Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

BonnieBlueFlag considers "Venerated Objects"

"Venerated Objects"

By BonnieBlueFlag

Late the night before last, I copied Mark Steyn's column entitled, "Don't worry, Old Glory can take the heat." I was just about to send it to Aussiegirl along with my personal note saying, "Okay, okay, I'm reconsidering my opinion about the public burning of the American flag."

Just as I was about to press the "Send" button, I had a change of heart, and pressed the "Delete" button at the very last second.

While I find Mark Steyn's arguments against making the flag burning illegal very attractive and compelling, I cannot support the belief that the destruction of the American flag is protected as free speech.
First Amendment Free Speech has many other limitations; most recently the "McCain Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Law," which most assuredly places limitations on political speech, by and for the same public that is allowed to burn or mutilate the flag.

Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I have a way of being very stubborn about something that I truly believe. Aussiegirl has changed my mind on occasion, unless it is something that falls into the "I truly believe" category.

I've asked myself why I cannot get beyond this feeling that I have about the American flag. You all seem like reasonable people for the most part, I know you love the flag too, and you have some very good arguments for not making it illegal to burn the flag.
Tonight I'm thinking about how my own southern heritage has been said to be racist, to have no value, and that the Confederate Battle flag is a symbol of hate and racism.

In years gone by, I have picked up some trinket or another that a picture of the Battle flag on it, only to have to hide it in other parts of the country. Yankees think only of the KKK when they see the flag, even though the flag was used long before the Klan came into existence.

The symbol of the swastika was used in many other ways, years before Hitler decided to use it for his own purposes. Now it is reviled the world over.

Today the Supreme Court made another of it's monumental decisions, that are nothing more than a gradual attempt to remove God from our history, our present, and our future.

Perhaps, because the southern symbols have already been scorned, burned and mutilated; perhaps, because I see our religious symbols slipping away, I have reached a point where I feel like a Muslim in New York stomping on the American flag, is the last straw.

You may think, at least they aren't burning the flag. But, if you will think back to what we have learned during the war with the Islamists, putting their feet all over something, is their highest form of insult.
Prior to the 1989 Supreme Court decision, each State and the District of Columbia, had their own laws regarding penalties for flag burning.� The Texas vs. Johnson case was based on their law against the desecration of venerated objects.

So in 1989 the Supreme Court (in a 5-4 decision) took away the States' right to legislate against burning the American flag within their borders.

Why does it not surprise me, that a southern state and States' Rights were involved, in this unfortunate Supreme Court decision?

When the US legislature tried to restore the penalty for burning the flag by law, the Supreme Court quickly said, "We've already told you that we are the higher power, and we are not going to let you do that."

All that remains is the Constitutional Amendment option, something that I do not readily agree with, but if the amendment ever gets out of the US Senate, there is no doubt in my mind that it will be ratified by the States.

Well, if worst comes to worst, we can all go out and burn an American flag, when the Federal Election Commission using the McCain Feingold Campaign Finance Reform law, terminates the Free Speech of the independent Blogs that promote a particular candidate.

Written by: BonnieBlueFlag


At 12:57 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Bonnie, I appreciate your deep feelings on this matter. Have you considered my points on how these various definitions will be arrived at? And you have cited the McCain-Feingold law as being a restraint on freedom of speech -- and right you are -- it is -- and an egregious one at that -- but I fail to see how one wrong law means we should extend the wrong to additional actions. If that's the standard then we can simply start outlawing all speech because there's already precedent for it in the law. Also, McCain Feingold, no matter how wrong and odious, is not written into the Constitution, and can be overturned tomorrow by a different law passed by the legislature. I still say that while you believe that this law will only apply to the offensive sight of Muslims stomping on the flag in protest, (personally, I'm more worried about Muslims setting of a dirty bomb in our cities or flying planes into our buildings) -- I believe that it will be mischievously used to make the appearance and use of the flag rare and specifically defined -- i.e. -- it will only fly over government buildings and in other places and will be unavailable to the average person who might accidentally "desecrate it".
In addition, it will clog the courts with nuisance and frivolous suits claiming "desecration" when the flag is placed on all the commercial items I mentioned in my article, and similar nuisance suits brought by those who actually despise the flag. There is no end to people in our country who find "offense" where they want to find it. They will seize on it as a means of eliminating the flag from public view. Is attaching a flag to your car a desecration? It might be seen so by some -- how about all those little flags that decorate the graves of our fallen heroes? Might they not easily become wet in the rain or fall to the ground in a wind? Why should the court then not decide that persuant to the "desecration of the flag" amendment in the Constitution, flags be henceforth prohibited from cemeteries? And what is an official flag, as I said?

We may only succeed in making the flag safe -- and rare -- like Hillary says she wants to do with abortion.

You know that what drives liberals nuts is the flag flying proudly everywhere in this country -- from cars, from mailboxes, on graves, at 4th of July celebrations -- we display it on trash cans, soup cans, soda cans etc. We love our flag and use it freely and without fear. Let's continue to rub the liberals noses in these multitudinous images of our flag, and not make a sacred object of it. We have made it sacred with the blood of our patriots and our love for our country and its principles. In our churches we do not worship the Bible -- we worship God. Similarly in America -- we do not worship the flag, we love America and what it stands for -- freedom -- and liberty.

But - as always, I understand and respect your feelings on this matter -- I just think there are going to be practical repercussions from this amendment that go well beyond your deeply held feelings that it is simply beyond the pale.


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