One Idiocy Revisited That Creates A Right Wing Conundrum

            For all of you who either believe that the current regime can do no wrong and who fly flags on your cars and attach flag stickers and decals to every flat surface and paint store windows and sew flags on your clothes, or if you know someone who does, you are about to be served a real conundrum by your Republican leaders.
            Once again, Congress is trotting out their favorite mindless sound bite, the anti-flag desecration amendment to the Constitution.  It might be best, though, to hold your cheers for a minute.  Letís review exactly what the amendment itself states.

            "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States".

            Now, that sounds innocuous enough.  As is said, though, the devil is in the details.  As an attachment to that single sentence, listen to what this law will be further based on.

            (a)(1)Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
            Okay, again, not too bad.  Just some prison time for exercising your First Amendment rights but, hey, that particularly offensive little obstacle to a police state is already on its way out with the passage of the USA PATRIOT ACT. 

            But, oops, here is the detail that I mentioned that might make your patriotism cause for some serious prison time.

            (b) As used in this section, the term "flag of the United States" means any flag of the United States, or any part thereof, made of any substance, of any size, in a form that is commonly displayed. [my italics]

            Here is where the trap door is sprung.  That tattered flag that youíve been flying for months, that fading decal on your car's bumper and back window, that flag you sewed onto your cap and jacket, they will all have to be disposed of according to custom and, suddenly, Constitutional law.  Understand, you can't scrape that little colorful decal off nor can you soak it off since doing either will always "desecrate" the colors.  Even if, like some businesses have done, you paint the flag on your store's windows, you can't remove it from the glass, you can only replace the glass and have the one that was painted disposed of properly.  Shoot, if your child draws a flag on a piece of scrap paper or at school, you're faced with the same conundrum.  How about if the child draws a flag on your driveway's surface?  Same problem.  If you have a tattoo and want it removed?  Can't do it without a very deep skin draft being taken.  In fact, once you trip off this mortal coil, your family will have a new and truly huge problem as to how to bury you or even cremate you in the proper manner.  The tribulations are manifold. 
            Okay, now you've figured out that you have to do things like a good little right wing boy or girl.  You want to follow the law but you aren't certain what the process might be.  Want to know how?
            Well, according to the Daughters of the American Revolution, youíll need five or six people in attendance to carry out the formal ritual as well as a Color Guard of seven military personnel to fire three volleys and a minister to say some sort of patriotic prayer and, finally, a bugler to play ďTapsĒ as you ritually burn your flags and carís windows and car bumpers and your coats and hats and wherever else you have a flag flying thatís frayed (meaning even one single string out of place) or faded or scratched or dented or, well, you get the idea, I hope.
            So, hereís your conundrum folks.  Do you continue to paste flags on every flat surface you can find and from every window of your SUV?    (The correct custom is always to fly it from the right front bumper, by the by)?  In fact, do you remove all those American flag postage stamps to dispose of ritually?  Or, do you support the silliness of changing our Constitution to protect a tribal totem and face going to prison? 

            What to do?  What to do?
            Check out these facts for yourself at these two sites:

            Citizenís Flag Alliance
            Daughters of the American Revolution


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Copyright 6/29/03