Category Archives: Flags

Wearing a representation of the American flag on your clothing is NOT patriotic, especially when done for spite

Am I the only person who has a problem with how flippant wingnuts are about the American flag?  Today they are flipping out about some kids who got kicked out of school for the day because they were wearing clothing with the American flag on it — on Cinco de Mayo.

I say kick them out every day — for being disrespectful to the flag.  Here’s a repost of my rant about this from earlier:

Flags

March 31, 2007 · 2 Comments · Edit This

Today I had to drive off into *Bush* Country — the suburbs around Houston — in the hopes in the rain of finding my family at an Easter Egg Hunt (there’s a side story about a kitten to this adventure that I’ll write about later).  Driving down the center street in the city that claims bragging rights to being the Birthplace of Texas, a truck pulled up beside me with what must have been some 10′ 2×4′s in its bed.  Usually if something like lumber is sticking out of the back of a truck, a bit of red ribbon is tied to the end sticking out — so drivers will notice the unusual extension of space the truck is using and therefore the following vehicle won’t burst its radiator.  This *patriot* that was driving the truck had an American Flag hanging off the lumber in the back of his truck.  Like I said, it was raining and the streets in Bushville were dirty and this geinus had an American flag hanging off a 2x4s in the bed of his truck.

Let’s step back a bit to get the feel for my reaction.  My mom has always been one to latch onto the majority trends.  She’s probably never had an original thought.  (She’s afraid of computers, so no chance she’ll ever read this.)  When I was in junior high school (’70′s), it was very popular to embroider blue-jean colored shirts.  Much like charm bracelets, one’s mom individualized the embroidered shirts.  My mom stitched an American flag on mine.  I wore it to school  one day and one day only.  I didn’t get sent home, but the assistant principle told my mom that it was disrespectful to wear the American flag on my clothing.

Fast forward to 2001.  After 9/11, people in this country had American flags everywhere.  I remember going to a dinner party at my friends’ house.  The wife is from here, her husband is Russian.  She worked for a firm that did a lot of business in the former Soviet Republics, and so there were mostly Russians at the party.  One Russian guy asked me why Americans started putting flags everywhere — their cars, their houses, their clothes — after 9/11.  The only explanation I could give — and I was still devastated from what had happened –this was shortly after 9/11 and before the invasion of Iraq – was that people wanted to come together — that the U.S. mainland had never been hit from outside before.  Having lived in Latvia, I then pointed out that the former Soviets have a strong tradition of displaying flags — more so than here — and that if Russia had been hit, Russians would have done the same.  (Remember, this conversation took place before the attack in Beslan.)

I don’t fly a flag at my house.  If I ever do, most likely it would be a Texas flag, not a U.S. flag.  No, I’m not one of those crazy people who want to secede, but my heart is always with Texas.  I do wish that Texas could have had enough money back then not to have been pressured into joining the U.S. and that we could have ended slavery without a war.  Yeah, I have these dreams — fantasies.

I’ve gotten off track.  My point is that people do things with flags that could be interpreted to be disrespectful all the time.  What is the difference between burning a flag and using it to signal the end of a 2×4 and in the meantime dragging it through the mud and rain?  Or wearing it as a bathing suit and sitting on it?  Or wearing it on your shirt?

I would never do any of that with either the American flag or the Texas flag.  Which pisses me off more?  If someone did it to my flag.  Texas, always Texas.

Here’s an idiot, just for fun.  I see he’s begging again.

More Gimmickry

If this is true — and I’m not so sure it is, then chalk up another point for McCain jingoism.

This morning, Republicans tell me that a worker at Invesco Field in Denver saved thousands of unused flags from the Democratic National Convention that were headed for the garbage. Guerrilla campaigning. They will use these flags at their own event today in Colorado Springs with John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Before McCain speaks today, veterans will haul these garbage bags filled with flags out onto the stage — with dramatic effect, no doubt — and tell the story.

I see that a response has been added since I read the article earlier:

“American flags were proudly waved by the 75,000 people who joined Barack Obama at the Democratic Convention. John McCain should applaud that, but instead his supporters wrongfully took leftover bundles of our flags from the stadium to play a cheap political stunt calling into question our patriotism. On the same day he agrees to join Barack Obama at Ground Zero on September 11, John McCain attacks the patriotism of Obama supporters who so proudly waved the American flag at our historic event in Denver just days ago.”
—Democratic National Committee Spokeswoman Karen Finney

And predictably, the story was false.  Someone stole the flags to pull a stunt.

