Patterico's Pontifications

6/23/2020

Trump: Burn the American Flag, Go to Jail For One Year. Oh, Yeah, And Free Speech Or Something…

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:17 pm



[guest post by Dana]

At the Tulsa rally this past weekend, the President of the United States suggested that there should be consequences for anyone who burns the American flag:

“We ought to come up with legislation that if you burn the American flag, you go to jail for one year. One year,” Trump said, claiming that he’s “a big believer in freedom of speech,” but calling flag burning “desecration.”

Trump cited an incident at a protest in Portland as the inspiration for his proposal. “Two days ago, leftist protesters in Portland, Oregon ripped down a statue of George Washington and wrapped in an American flag, and set the American flag on fire,” Trump said to raucous boos from the crowd. “Democrat, all Democrat. Everything I tell you is Democrat,” he added.

As we know, burning the American flag constitutes symbolic speech which is protected by the First Amendment. (Texas v. Johnnson, 1989).

Geoffrey R. Stone and Eugene Volokh lay out the basic concept of symbolic speech here :

“The Supreme Court has interpreted ‘speech’ and ‘press’ broadly as covering not only talking, writing, and printing, but also broadcasting, using the Internet, and other forms of expression. The freedom of speech also applies to symbolic expression, such as displaying flags, burning flags, wearing armbands, burning crosses, and the like,” said Stone and Volokh.

“The Supreme Court has held that restrictions on speech because of its content—that is, when the government targets the speaker’s message—generally violate the First Amendment. Laws that prohibit people from criticizing a war, opposing abortion, or advocating high taxes are examples of unconstitutional content-based restrictions. Such laws are thought to be especially problematic because they distort public debate and contradict a basic principle of self-governance: that the government cannot be trusted to decide what ideas or information ‘the people’ should be allowed to hear.”

This is nothing new for Trump. Back in November 2016, President-elect Trump suggested that those who burn the American flag should lose their citizenship:

Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!

Last year, I wrote about two Republican congressmen who introduced a Constitutional amendment to ban the burning of the American flag (which Trump enthusiastically endorsed), saying:

Given that efforts to add an amendment have failed before, and given that each chamber of Congress would have to pass the measure with a two-thirds majority, and three-fourths of the state legislatures would have to vote to approve the amendment for any change to the Constitution to be made, it’s unlikely to go anywhere. But really, is the push for such an amendment a good idea? Clearly some GOP lawmakers think it is. However, consider that this makes the GOP as a whole vulnerable to criticism of being anti-speech, or at the very least, the Party that attacks [and attempts to shut down] speech.

In closing, I’ll leave you with Beldar’s observation about symbolism and the American flag:

A flag, be it the American flag or any other, has no more objective intrinsic value than any other similarly sized piece of cloth. What makes any flag meaningful is the symbolism that people project onto the flag.

There likewise is no objective intrinsic value to burning a flag, no more than any other piece of cloth, the only value in the act being, again, the symbolism that people project onto that act.

Symbols and symbolism are indeed powerful for reasons that aren’t objectively rational. They speak loudly but metaphorically. Allowing government to regulate symbols and symbolism based on its content is as pernicious an idea as allowing government to regulate spoken or printed speech based on its content.

Every argument that a special rule should be made for the U.S. flag because of its special significance is merely a restatement of the observation that it is especially imbued with symbolism. Demonstrations using it, whether reverently or disdainfully, are intended to take advantage of that imbued symbolism to make intensify one’s argument, whether it’s an argument of reverence for the U.S. and its government or an argument that’s disdainful. But there is an asymmetry; ultimately, on close and prolonged observation of the symbolism and that which is behind it, the reverent people are celebrating a symbol that also stands for the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and especially including its guarantees of free speech. And by contrast, the disdainful people — the Bill Ayers with their arguments made in both words and symbolic conduct — are always, always undercut on the merits by the fact that those folks very ability to show disdain for the flag is as protected as my speech celebrating it.

–Dana

98 Responses to “Trump: Burn the American Flag, Go to Jail For One Year. Oh, Yeah, And Free Speech Or Something…”

  1. More speech, not less speech. Repeat.

    Dana (25e0dc)

  2. You are reacting to Trump’s words as though they are a serious proposal to pass legislation. They aren’t.

    What Trump said, in his usual buffoonish style, is that burning the American flag is despicable. Even Scalia, who supported the Texas v. Johnson decision, said that.

