Monday, July 10, 2006

Burning the Flag

Recently, the Congress took on the Flag Burning Amendment to the Constitution. Once again, it did not pass. I have mixed emotions about it. I hate to see the Constitution muddied by little amendments that dictate proper behavior. I do NOT believe that flag burning is "freedom of speech" anymore than cross burning or campaign contributions are. It is a reprehensible act which attacks the symbol of all of the best of this country. People who do it should be shunned for the dispicable act and the lack of patriotism it invokes. I wouldn't even mind an ordinance with a fine for the act. But, I am not comfortable with a Constitutional Amendment. I am also not comfortable that we have an educational system which goes out of its way to avoid teaching about the symbols of this country, what they stand for and the price that was paid for them.

Over the 4th of July weekend, a small group got together for the Santa Cruz's 2nd Annual Old Time American Flag Burn. The pictures show people gleefully burning flags in a burn barrel on the beach...disgusting. Their statement reads "Long may she burn. Fan the raging flames of freedom. One of the most patriotic symbols we share is our magestic flag. A symbol of our freedoms, like the right to free speech which includes the right to burn this patriotic symbol. Which makes a burning flag our most patriotic symbol. Sunset burn ritual and beach party in celebration of free speech." If you can get logic out of this, you are doing better than I is too convoluted for me.

Of course, we live in a time where few practice respect - for one another, for their community, for their neighbors, for their children, for their parents, for their teachers, for their military. It shouldn't surprise me that they have no respect for our flag or for the greatness of this country. But, it does break my heart and wound my soul.

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