The Flag

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by HiSpeed, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed New Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    Pace, Florida area
    The following is from our local congressman. IMHO it is a pretty good read. :)

    One of my very favorite things about summer both at home and in
    Washington is the prevalence of the American flag. It seems that Americans
    fly their flags with pride during the summer more than any other season.
    Indeed, the colors of the summer seem to be red, white, and blue.

    There are many traditions associated with our flag. One of my favorites was
    found in a military journal titled CAN DO from the Navy Seabee Veterans of
    America, Inc. Have you ever noticed how the honor guard pays meticulous
    attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times? Like me, you
    probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but it turns
    out that the reason behind this act is much more symbolic and meaningful.

    The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life. The second fold is a
    symbol of our belief in eternal life. The third fold is made in honor and
    remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their
    lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
    The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting
    in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time
    of war for His divine guidance. The fifth fold is a tribute to our
    country, for in the words of Stephen Decaur, Our Country, in dealing with
    other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country,
    right or wrong. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our
    heart that We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of
    America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God,
    Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all. The seventh fold is a
    tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we
    protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be
    found within or without the boundaries of our republic. The eighth fold is
    a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death,
    that we might see the light of day. The ninth fold is a tribute to
    womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love,
    loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made
    this country great has been molded. The tenth fold is a tribute to the
    father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for defense of our
    country since they were first born. The eleventh fold represents the lower
    portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the
    Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The twelfth fold
    represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God
    the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. The thirteenth fold, or when the
    flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our
    nation’s motto, In God We Trust.

    After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the
    appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served
    under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served
    under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and
    shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the
    rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.

    For Americans, the flag is a prideful representation of the blessings that
    have been bestowed on our country. It reminds us that freedom isn’t
    and hasn’t ever been free and that it is our obligation to share our
    blessings and promote freedom to all corners of the world. The vast
    majority of Americans, 80 percent, and all 50 of our state legislatures
    believe the flag should be protected.

    Almost twenty years ago the Supreme Court essentially ruled in favor of
    allowing flag burning here at home. In a 1989 decision that overturned 200
    years of precedent, the court struck down all laws that prohibit flag
    desecration. Given the misguided Supreme Court ruling, the only way we can
    protect this great American symbol is through amending the Constitution.

    Opponents of the measure claim flag burning should be protected as an
    exercise of free speech. To these individuals I would argue that burning
    the flag is not a form of constructive speech but an act of physical
    assault. The American Bald Eagle is another great symbol of American pride
    and freedom, yet shooting one of these magnificent birds is illegal, even
    in the name of free speech.

    America is the freest country in the world, and its citizens have the right to
    express dissent in myriad ways. Exercising one’s right to free speech
    by destroying one of the very icons of that right need not be one of them.

    For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our
    nation's strength and unity. It's been a source of pride and inspiration
    for millions of citizens. Today it is a reminder of times of crisis when
    American’s have persevered though wars and attacks on our soil. It
    is a sign of the strength and resolve of the American people who have lost
    loved ones for the ideals symbolized in those 50 stars and 13 stripes. The
    American flag recognized throughout the globe as a symbol of hope, justice,
    freedom, and democracy.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2006
  2. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

    Apr 25, 2004
    Pensacola Fl. area
    Thanks HiSpeed great read

  3. HiPowerKid

    HiPowerKid New Member

    Jun 21, 2005
    NW FL
    Now if we can just get the disgruntled from protesting by burning the flag and making their protests in another fashion, maybe Congress can get on with
  4. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    Deep South Mississippi
  5. Kentuckian

    Kentuckian New Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    Interesting read, but I have to disagree with him.

    First, to claim that burning a flag is equivalent to a physical assault is absurd. As much as I love the flag and detest the idea of it being burned, it is nonetheless an inanimate object. It is, a piece of cloth, or nylon, or whatever else it's being made of nowadays.....and inanimate objects aren't accorded with rights. That it serves to represent something greater than itself doesn't take away the fact that it is a piece of cloth.

    The Bald Eagle? It's a living, breathing thing. Although not human, we protect them due to their limited numbers in nature because we don't want them to become extinct. Conversely....if someone burns a flag, we can make another to replace it.

    Want to burn it?'s a thousand more. Hope you choke on them.

    The Constitution was supposed to limit the federal government's power, not the people's freedom. An amendment prohibiting the burning of the flag would unnecessarily expand government's power while placing a restriction on the people's freedom.

    I say unnecessarily because no one's rights are beng violated by burning a flag, and therefore there's nothing that the government needs to protect. If rights were being violated, then an amendment prohibiting burning the flag might be justified.

    As it stands though, prohibiting the burning of the flag protects no one's rights, and merely serves to enshrine in law some people's personal views......and that's a pretty silly reason for amending the Constitution.
  6. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Jan 1, 2003
    SW MS
    Actually, Kentuckian, the flag IS more than just a piece of cloth. U.S. Code Title 4, Chapter 1 (commonly called the Flag Code) states that "The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing." To our veterans, the flag is a tangible representation of the country they have fought to protect.
  7. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    Dec 14, 2003

    I think it is also an issue of respect. While in court we are expected to behave and show respect to the court and the judge. That is reasonable because without that order we would have Chaos in the court thus making "the court" something other than what its there for in the first place.

