Am I the only one who gets goose bumps when our National Anthem is played at the Olympics or a sporting event, or when a radio station signs on to the airways? Heck, I even get all teary eyed when Lee Greenwood sings ”God Bless the U.S.A.”
Growing up I remember the American flag in every classroom. Our day began by pledging allegiance to our flag to show respect and loyalty to our country. No one ever complained about it or objected to doing it. We were taught respect for our country as well as people, no matter who they were.
Yes, I am aware of the 1st Amendment giving us Freedom of Speech, and for the most part, I do agree with all the freedoms we have, but there is one particular thing I question. Freedom of Speech should not allow anyone in America to desecrate our flag. People who protest against our government policies show a deep hatred towards Americans and America by burning the flag. Yes, I do understand that the flag is just a piece of fabric, but it represents what our country is all about. When asked what the flag means, one Army veteran said, “Our flag is the symbol of the things we as Americans hold in our hearts and minds. The power to guard and protect loved ones, homes, beliefs, and Americans in general; deserving or not. The Stars and Stripes mean this is the United States of America, WE ARE! Having the privilege to serve this country in the US Army gave me the opportunity to show the love I have for this country, and the pride we have in defending it.”
TIME Magazine’s Walter Isaacson said, “Reverence for the flag is ingrained in every schoolchild who has quailed at the thought of letting it touch the ground, in every citizen moved by pictures of it being raised at Iwo Jima or planted on the moon, in every veteran who has ever heard taps played at the end of a Memorial Day parade, and in every gold-star mother who treasures a neatly folded emblem of her family’s supreme sacrifice.”
In 1989, the Flag Protection Act was passed making it a criminal offense to desecrate the flag, regardless of motive. Protesters quickly demonstrated by burning flags (of course) and their voices were heard. The Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that burning the American flag was an example of constitutionally protected free speech. In my humble opinion, I think the Flag Protection Act should be reconsidered by the Supreme Court making it a crime to desecrate, spit at, stomp on or not treat the flag with respect.
People who have such disdain and hatred for America and its government do have the freedom to spew their hatred elsewhere. I have one thing to say to these ingrates, “Good Bye.”