Another statement from the Democratic National Convention Committee: “Stories circulating about flags at the Democratic National Convention are false. We distributed more than 125,000 American made flags at the Convention – the flags removed from Invesco field were intended for other events and taken without permission. It’s disappointing that someone would take American flags without authorization and then falsely describe how they were being used. We have the utmost respect for the American flag, and it’s sad to see them being used for a cheap political stunt.”

I thought McCain said ‘stand up and fight’ not sink down and steal.  Oh, well.

Like Bill Bennett, Sen. Inhofe thinks this election is about patroitism.  I guess that’s what they are going for here.  The cynicism is so thick now, it would be depressing, if not for this :)

“What Does the American Flag Mean to You?”

Video from a Republican party competition.

I wonder if  the winner will point out that the American flag means a souvinier to get an autograph from the president, or an opportunity to make a buck by manufacturing doormats for the president to walk on, or does the flag mean business opportunity in paying Chinese slave wages to make clothing with flags on it.  Or perhaps just little flags to hang on the end of a 2×4 hanging out of the back of your pickup truck.

And of course they schedule the pledge for primetime — instead of at the beginning of the ceremony.

Rumsfeld, the Statesman

Or so says The Claremont Institute.   Get your tickets now!  Buy your way to a “Churchill Table” for only $10K.  For $25K, I think you get dipped in liquid gold or get to sit next to Rummy.

Odd, I was looking up links for a post about Somalia when I found this.  Imagine that — there are people in this country who think someone will pay $25K to have dinner with Donald Rumsfeld.  And those people are correct.  What will The Claremont Institute do with all that money?  Whatever they damn well please, I suspect, and given that Bill Bennett is part of it, I would also guess that it will fund ways to make patriotism part of the November 2008 election.

Personally, I think questioning a fellow American’s patriotism is passe at this point.  Once you arrive at the conclusion that the only patriots are those who agree with you, you’ve pretty much run out of territory.  By drawing the lines closer and smaller, you define yourself as a minority.  Honestly I’ve never thought of calling any of my blogosphere foes nor people I interact with on a regular basis un-American.  I’ve never thought they were.  It’s such a reactionary thing to do.  When you have no argument, that’s where you go.  Bennett has often said that he believes the next election will be about patriotism.  It may well be for his side of the aisle, but for me, I’ll choose the person I vote for based on their policies.

Seriously, it’s like voting on the basis of who is a dog.  Dora is a dog.  Tammy is a dog.  They are different.  Dora has done some stereotypical dog-dog things in her life — and most are nasty.  Tammy, not so much.  Is Tammy not a dog?  That’s where the patriotism argument is at this point.  It’s as if in dog-world you don’t sniff butt.  Or lick up your own vomit (or try to).  Or bury things in the yard.  Or kill some creature you hate.  (Dora does; Tam doesn’t.)  What makes one a dog?  What makes one a patriotic American?  Wearing a flag lapel pin?  Wearing a flag shirt?  Wearing flag speedos?  Signing your autograph on an American flag?  Buying a red, white and blue or yellow ribbon-shapped magnet from China?  Representing (to international students) your country, state and city 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, year after year,  by your actions?

Dora and Tammy are alike in one fundemental way — they both love their chewies.   Watching them tear up those beef puffs truly gives me pleasure.

President Ford

I don’t remember very much about President Ford’s time in office.  I was in junior high school at the time.  One thing I do remember from that time was how students couldn’t wear any representation of the American flag on their clothing.   A fad at the time was wearing embroidered shirts over a white t-shirt.  My mom made one for me and on it she had embroidered an American flag.  The assistant principle at my school made me take the shirt off.   At that time it was considered disrepectful to wear the flag as a part of your clothing.  My mom didn’t think the flag on my shirt fit under that equation, but she agreed that I shouldn’t wear the shirt.

 The News Hour ran the kind remarks Jimmy Carter made about President Ford before he died.  They also ran a report Jim Lehrer had made about presidential debates from 2004, I think.  Ford and Carter were honest about what happened in their debates.  They are both exampes of how civil politicians used to be . . . before the Fairness Doctrine was abolished by Reagan, the poison of DeLay and Gingrich set in, and George W. Bush drove the last nail in the coffin of civility or sanity for that matter.  Reagan gave birth to people like Limbaugh.  Gingrich and DeLay introduced manipulated politics.  George W. Bush brought in the thugs.

Today those who substitute for the Limbaugh types, as well as most of the media, paid tribute to President Ford to some extent.   Even though Tom DeLay has a blog, it took “him” (if you read the post you know Tom didn’t write it) until this afternoon to scrape something together.  In all it was pretty lame compared to what they came out with when Reagan died.  That’s to be expected, I guess.