the day. I've draped it over the caskets of family, friends, and comrades-in-arms. I'll drape it over my father's casket when the time comes, and someone will drape it over mine. In a shadow box rests the flag I was presented the day I retired, that had flown over 5th Army Headquarters at the Quadrangle the day before. I know about the symbol and what it means. My family has shed blood (mine only in training) and caused blood to be shed while serving under that flag.

And if we are going to go after the Burners - can we also go after the people who use the flag as clothing? Even for 'patriotic' reasons? That bugs me as much as burning it does. And don't get me started on car dealers.

So, I say no. No Amendment. And have sent the same sentiment to my Senators, Roberts and Brownback.

Because nothing the burners can do:

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Will undo what people like this have done, and will continue to do.

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So, while many bloggers such as Denizens Kat, AFSis, and Jack agree with me, I will have to stand up and disagree with ALa of Blonde Sagacity - though I love her closing line:

“If you must burn the flag, please wrap yourself in it first.”

Like this bozo:

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And don't forget to go through the comments on the linked posts.

As ever, your mileage may vary... discuss.

John | Permalink | Comments (21) | Politics
» She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: Medium Rant
» The Bow Ramp links with: Just So You'll Know Where I Stand
» The Gun Line links with: The Rights of the People...
» Dean's World links with: Flag Burning
» Mudville Gazette links with: Dawn Patrol
Comments on Mornin'!
Neffi briefed on June 26, 2005 12:43 PM

Well said on the flag issue, John. It disturbs me in a deep and visceral spot that some feel burning Old Glory is necessary to promote their views...
Flag burners make me realize that when my fists ball up, the little scars on my knuckles stand out... and itch...
But regardless of how I feel about it, the act is recognized as 'political speech' and thus protected by the First Amendment and I accept that.
The Constitution is a document of rights and guarantees for the people; any prohibitions in it should apply to government, not citizens... amending it to ban flag burning would belittle the whole concept of By The People, For The People.

Boquisucio briefed on June 26, 2005 12:43 PM


Proper Military Denomination is:
Fork, Manure, Hand
NSN: 3750-00-255-7733
P/N: GGG-F-601

And with the following Technical Characteristics:

WIDTH               08.500" MIN & 9.625" MAX


Neffi briefed on June 26, 2005 12:54 PM

...and vice ALa's closing comment, allow me to 'third the motion', eh?

Gwedd briefed on June 26, 2005 01:13 PM


I'm a life member of the DAV. That and 3 dollars will get me a cup o'joe at the local Starbucks. I stand against a flag-burning amendment. For generations, members of my family have sworn to protect the Constitution, and that means all of it. If we deny any right to anyone, thern we forfeit our own right to it's protections.
Having said that, does anyone here truly believe that, though I am willing to stand for their rights to burn the flag, that they would rise to protect my right to defend it? The one truth that I can say regarding these flag-burners is that they will always defend a person's 1st Ammendment rights, as long as they agree with what's being said.....


Boquisucio briefed on June 26, 2005 01:34 PM

On a more decorous tone...

I thought that The Flag Protection Act of 1989, already dealt with this issue. If we were serious about the matter, our the Justice Department would be furiously enforcing the proscriptions according to this law. Thus, any attempt to enshrine its dispositions into Our Constitution is redundant at best, and panderous of political grandstanding at worse.

John of Argghhh! briefed on June 26, 2005 02:00 PM

Boquisucio... tut tut tut! There are manure forks and there are "pitch" forks - for pitching hay, or annoying Landed Gentry...

Granted, in many cases the difference is minimal.

John of Argghhh! briefed on June 26, 2005 02:08 PM

I think the amendment, Boq, is intended to pre-empt a challenge to the Supreme Court on the issue, should someone ever attempt to enforce the Act.

But, since I haven't been paying attention to the debate, because I'm flat agin' it in the first place, I dunno if that's true or not.

