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Three cheers for the flag burners!

A great deal of the blogosphere is riled up by the recent protest by the Islamic Thinkers Society's rally in New York, where they stomp all over and then tear up an American flag. A lot of people are understandably furious.

I take a bit of a different take on the matter. I kind of like it when I see protesters burning the American flag.

To my way of thinking (and I freely admit I'm in a minority here), it's very enlightening to look at just what happened in New York. Here, a group of self-styled "Islamic Thinkers" (and what a delightful oxymoron that phrase is in their case) are committing an act that would be severely punished in the nations to whom they pledge their allegiance. And the police, who over there would be arresting and/or severely beating them, are standing by -- not only not interfering with them, but making sure they are not interrupted.

Compare that with the hullabaloo surrounding the (now-discredited) Koran desecration stories. The Islamic Thinkers Society (giggle, snort) want the heads (hopefully figuratively) of those ACCUSED of "showing disrespect" to the Koran, and are emphasizing their point by desecrating a symbol held sacred by many Americans.

But not by me. The things I hold sacred are ideals and lives, not things. The Koran, the flag, the Bible -- to me, they're just physical property, and can be treated in pretty much any way the legal owner wishes. If I buy a Bible and a telephone, and then throw them both in the trash, then that's my money I've wasted. No more, no less.

Overseas, it's a little different. When I see people in other nations desecrating the American flag, I am bemused. Do they think that attacking our flag has some sort of magical voodoo powers, that we will be injured by their actions? Or is it simply the equivalent of a five-year-old's temper tantrum, lashing out in the only way they can, demonstrating their impotence?

Yes, like most people, I do get a bit angered when I see the flag desecrated. But that is vastly outweighed by the knowledge that as long as people in this country are free to treat the flag thus, we have continuing proof that the ideals that it represents are still strong.

In that context, the sacrifice of a single piece of cloth seems a very, very small price to pay.


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Comments (30)

I agree. I always thought t... (Below threshold)

I agree. I always thought the best way to deal with domestic flag burners is to arrest them for burning without a permit or smog violations. Maybe one day these protesters will appreciate the freedoms we have instead of looking at them as our weakness.

I have to throw my hat in t... (Below threshold)

I have to throw my hat in the ring and agree too - To me, Flag burners are doing nothing but clearly identifying themselves as the morons.

How racist is this post. Ar... (Below threshold)

How racist is this post. Are you questioning the patriotism of the Islamic Thinkers Society?

Haven't you ever heard that dissent it the greatist form of patriotism?

YOu wingnuts make me sick!

I can only hope that Libber... (Below threshold)

I can only hope that Libberul's post is satire. But I doubt it.

Racist???? What they are doing isn't dissent, it's insulting. They want the U.S. eliminated, that's hardly patriotic.

But I will fight for their right to do this. I like seeing people desecrate the flag, like Clancy says, it identifies what type of person or people you are dealing with.

Ignore Mike, he is just ano... (Below threshold)

Ignore Mike, he is just another racist dinger.


Listen to the leader...hehe... (Below threshold)

Listen to the leader...hehe, it's a classic statement and should be heralded by the pro-American crowd...at one point he says...

"Don’t be afraid...we have a legal permit...come and join us...don’t be afraid to speak out...This is not like the countries back at home where you raise your voice against the government and they take you in for torture. No...this is one of the loopholes of this government. We have the right to put this flag down and step on it."

Nah, we should not be outraged by this. We should hold it up as an example of what the true differences in the culture's are. We aren't like back home where you raise your voice against the government and are tortured. We aren't anything like that at all...

I'm glad they can see that. Maybe the left will too some day.

A flag, Koran, Bible, etc. ... (Below threshold)

A flag, Koran, Bible, etc. are physical goods, the symbolism is only relevant to those who find it meaningful, and to those who the symbolism isn't important the act of desecrating it really doesn't have the intended effect. In other words, I don't get worked up about a bunch of yahoos stomping on our flag in New York or Gaza or Tehran because to them the symbolism is simply not aligned to how I feel about the flag. I do care about how the non-America haters treat our flag, e.g. public servants and servicemen/women, because the symbolism of the U.S. flag that I feel is shared with them, so watching that school janitor walk out every morning and respectfully treat the flag as he lets it fly high makes me proud. So to those misguided individuals who think that burning or stepping on a flag is going to get a reaction out of me, go ahead because it won't... and if you come by my house you'll see well kept American flag flying everyday high and proud and you'll see one on each of our vehicles (right next to the NRA decals).

"Ignore Mike, he is just an... (Below threshold)

"Ignore Mike, he is just another racist dinger."