    Trump’s speech, while crude and misdirected, has a basic truth at its core. The people doing this hate America, not just hate certain things about America. Anyone who wants to rip down statues of Abraham Lincoln along with statues of Robert E Lee is tipping their hand.

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  3. You are reacting to Trump’s words as though they are a serious proposal to pass legislation. They aren’t.

    Whether or not he is serious about any legislation is beside the point. Words matter, and the words of the President of the United States matter even more. However, I am inclined to believe that Trump is just looking for some avenue to gin up outrage within his base. No doubt, there will be some Trump loyalists in Congress who will again attempt to introduce an amendment to prohibit flag burning.

    Dana (25e0dc)

  4. Well, going to jail for one year is an improvement over loss of citizenship.

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  5. Are we going to pretend its not open seasons on monuments and churches, and that isnt worthy of a deplatforming.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  6. Patriotism is the last refuge of the Fifth Avenue bonespur.

    nk (1d9030)

  7. Funny how Trump’s dislike for ‘losers’ doesn’t extend to Confederate generals
    …..
    We need to draw some fine distinctions here. Study the specifics of each individual to decide whether he or she is still worth honoring. The rule of thumb should be that those who contributed a great deal to the development of our country deserve to be recognized, however flawed they were as human beings.

    The Founding Fathers easily pass the test. Jefferson, Washington and other Founders were slaveholders, but they also produced a Declaration of Independence that declared “all men are created equal.” ……

    Grant fought to defeat the Confederacy as a Union general and then, as president, he fought against the Ku Klux Klan. That far outweighs the fact that he briefly owned one slave whom he freed before the Civil War. ….. Grant deserves to be honored more — not less. There are 10 U.S. Army bases named for Confederate officers. All of them should be renamed — one of them for Grant.

    So, too, should we continue to honor Theodore Roosevelt, even though, like most of his white contemporaries, he would be judged a racist today. He was not only a war hero, a great conservationist, a trust-buster and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, but also the first president to invite an African American — his friend Booker T. Washington — to dine at the White House.
    …….
    Andrew Jackson is a harder case. He enhanced democracy for white Americans, but he was also a slave owner and he inflicted great suffering on Native Americans including on the Trail of Tears…..

    Confederate leaders, by contrast, aren’t a close call at all. They were traitors who fought to preserve slavery. Whatever personal virtues they might have had are inconsequential compared with the evil that they did. …..Just as we should stop honoring Lee, so, too, should honors be denied to markedly inferior Confederate commanders such as Braxton Bragg and Henry Benning. There is no excuse for naming U.S. Army bases after these losers — to adopt one of Trump’s favorite insults.

    Yet this is where Trump and much of the Republican Party have chosen to draw a line in the sand. ….
    ….
    This is about preserving white supremacy. Monuments to the “Lost Cause” were expressly erected to maintain support for segregation. As a towering Confederate monument in Augusta, Ga., puts it: “No nation rose so white and fair / none fell so pure of crime.” Communities that maintain such monuments are implicitly endorsing their white-power message.
    ……

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  8. “What Trump said, in his usual buffoonish style, is that burning the American flag is despicable. Even Scalia, who supported the Texas v. Johnson decision, said that.”

    I for one am glad for the service that Trump whisperers provide, to let us know what Trump actually meant when he says something dumb.

    Davethulhu (9921df)

  9. #9 — No need to thank me. A small renumeration to my bank account is all that is needed. 😉

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  10. CITATION FINES – FEE SCHEDULE

    https://www.portlandoregon.gov/citycode/article/355491

    No new laws are necessary.

    BuDuh (09c6f4)

  11. Trump is a big believer in freedom of speech that he agrees with.

    Can anyone cite a single example of Trump acknowledging the legitimacy of an opinion that differs from his own?

    Dave (1bb933)

  12. Person of experience in destroying symbols, toppling statues, changing names, erasing history:

    https://twitter.com/TruthHammer888/status/1275094217329537025
    __ _

    harkin (4cf812)

  13. John greenleaf whittier the latest ci timod the rising fire

    Narciso (7404b5)

  14. However, I am inclined to believe that Trump is just looking for some avenue to gin up outrage within his base.

    Rinse… repeat…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  15. “Symbolic speech” is a tautology. All words, spoken, written, or mimed, are merely symbols of the object they represent.

    Actually, we don’t need a Constitutional amendment for flag burners if all we want to do is deport them. The Supreme Court has ruled that U.S. citizenship can be lost only if the citizen voluntarily renounces it. If flag burning is so “speechy”, then what better interpretation of it is there than a renunciation of loyalty to the United States?

    See you in a UN refugee camp for stateless persons, and don’t say we didn’t respect your First Amendment rights.

    nk (1d9030)

  16. Burning the flag shows what a disgusting human being you are. But the media will praise you to high heaven for it. But call a fake crime a hoax, or that BLM is a horrible,, communist organization,, then you’ll lose your job and your livelyhood.

    But focus on this instead.

    NJRob (7abbe0)

  17. Just don’t expect to see it from Trump. Trump only talks. He does not do.

    nk (1d9030)

  18. Trump’s cultists frequently raise the specter of his opponents imposing socialist policies on America. This threat, they feverishly insist, justifies not just toleration, but full-throated affirmation of Trump’s corruption, sociopathy and malfeasance.

    And yet here we see “America’s last best hope” openly advocating the time-tested policies of socialist, communist and jihadist despots the world over.

    Flag burning is illegal in China, comrades. And in North Korea. Venezuela, Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia too.

    Think about what your Dear Leader is advocating, and what you are reflexively supporting because The Party expects it.

    Dave (1bb933)

  19. I’m beginning to think he has medial lobe issues, and hasn’t formed a new memory since about ’93.

    Because President Stumbles sure appears to be running on a laundry list from a front page from around then.

    john (cd2753)

  20. Top Pentagon nominee pushed conspiracy theories that former CIA director tried to overthrow Trump and even have him assassinated
    …….
    Retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, who was nominated to become the under secretary of defense for policy at the Department of Defense, promoted conspiracy theories that John Brennan, the former CIA director, wanted to oust Trump from office, and pushed a bogus conspiracy theory that Brennan sent a coded tweet to order the assassination of Trump in 2018.
    …..
    Tata asserted a number of conspiracy theories in his radio and television appearances and on social media. …..
    ……
    “It would not surprise me if eventually it came out that he (Brennan) was somehow allied with some foreign power because what he’s doing is fomenting the division. ……”

    ……After Brennan tweeted a Cicero quote, Tata replied, ….. This is a signal to someone, somewhere. Cicero was assassinated for political reasons. This is a clear threat against @POTUS.”

    When a Twitter user challenged if Tata was serious about his accusation, Tata replied, “Totally. He’s nervous. He ran the CIA. He’s committed multiple crimes. He has the network to do what he threatens here.”

    The Twitter user then asked the retired general if Brennan’s tweet was a signal to someone to assassinate the President. Tata wrote back, “I believe so. Why else would he randomly quote Cicero on a day that @realDonaldTrump asks for an investigation of crimes that directly implicates him?…..
    ……
    “So when you see President Obama on Comedy Central, digging on the President-elect, making fun of him and talking about Russia. And you hear Michelle Obama on the Oprah show saying for the first time in her life, she’s felt no hope–that is unconscionable. That is, that is a borderline treasonous to be undermining the term, a peaceful transition of power,” said Tata on a December 2016 podcast.
    ……

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  21. RichieMovie cameraMcGPopcorn
    @RichieMcGinniss
    ·
    Protester at Emancipation Monument claims that they will be tearing down the monument Thursday at 7 PM.

    Also calls for them to show up at Senator Mitch McConnell’s home.
    __ _

    RichieMovie
    @RichieMcGinniss

    “Thursday at 7 PM, we tearing this motherf***er down!”
    (loud cheering)
    __ _

    (((AG)))
    @AGHamilton29
    ·
    I’m going to go ahead and say we shouldn’t let a mob of historically illiterate morons tear down a monument that was funded exclusively by donations from emancipated slaves.

    __ _

    harkin (4cf812)

  22. Of course, if “hate speech” is a thing, we’ll need to re-evaluate.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  23. @ Dave,

    Trump’s cultists frequently raise the specter of his opponents imposing socialist policies on America. This threat, they feverishly insist, justifies not just toleration, but full-throated affirmation of Trump’s corruption, sociopathy and malfeasance.

    That reminded me of this tweet from Trump’s legal counsel, Jenna Ellis:

    I’m going on record now:

    If they try to cancel Christianity, if they try to force me to apologize or recant my Faith, I will not bend, I will not waver, I will not break.

    On Christ the solid Rock I stand.

    And I’m proud to be an American

    Exactly *who* is trying to cancel Christianity??? No one that I know, and yet, let’s gin up the outrage anyway.

    Dana (25e0dc)

  24. Prefer to eat ice cream and cake– or perhaps potato salad- heavy on the mayo- off a disposable paper plate emblazoned w/Old Glory, eh, Captain, sir?!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  25. Republican senators refuse to back Trump’s ‘treason’ claim against Obama
    Senate Republicans on Tuesday distanced themselves from President Donald Trump’s claim that former President Barack Obama committed “treason,” refusing to back up the unfounded allegation that has fueled the president’s revenge campaign against his predecessor.
    ………
    But accusing Obama of treason was a bridge too far, they said.

    “I don’t think that President Obama committed treason,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who is up for reelection this year.

    “I don’t know what he’s talking about,” added Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “I don’t have any evidence to believe he committed treason.”
    ……
    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who is leading an investigation into the Obama administration’s activities during the presidential transition process in late 2016 and early 2017, similarly declined to endorse Trump’s “treason” charge.

    “The president speaks for himself,” Johnson said……..
    ……
    The GOP’s resigned response to Trump’s comments also suggests a level of fatigue with being asked to answer for the latest tweet or controversial remark, while knowing that any semblance of criticism can prompt a fiery tweet from the president himself. ……
    ……
    Earlier this year, Trump pushed Graham to haul Obama before the committee to testify about his potential involvement in the initial investigations that targeted Trump’s campaign and his associates. But Graham quickly dismissed that idea, saying it would set a dangerous precedent.

    “I understand President Trump’s frustration, but be careful what you wish for. Just be careful what you wish for,” Graham said at the time.
    …….

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  26. @22. Exploding cigars didn’t work w/Castro; MickeyDee gift certificates won’t work either. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  27. Never heard of this General Anthony Tata. I think I’ll invite him and his wife over to my next pool party. Tatas are always welcome!

    norcal (a5428a)

  28. America has moved past of flag burning at this point. We need to start legislating away any nooses, or any knotted ropes that look like nooses or make any holes no matter what the size and no matter what the knot.

    Hoi Polloi (dc4124)

  29. However, I am inclined to believe that Trump is just looking for some avenue to gin up outrage within his base.

    Not exactly.

    What maters to him is that it is something that his political opponents – and also non-Trump Republicans – will neither support nor argue against. At least in principle.

    Sammy Finkelman (3102d6)

  30. “America has moved past of flag burning at this point. We need to start legislating away any nooses, or any knotted ropes that look like nooses or make any holes no matter what the size and no matter what the knot.”

    Probably Shake Shack milkshakes and Frappuccinos too.

    Davethulhu (9921df)

  31. 27. Since it is being argued against, Trump will drop the idea very quickly.

    Sammy Finkelman (3102d6)

  32. No one that I know, and yet, let’s gin up the outrage anyway.

    And by harping on flag burning, Trump encourages people to do it as a repudiation of him, thus playing right into his strategy of paranoia and manufactured grievance.

    Dave (1bb933)

  33. @33

    Since it is being argued against, Trump will drop the idea very quickly.

    That’s what I look for in a leader.

    norcal (a5428a)

  34. If one accepts Beldar’s reasoning, then the issue of motivation/intent becomes largely, if not completely, irrelevant.

    It is widely known that the burning of a flag is deeply hurtful to a significant number of Americans. Same as the “N” word is. It is an intentional infliction of emotional distress/harm.

    Yet one of these actions is deemed an element of a hate crime and not protected expression. The other enjoys celebration amongst many intelligentsia and celebrity elite. No criminal liability whatsoever.

    Beldar speaks to a literal material consequence. Sticks and stones. Hard to argue against that, imo.

    I write to express dismay over the mere existence of “hate” laws. A murder victim is not any more dead from being lynched than from being run over by a drunk driver, right?

    Ed from SFV (f64387)

  35. “Yet one of these actions is deemed an element of a hate crime and not protected expression. The other enjoys celebration amongst many intelligentsia and celebrity elite. No criminal liability whatsoever.”

    Nobody is going to arrest you if you call someone the n-word.

    Davethulhu (9921df)

  36. Now if you called someone the n-word on these forums, Patterico would be within his rights to ban you. If I posted a picture of myself burning the flag, the same would apply. Neither of us would have any recourse (nor should we).

    Davethulhu (9921df)

  37. Dave @37/38 The discussion is about behavior rising, or not, to the level of criminality.

    Using the “N” word while harming another in some physical fashion is a core element used to significantly enhance a criminal indictment. Burning a flag, to my knowledge, isn’t used anymore as an incitement.

    Ed from SFV (f64387)

  38. Burning a flag isn’t “speech”. Just because the SCOTUS – after 190 years – came up with that absurd interpretation of the 1st Amendment, doesn’t mean we have to agree with it. If Congress passed a law, then it would up to someone to take them to court, and then we’d find out if the current occupants of the Judiciary agree with the prior ruling.

    As shown by the DACA ruling, Trump could write an EO saying Flag burning is illegal with 1 year prison sentence. Then a district court could agree. The fed court of appeals could then agree. And the SCOTUS could then take 2 years to take the care, and send it back to Congress for more work, but keep the law in place.

    rcocean (fcc23e)

  39. BTW, some state laws have criminalized the burning of the Israeli flag, even thought that is a foreign country. Is that a Violation of “Free Speech”. Well it depends on which judges take the case.

    rcocean (fcc23e)

  40. @40, how did you arrive at the idea the executive can define a crime in an EO? You literally recognize later that it is a matter for Congress. So why and how could it start as an EO?

    JohnnyAgreeable (1b878e)

  41. Which States have done so? And yes that would violate the 1A.

    JohnnyAgreeable (1b878e)

  42. If you strike someone who is burning a flag, is that to be treated as simple assault? Or is that considered a provocation like the N-word might be? I know the Courts have separated the two, but that line doesn’t seem very bright to me.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  43. The warren court muddled things from tinker on, and johnson is an example of such muddled thinking that leads to abominations like last weeks trifecta of decisions.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  44. Governments can fine, even arrest, people for certain speech. The grounds seem fairly narrow, but the right to speak does not include the right to insult, slander or abuse. This isn’t as clear-cut as it seems.

    From Wikipedia:

    There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any Constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or “fighting” words–those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.

    — Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 1942

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_words

    The Court later tossed out an anti-flag-burning law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_v._New_York) but there is no assurance that this (and similar borderline cases in the BLM age) won’t be revisited.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. Baptists and Walmart criticize rebel-themed Mississippi flag
    ………
    “ We believe it’s the right thing to do, and is consistent with Walmart’s position to not sell merchandise with the confederate flag from stores and online sites, as part of our commitment to provide a welcoming and inclusive experience for all of our customers in the communities we serve,” company spokesperson Anne Hatfield said.
    ……..
    “While some may see the current flag as a celebration of heritage, a significant portion of our state sees it as a relic of racism and a symbol of hatred,” the Baptist group said in a statement. “The racial overtones of this flag’s appearance make this discussion a moral issue.”

    White supremacists in the Mississippi Legislature embedded the symbol in the upper left corner of the state flag in 1894, amid backlash to political power that African Americans gained during Reconstruction.
    ……..
    ……….[T]he Confederate-themed design had been used for nearly a century by tradition rather than by law. Then-Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, a Democrat, appointed a 17-member commission to study flag design in 2000 and to make recommendations to the Legislature.

    Democratic state Rep. Ed Blackmon of Canton served the commission, which held public hearings in late 2000.

    “You have no idea of the vitriol, the hatred and pronouncements of evil that were bestowed upon those of us who were present,” Blackmon said Tuesday. “It brought out the worst in Mississippians.”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (e7189f)

  46. If you strike someone who is burning a flag, is that to be treated as simple assault?

    It’s symbolic speech expressing your disapproval in the only adequate manner.

    First and Eighth Amendment jurisprudence are outliers. They are not grounded on, nor do they follow the rules, of traditional American and Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence like in other areas. They’re pretty much the Supreme Court making it up as it goes along.

    nk (1d9030)

  47. It is widely known that the burning of a flag is deeply hurtful to a significant number of Americans. Same as the “N” word is. It is an intentional infliction of emotional distress/harm.

    True, but the N-word (and the flag of the slave states too) carries a lot more historical baggage. In other words, it’s a matter of degree.

    Making a vulgar remark about somebody’s mother, and putting a yellow star on a Jewish person’s jacket are both intentional infliction of emotional distress, but I think the latter – which hearkens back to terrible historical events much like tropes held over from the slavery era – is a lot worse.

    Dave (1bb933)

  48. The grounds seem fairly narrow, but the right to speak does not include the right to insult, slander or abuse. This isn’t as clear-cut as it seems.

    The First Amendment absolutely covers insulting and abusive speech. If it didn’t as a broad matter the people that think there’s a hate crime exception (there isn’t) would be correct.

    johnnyagreeable (1b878e)

  49. Exactly *who* is trying to cancel Christianity??? No one that I know, and yet, let’s gin up the outrage anyway.

    Apparently they were triggered by Shaun King, who tweeted out a complaint about the dominance of images showing a “white Jesus” and not as a Person of Slighter Darker Skintone. Somehow that morphed into the idea that Lefties want to cancel Jesus completely.

    Kishnevi (638ecc)

  50. To get into Harvard, Jesus would have to compete with every other white applicant.

    beer ‘n pretzels (0b74d3)

  51. You forgot the 2012 democratic. Convention already, how about st. Johns church which was vandalized just days ago.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  52. Chimeras and straw men for the boogeyman boys. Beats having to face and deal with real problems, or even just the ordinary tasks of government, which this duck l’orange administration is totally FUBAR at.

    nk (1d9030)

  53. Burning the flag is the most respectful way to use it in protest. It is the designated method of flag disposal in the Flag Code. It would be much less respectful to walk on top of it, or stomp it into the mud, or spit on it. It is, in fact, more respectful than making it into a T-Shirt and sweating all over it, or into a bikini so someone can drool on it, since making clothing of the flag is expressly forbidden by the flag code.

    Nic (896fdf)

  54. Frank Burns would be all over a law against flag-burning.

    norcal (a5428a)

  55. Burning the flag is the most respectful way to use it in protest. It is the designated method of flag disposal in the Flag Code. It would be much less respectful to walk on top of it, or stomp it into the mud, or spit on it. It is, in fact, more respectful than making it into a T-Shirt and sweating all over it, or into a bikini so someone can drool on it, since making clothing of the flag is expressly forbidden by the flag code.

    Nic (896fdf) — 6/23/2020 @ 10:42 pm

    The flag is a symbol. What it means depends on shared context. Burning it means that you’re really angry at the USA or something that it’s done/doing.

    It could also mean that you’re respectfully retiring it because it was physically damaged. But the respectful retirement ceremony would probably look very different.

    There are two main political parties.

    One is lead by an imbecile that speaks for my fellow citizen who love the symbols of our country but don’t seem to understand, let alone appreciate, the principles they stand for.

    The other has lost control of their extremist wing. A wing that is so clueless and historically illiterate they’re either unaware of, or uninterested in, the difference between a monument to the end of slavery and a monument to white supremacy.

    I’m voting 3rd party.

    Time123 (653992)

  56. From the Amazon Q&A for your bumper sticker:

    “This says no humans were harmed in the making of this sticker. Is it too late to change that?”

    LOL.

    Dave (1bb933)

  57. I still say that burning the flag is a explicit, if over-dramatic, renunciation of U.S. citizenship. What else could it be? A declaration of war against the United States? Go with renunciation of citizenship, trust me on this.

    nk (1d9030)

  58. @60, how about a passionate expression of disagreement at official policy of the United States that you feel is not just wrong but evil?

    Time123 (653992)

  59. Mere motive. Better than to avoid paying U.S. taxes for overseas income which is the most common reason for renunciation of U.S. citizenship, I’ll grant you that.

    nk (1d9030)

  60. I wonder….what official policy of the U.S. government….is explicitly or implicitly racist…..that one needs to burn the flag in opposition? Are there material inequities? Certainly… but no rule or tax is explicitly racist. Are there inequities under the law? There can be both real and perceived inequities…especially based on class….and how policing is done in high-crime areas. However, the law in general is neutral…and in many cases…rational. But is this something we really think should be micromanaged from Washington DC….where local policing for instance would be managed by federal bureaucrats and one-size-fits-all thinking. I can’t believe that rational people truly see that as the answer.

    Well…as I’ve heard….maybe flag burning is needed to start the discussion….bring awareness….change attitudes….compel action….something. Perhaps….but it also feels a bit like a big shakedown….and more admission that local democracy can’t work….that we can’t self govern….and need to be wards of the bigger state. That building financial capital is beyond what the individual can do. Burning a flag seems a lot like wearing a bright red MAGA hat…or kneeling during the anthem….more “look-at-me” than anything substantive….