    The US Flag is indeed a representation of our Nation, and to burn it is not only disrespectfull to the Nation and i also think it is also a form of Chaos...or anotherwords a potential riot starter. It offends many and has the potential of starting a riot. We are not Constitutionally allowed to yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater for the sole purpose of causing trouble... why should anyone be allowed to burn an American Flag ?!!!

    Thats my opinion on the subject.

  8. Kentuckian

    Kentuckian New Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    Rhetoric is in no way a living thing.

    It does represent our nation, including the freedoms upon which the nation was founded. Among these are the freedoms of expression and dissent, and burning the flag, as much as I detest it being done, is a valid form of expression and dissent.

    So long as no one else's rights are being violated, I see no reason to prohibit it.
  9. Huck Finn

    Huck Finn Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    I have to agree with Kentuckian. As much as I detest the idea of flag burning, I think it does more harm to what the flag stands for if we limit peoples first amendments rights, trying to protect it. It's just like the time Sinead O'Conner ripped up a photo of the Pope on Saturday Night Live. It was just a picture representing the Pope. It did no harm to him or the people who respect him. Our flag has been through an awful lot. I think it can survive a million fag burners better than it will survive 100 Senators trying to limit our rights set forth in the Constitution.
    P.S. Just to let you know, I really have thought long and hard about this. As a Veteran, I think I am actually defending what our flag truly stands for & the rights my fellow Service Men have fought for.
  10. rosierita

    rosierita Active Member

    Mar 13, 2004
    South Carolina
    excellent post hispeed & ITA w/ somo.
  11. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Kentuckian, listen to your peers, particularly what Somo quoted.
    Some of us, who have done strange things, in odd places, for no other reason than love of country, would take strong issue with your position, on desecration of the flag.
    Should anyone attempt such an act in my presence, my personal feeling is that I will do whatever it takes to stop the desecration, and the desecrator; if that results in 'legal consequences', after the fact, for me, so be it.
    I cannot believe one could assemble a 12 man jury that would convict anyone for what he did to stop such an act, assuming it to be anywhere close to reasonable.
    The Flag is indeed a living thing, and, when, old, and tattered, it must be disposed of, it deserves a respectful and honorable end.
    While I respect your opinion, and your right to disagree, I respectfully submit that desecration of The Flag, in public, could be hazardous to one's health.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2006
  12. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
  13. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Mar 27, 2003
    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
    Double A-MEN !!!!
  14. xxxxxxl

    xxxxxxl New Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    I made a vow many years ago that if I caught someone burning the Flag of The United States of America they to would burn!
  15. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Jan 1, 2003
    SW MS
    Ben Stein makes some very good points in his latest essay:

    Defending the Flag
    Ben Stein | June 30, 2006
    The Fourth of July is upon us. The anniversary of the founding of this glorious country finds us in controversy, as always, and as it was intended to be. That's what democracies and republics are about: controversy. One of the controversies that came to a boil this past week and will undoubtedly have a spot in the upcoming elections is about a Constitutional amendment to ban burning Old Glory. A vote for this amendment failed by one vote very recently in the Senate, and the issue is far from over with.

    The argument for not burning the flag is fairly clear: it's the symbol of the nation. It represents the nation that hundreds of thousands have died for. It represents our sacred pledges to our nation. It's what we pledge allegiance to.

    The argument against is simply that one of our core values is free speech. Burning the flag is a form of speech, some courts have ruled, so burning it should be protected by the First Amendment, which protects free speech.

    Well and good, except this argument just does not hold up. We already have many exceptions to a complete protection of free speech. You can't show child pornography online. You can't call members of various ethnic groups by slurring words that were common when I was a child. That's called hate speech, and it's barred by law in most if not all parts of the nation.

    In some settings, you cannot tell a woman in your office that she looks sharp in her new sweater or tell a man that he has nice buns in his new trousers. That's called sexual harassment and it's been found to be illegal.

    In other words, there are already immense exceptions to the doctrine of free speech. What occurs to little me is that if we can tell a man he'll go to jail for calling a black man a name that any child can hear a thousand times a day on rap radio stations, why can't we say it's also a slur to people's feelings -- especially veterans' feelings -- to burn the flag?

    If we can tell people that it's obscene to show pictures of children having sex (and it is), why can't we say it's obscene to burn the flag that is the symbol of this shining city on a hill, a flag for which many brave men and women have died? If it hurts women's feelings to hear sex jokes at the office and if that's illegal, doesn't it also hurt patriots' feelings to see the flag burned?

    I don't get it. Why is protecting the flag less of a priority than banning song lyrics or dirty jokes or pornography?

    What am I missing here? The flag is sacred. There is more than enough state interest in protecting to keep it from being burned. Can we reconsider this, please?
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