How is anything in his short post considered racist? I'm sorry, but there is not one single racist word in his post.

You dhimmocrats are hilarious. Everything is racism unless the target is white, Israeli, or a conservative.

Having come across this blo... (Below threshold)

Having come across this blog only a few days ago, and liking it because there is a debate going on, I am amazed at all this Muslim bashing. You would think they are some form of sub human species according to some posts.
Reminds me of growing up in Belfast and people around me would say that Catholics never washed and would shit in the street, confirming their views that they were sub human and making it easier to understand why someone would pull a trigger on them. George Seawright, a politiacal leader back home said in a 1987 interview that "All Catholics must die." He was gunned down three months later outside a fish and chip shop.
This Muslim bashing is based on nothing but PURE IGNORANCE and you're showing yourselves up, especially by concentrating on extreme radical statements and tarring the whole Muslim faith with the same brush.
For your own piece of mind stop the hating.

The story reminded me of a ... (Below threshold)

The story reminded me of a flag burning video I saw a few years ago.

This dim bulb tried just lighting his flag with a match... no luck. So, he poured some gasoline on it.

Oh, that got the fire going.

Sadly, genius boy didn't realize hold a burning, NYLON, flag over his head was a bad idea. The flag melted, pelting him with burning, molten nylon.

Gordon, to an extent I have... (Below threshold)

Gordon, to an extent I have to agree. Bashing people for nothing more than being Muslim is ignorance. However this thread is about the actions of a few in particular.

They are not singled out because of following Islam, they are singled out for flag desecration while enjoying the freedoms provided by the very flag they are burning.

Is it racist to say that I despise these people for their actions?

Wait Gordon, Is that a plea... (Below threshold)

Wait Gordon, Is that a plea for peaceful discourse or a threat that those that speak out against what sure looks like treason will be killed? You seem to be mixing your message.

You know what though? If a ... (Below threshold)

You know what though? If a crowd had formed and beaten these flag-burners to near death and then went and torched a mosque, I bet it would've sent quite a message to our enemies...

ForrestIn a word, no... (Below threshold)

In a word, no. And thanks for replying.
Maybe I'm just ultra sensitive about this whole thing but I just see warning signs that are all too familiar.

You never know if you will ... (Below threshold)

You never know if you will get lucky and see them set themselves on fire. :-) [There use to be a link to a video that showed just that happening. Anyone have it?]

Also, I say everytime they burn an American flag, we throw a koran on the barbie!

GrendelDon't underst... (Below threshold)

Don't understand what you're trying to say.

Yes i see what you mean.<br... (Below threshold)

Yes i see what you mean.
Hatred breeds hatred, which in turn leads to loss of life, and then it gets really personal.
Takes a person of foresight to stop this vicious cycle.
I just see that cycle starting to develop, that's all, and I believe that America with it's rich history of religious tolerance is better than that.

Forget LiberalAvenger, Salo... (Below threshold)

Forget LiberalAvenger, Salon and Slate and pejoratives: Liberrul and RightWingStopAndFlop likes them.

gordon: it isn't "muslim b... (Below threshold)

gordon: it isn't "muslim bashing" but, rather, consider that there is a lot of news at the moment (and has been for a while now) about indivduals who are discovered to be both Muslim and involved in behaviors and groups that threaten (and often create) harms upon others, and upon the United States as a nation.

By your perspective, we should avoid discussing anything that occurs, when it occurs. When it occurs, it's thought provoking and people are going to be discussing whatever is most emergent and most current as emergent issue (and that includes nationalities involved in militia movements and terrorism, of which Muslims [some of them, everyone realizes that] are).

IF there was talk about "dirty Muslims who are dirt mongers" or some sort of rubbish, for no other (related) issues or reasons, without any context as provoking or concerning issue, THEN your irregular criticism would make sense.

BUT, there's none of that. People are discussing what's going on and that it involves Muslims means they are going to be discusse based upon affiliations and ideology and ideological affiliations with concerning issues. Just because whoever is a Muslim does not make them immune from conversation, or from examination if/when their statements/behaviors/affiliations/intentions/whatever cause concern to others.

I disagree, and challenge y... (Below threshold)

I disagree, and challenge you in the trackbacked post above.

Gordon and others,... (Below threshold)

Gordon and others,

I do not have a problem with burning our flag. Well, it makes me mad, but this is the U.S. and they have that freedom. Be they white, black, Israeli or Muslim. It doesn't matter.

However, where I get really upset and feel that there has been treason is this statement made during the demonstration:

"We reject the U.N., reject America, reject all law and order. Don't lobby Congress or protest because we don't recognize Congress! The only relationship you should have with America is to topple it!"

