Back in 1959, Eisenhower ordered the creation of the 50-star flag and since 1960 we’ve used that flag.
It’s gone through some trying times, in terms of disrespect. The hippies, hipsters… pretty much anything that comes from the root word, hip-, which means “to douche”.
That’s not true, etymologically speaking. This is.
Regardless of the events of those “trying times”, the flag has always stood for one thing above all (as it pertains to American citizens, at least): freedom.
Freedom to gather. Freedom to raise your fist and yell at the government. Freedom to march on Washington in support of <insert descriptor here>’s Rights.
But while our Constitution gives you the right to burn a flag or stomp all over it, you’re missing the point if you actually do it.
That flag represents more than just the message you’re trying to rail against. It represents what, to many, America exists for.
Since that overhyped towel flew over Fort Sumter in 1860, it has been an inextricably linked to the cultural heritage of the United States. We veritably worship the damn thing, every barry and mullet, as if it was a come-again deity.
When you disrespect the flag, you disrespect America.
Yeah, strong words, but maybe that’s your point when you do sh*t like this:
So why am I even talking about this? Am I about to really launch into a ‘Merica!!! Tirade, the likes of which Ronald-Reagan-Riding-a-Velociraptor would endorse?
(Also, I think that’s actually a Deinonychus, not a velociraptor)
No. I’m not.
I value free speech too highly to scream at someone to “get out of ma’ country!” while sitting on my privileged throne.
What I want to point out is that if you’re using this method of “protest”, then you’re doing it abso-f*cking-lutely wrong.
You see, while your motives are most likely admirable, you’re using this to get attention so that people will, supposedly, give a sh*t about what you’re saying.
The problem is that the people you’re talking to worship that flag like it’s a holy symbol. Like it’s the sole defense against the End Times.
What you’re doing when you attack the American flag to make a point about anything else is invalidate your argument. By deconstructing the mental foundation of those you’re arguing against so that they look at you, you end up painting a target all over yourself. That results in these people wanting to do you physical harm and/or sterilize you.
They don’t give a fuck about your point as soon as you disrespect that flag.
So, in the hope and spirit of eventually destabilizing the massive polarization in our politics and beliefs: please, for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Bill Nye, and lattes… stop attacking the American flag.
Raise the Equality Flag instead if you need to.
Leave the flag burning to the rest of the world.
I highly recommend you use your right as an American to hoist it up and reclaim its meaning for yourself and your message. It’s not only racists and bigots who’ve earned the right to freedom.