Walter E. Wallis briefed on June 26, 2005 02:22 PM

The logical approach, suggested above, is that an act that is otherwise legal may not be made illegal just because of political content, nor can an otherwise illegal act be made legal because of political content.
If you burn a flag where open burning is prohibited, go to jail.
Alternatively, define kicking the ass of a flag burner as a protected political expression.

Boquisucio briefed on June 26, 2005 02:33 PM

Heh - I don't make the designations, I only observe them. If, one doesn't like the sound of Fork, Manure, Hand - I believe that there is a proper procedure to appeal to the DLA for a redenomination on the item.

Which brings me happily to the mound of leavings that need to be pitched at, or out of Congress now-a-days. Of course, attempting to enshrine Flag Protection into our Constitution would preempt any appeals to the Supreme Court. It just doesn't affect qualitatively the exudates produced by our judicious representatives.

Looks that we are in need of many Fork, Manure, Hand **er, Pitch Forks**

Neffi briefed on June 26, 2005 03:24 PM

Walter said- "Alternatively, define kicking the ass of a flag burner as a protected political expression."
ME! ME! Oh pick me for the test case... I'll leave the brass knucks at home but promise to deliver the mother of all ass kickings.
It would be a 'counter-protest'... think the ACLU might back me up? heh
The offer stands...

Boquisucio briefed on June 26, 2005 03:27 PM

Argghhh!!! It's Kerb Stompin' Time for Neff.

Neffi briefed on June 26, 2005 03:31 PM

Boq, my personal pitchfork is stamped SRINGFIELD ARMS M1A... but it awaits a worthy adversary, not the pimpled trash that burn flags. Mind you, it does have a bayonet...

Sinequanon briefed on June 26, 2005 04:08 PM

This is my first post here as I connected to you from Random Fate. Jack and I agree wholeheartedly about this amendment. Whats the point anyway. A symbol is just that, a symbol...what is important is within the individual. Burning the flag, I don't like it, it's like book burning (more hideous to me than any other action to destroy the words and ideas of the past or present), or even Bible or Qur'an stomping, it can be hurtful, yet I also respect someone's right to do just that---even if the protesting 'symbolic' action can be expressed in other ways. And, even if I find that a poor substitute for making a valid point.

Humor over the situation:
Its hard, but somebody's got to do it. Whether you like Jon Stewart of The Daily Show or not, this is one of his best, and brings up some incredibly valid points. View it at:


Boquisucio briefed on June 26, 2005 04:43 PM

Argghhh - a M1 Garand. Granted that 30-06 spitter can be accessorized with a Bayo, but the Pitchfork has a purty set of four 12" Tines at the ready.

Neffi briefed on June 26, 2005 05:14 PM

Actually Boq, it's one of these. In 7.62mm Nato... ammo is cheap and plentiful, ya know... with iron sights I can hit at 400 yards. I've been meaning to fit a scope, we'll see...
It's my sole modern rifle, chosen to fit the bill in several ways. I like it...

Boquisucio briefed on June 26, 2005 05:21 PM

Nice Pimpin' Springfield! I must get me myself one of dat.

Fuzzybear Lioness briefed on June 26, 2005 05:27 PM

Not to hijack the thread, but can I borrow it, Neffi? I have a strong desire to use it on some national "leaders" we've been hearing from lately...

Fuzzybear Lioness briefed on June 26, 2005 05:29 PM

Oh yeah! I forgot... Good stuff on the flag issue, John. I'm right behind you on this subject! :)

Neffi briefed on June 26, 2005 05:35 PM

[carefully wipes down all fingerprint-bearing surfaces]
Sure FbL- catch!

Neffi briefed on June 26, 2005 06:10 PM

*?* umm... hi Lionness... [claps hand to top of helmet- "Maycher Donofun! I know nuzzink- NUZZINK!!"]

CDR Salamander briefed on June 26, 2005 09:06 PM

I got the shore covered on your flank; supporting your advance.