Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Beauty of a Desecrated Flag

 
For many burning or otherwise desecrating the American flag is hugely offensive, even an abomination worthy of substantial criminal penalties. I believe the opposite: that desecration of the American flag without civil or criminal penalties is the highest homage that can be paid to that majestic flag. While I too find the act in what it represents incredibly offensive to the good and the freedoms it represents and the sacrifices of so many to defend those freedoms on the one hand, the freedom to do so also demonstrates those principles even more acutely.

Where else but America can citizens voice their angst and debate the principles of good, of evil, and of freedom even in highly offensive ways and be met with, and defeated by better words and principles rather than suppression of those views. It seems to me that the very essence of the First Amendment is the protection of the vilest, most offensive speech and demonstrations. Only offensive speech needs such profound protections as a constitutional amendment provides. To the people that rage that desecration of the flag is desecration of the memory of those who fought and sacrificed and suffered injury or death to protect its principles I say that the opposite is true: that those who sacrificed and died did so perhaps most of all for the right of idiots to act in utter ignorance and stupidity without fear of reprisal: That in America we do not punish people for disagreeing even in the vilest of manner, or for hurting each other’s feelings or even for spitting on the principles that provided those blessings or the memory of those who provided them.

While some would make such acts illegal, or even add an Amendment to the constitution to protect the flag I believe most strongly that such would actually be a loss of the very freedoms that flag represents and an affront to the sacrifices so many have made to protect those freedoms. After all it is not the fabric those heroes have sacrificed to protect but the sacrifices and the freedoms it represents. While those idiots who desecrate the flag believe they are demonstrating oppression and evil represented by that flag they are actually profoundly demonstrating the opposite. That they can do so freely, without suppression even of their own misguided rage defeats their own arguments better than any opposition could. Desecration of the American flag without reprisal is possibly the most ridiculous self-refuting argument that exists. And while suppression of such vulgarity will remove it from sight temporarily it will also serve to bolster their spurious argument that America is not as free and fair as the flag represents.

While I too feel the twinge of outrage seeing my flag and the heroes who sacrificed to protect its principles dishonored it is important to look past this to the deeper profound demonstration such ignorant actions provide. We should not be outraged or saddened by such ignorant acts but even more proud of those freedoms and those who have provided and protected them. Such acts performed publicly and freely show not that such freedoms are eroded or such sacrifices in vain but that those freedoms even of imbeciles to remain profoundly stupid without reprisal are firmly intact, and the sacrifices of our heroes exalted. And while such idiots believe they dishonor the flag by such actions they simply honor its principles and its heroes all the more.

I propose then that we simply meet and overcome evil with good, ignorance and stupidity with wisdom and with better words and actions. When we see those idiots desecrating the flag, thinking themselves profound; simply remind them that that flag and the sacrifices made for it and what it represents is displayed most profoundly in their ability to act with such profound ignorance and stupidity without repercussion. Remind them that your son, daughter, brother, Uncle, father, or grandfather sacrificed or died specifically so that they could act so stupidly, offensively, and ignorantly without reprisal: that it is the very thing and principles that they spit upon that allow them to remain so ignorant and to freely act with such stupidity: And that it is the very freedom to publicly disrespect America, its flags, and its heroes that shows that the American Flag cannot really be dishonored and that such attempts to do so only further honor our heritage and show the profound beauty even of a desecrated American flag.

No comments: