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Desecrate This!


Corporate America

Originally uploaded by elmada.

I find it incredibly odd that so many Americans seem to be incredibly concerned with an issue that is incredibly unimportant, namely preventing desecration of the flag.

Between “protecting” the flag and attacking gays, the Republicans have made it pretty clear that it intends to retain control of the US Senate and House by painting Democrats as wild-eyed America haters who oppose small town morality. I won’t expand upon the attack on gays because I think its pretty clear how ridiculous the attacks are, plus I’m pretty sure I’ve already babble about gay marriage before.

However, flag desecration is something that I don’t believe that I’ve touched on before on the old blog.

As far as I can tell most of the Republican Right Wing concern over the flag centers on flag burning. Apparently burning the American flag is about the worst thing in the world—so bad that it must be stopped and prohibited, not just by law (because burning the flag was protected by the US Supreme Court which proclaimed the act to be protected speech under the First Amendment), but by amending the Constitution.

Frankly, I’ve never had the urge to burn the US Flag, but should the right be taken away, I might start burning the flag at every reasonable opportunity. Under this scenario I would help demonstrate that legislating specific human (non-) behavior in the Constitution is not really effective—see the efforts at prohibiting alcohol in the 1920s.

Or, on the other hand, I could become one of the most ardent and literal enforcers of the amendment. This is because I define flag desecration as any act which violates, defiles, despoils, or ruins the flag and its inherent symbolism.

Clearly my first target will be Tommy Hilfiger—a clothing company which has used the flag and its colors to sell clothing that people wear. It is sacrilegious to defile our flag by cutting it up into shirts, shorts, and underwear. Old Navy would be another reasonable target—putting the American Flag on their clothing for profit—something that symbolizes America and its greatness is desecrated when companies use it to enhance their bottom line.

After hitting the clothing companies, I would target people who stick magnetized flags on the back of their cars, exposing the flag to all kinds of weather and dirt that only hurts the flag and its reputation. Car dealers with oversized flags that mock the seriousness of the flag would also be targeted, as well as Republican political candidates who espouse freedom and then wrap themselves in the flag—for their contradictory stances clearly desecrate the flag.

A recent article in The Economist blasted the US Senate for wasting its time and energy on this matter, mentioning that there is a group, The Citizens Flag Alliance, which is supportive of an amendment banning flag burning. This noble body tracks cases of flag desecration on behalf of the United States.

Some how the group has missed the boat, for they have only found four cases of flag desecration in the last year.

I should send them the Tommy Hilfiger catalogue—I bet there are four cases on the front cover alone.

2 comments to Desecrate This!

  • That’s an excellent point that I hadn’t considered, simply because the idea of marketing the hell out of the Canadian flag simply hasn’t occurred to most Canadian clothing and apparel companies. We wear the maple leaf on Canada Day, and whenever we go to foreign countries where we’d prefer not to be mistaken for Americans, and that’s about it. But isn’t using a national symbol for profit the worst kind of desecration, if you’re really going to believe that ‘symbols’ can actually be desecrated? Once again America wrestles with its two greatest loves: patriotism and consumerism. Which will take the cake?

  • Though I dont really give a damn about the a country’s flag but still I’d be mortified to see a flag being burned being that is a symbol and should have at least a degree of respect.