Having a rally and burning a flag to show your disgust for a policy is fine and dandy, but the First Amendment does not give you the freedom to call for the destruction of the U.S. I am sorry, that is treason. I say this not because they are Muslims, but because they said the above. I dont give a flying flip what color or religion they are. You can not go around inciting people to destroy the U.S. That cant be legal. Maybe I am wrong. If so, it ought to be illegal.

Also, someone mentioned about painting all Muslims with a broad stroke is wrong. I agree, but where are all the moderate, sane Muslims denouncing these whack jobs for perverting their religion? That is a fair question. When some Christian freak kills an abortion doctor the Christian community as a whole is quick to point out that the guy was a fringe lunatic and that the church does not teach nor does it believe that killing an abortion doctor is ok.

Sorry this is so long.

Does anyone else wonder wha... (Below threshold)

Does anyone else wonder what would happen if American citizens started burning, well, the Koran? Or burning burkhas?

First of all, most Americans wouldn't devote much time or intention to such stupidity. No rioting, no people carted off to rooms where they're filmed before video cameras with their hands tied, pleading for their lives.

Such that, making a public display in New York, of all places -- noticably victimize by terrorists who were Muslims (not an incidental detail) on 09/11 -- by way of burning and destroying an American flag, seems like the second act of the first terrorist offensive.

We're a country that tolerates a certain amount of protest but when it becomes the statement of ones who call/incite others to riot and worse, to militia movements agains the country, that's another thing.

The day that the KKK can burn a cross at an intersection in Harlem, then that's the day that Muslims burning American flags in New York will be on equal footing of social acceptance, of ethical acceptability.

When you make that comparison that I just did, it puts the flag-burners in another perspective. Perhaps a more well-lit one, is my point. Meaning, sometimes certain types of protests really are not protests at all, not public, social statements but something of more portent. More people should take notice and take caution.

Nodrog: Haven't you been as... (Below threshold)

Nodrog: Haven't you been ass-kicked enough at LGF??? You need to come here and pollute this thread too??? Please do not feed the intellectually challenged attention whore.

Nodrog,I presume tha... (Below threshold)

I presume that's me, sorry to burst your bubble Ed, never been on LGF, will look it up though.
Some groups don't recognize your state, but live in it and call openly for its demise.
Welcome to the Real World people, millions of other people round the world know what that's like. Virtually every country I can think of has gone through that. It's how you react to it that counts.

"This is America, and this ... (Below threshold)
Mark Flacy:

"This is America, and this form of protest as long as it doesn't promote harm explicitly, is well protected. Get over it."

Guess what, asslips? *This* form of protest also doesn't promote harm explicitly. Get over it.

LGF = Little Green Football... (Below threshold)

LGF = Little Green Footballs


whocares:I'll addr... (Below threshold)


I'll address a couple of your points for you. I imagine that *this* is referencing our discussion and outrage here on this thread. Second, if you actually read the posts here, I'll think you'll find that almost no one is saying that these idiots should not be allowed to do this. Third, what we have here on this thread is not callousness towards religion, egotistical or dangerous. Where do you come up with such sh*t? I don't care what religion they are or I am, if someone is calling for my countries demise and outright destruction, then I'm going to say they're idiots and insulting. Unless you feel that hatred is somehow justified through religion.

And gordon, nobody, and I mean nobody, here is painting all Muslims with a broad brush. That is complete nonsense. There isn't a single post before or after yours in this thread that depicts all Muslims, just these idiots on a street corner looking for attention.

The Carpetbagger Report ( <... (Below threshold)
Ann Onymouse:

The Carpetbagger Report ( http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/ ) notes that "the House Judiciary Committee easily approved a constitutional amendment two weeks ago that would 'prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.' "

We should ride jet skis and... (Below threshold)

We should ride jet skis and skwurt cheese wiz on there flags. Then we shjould beat on our knees and tell em all to go suck something.


I must admit I get choked u... (Below threshold)

I must admit I get choked up and emotional when I see the American flag. But if people want to burn it, go ahead. The flag must mean something to them to; you never see them burning a U.N. flag.

But what would do you think would happen if a group of Americans burned the Saudi flag or the Palestinian flag? Before you were killed or beheaded, George Bush and Condi Rice, (who is recovering from an operation to remove a stick from her butt), would apologize forever and forbid you to do it again, even though the Supreme Court ruled it is Constitutional to burn the American flag. The only thing King George and Condi "I loved the Reign of Terror" Rice are consistent on, is they sneer at Americans, and consider us a "nuisance" to their plans for a New World Order.






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