    AJ_Liberty (0f85ca)

  61. I don’t like it that folks would disrespect an American flag but the Supreme Court ruled that flag-burning is protected political speech, and we are a nation that is all about the rule of law, or at least we should be.
    Instead of impotently proposing a flag-burning law (which will get shot down in the courts), Trump could actually do something useful, like push for a Constitutional amendment on flag desecration, but that would take actual work and Trump would rather grandstand.

    Paul Montagu (d27749)

  62. Kishnevi (638ecc) — 6/23/2020 @ 8:38 pm

    What King actually said:

    Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been,

    And not just Jesus:

    King then extended his demands to include “all murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends.

    But I’m sure our usual crowd of marxists will be shocked when mostly peaceful protesters show up at churches that don’t “voluntarily” replace these depictions. The faithful truecons will also be there to explain how this is private property and the churches can put up whatever statues and images they want but free speech has consequences.

    Somehow that morphed into the idea that Lefties want to cancel Jesus completely.

    Your lying about the “cancel completely” part. It’s always about control and it didn’t morph. It’s always been a key element.

    The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. – Marx

    frosty (4c16b4)

  63. The only people who take Talcum X seriously are the people who also attend Trump rallies.

    nk (1d9030)

  64. Time123 (653992) — 6/24/2020 @ 4:26 am

    But the respectful retirement ceremony would probably look very different.

    Having been to a retirement ceremony and seen protesters burning them on TV. Yes, they are different.

    That there are other ways to disrespect it is doesn’t make burning it respectful. The original comment was at best wrong, but more likely dishonest. A much better way to use the flag as protest is to respect it and demand that others who respect it standup for the ideals it represents. The people burning it can’t do that because they don’t want those ideals.

    frosty (4c16b4)

  65. So about that mandamus hEh

    Narciso (5acc0c)

  66. nk (1d9030) — 6/24/2020 @ 7:24 am

    I’d love to be wrong. But we’re still pretending the statues issue is just about confederate symbols. I’m wouldn’t be surprised if later this afternoon some talking head on TV explained that these white depictions started during the reconstruction period and really took hold during the ‘50s leading up to the civil rights debates of the ‘60s.

    frosty (4c16b4)

  67. Hey Frosty

    Shaun is wrong to ignore the fact that people as far back as the Coptics have illustrated Jesus to look like them. While he almost certainly didn’t look white, there’s a long tradition of Jesus being drawn to look like us, for all values of us. This is good because it helps people feel closer to god.

    Shaun is correct that illustrating Jesus as a Caucasian and (the history of using force to establish that as the only true way to view him) was part of narrative that supported a system that put white Europeans on top as the only acceptable outcome. There’s also a reasonable argument that it impacts the reach of teachings.

    While Christ the Lord transcends skin color and racial divisions, white Jesus has real consequences. In all likelihood, if you close your eyes and picture Jesus, you’ll imagine a white man. Without conscious intention or awareness, many of us have become disciples of a white Jesus. Not only is white Jesus inaccurate, he also can inhibit our ability to honor the image of God in people who aren’t white.

    Finally, and very annoying to me, Shaun is showing terrible leadership. There’s a clear and easy case to be made that the Stone Mountain Monument is racist AF and the Emancipation Monument was anything but. Shaun’s better educated than I am. He understands the difference and by failing to bring that into focus is doing a terrible thing. Someone on the left needs to get some influence over this movement.

    Time123 (653992)

  68. Our host will not be happy this morning:

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/24/politics/michael-flynn-dismiss/index.html

    Appalled (1a17de)

  69. Can you tell if it has to be with prejudice, the way Trump wanted it?

    nk (1d9030)

  70. 2-1. The two women. Figures.

    nk (1d9030)

  71. What was that about fokker (who seems before the supreme court every decade, btw)

    Narciso (7404b5)

  72. I guess Powell wasn’t so inept after all, LOL 😆

    They’ll still try to pull some other horseschiff…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  73. Sullivan already moved for this to be reviewed. It wasn’t a unanimous decision.

    I look forward to the obnoxious cries of how Flynn is a victim in all this. He sure fights hard against a week in jail for a crime he confessed to.

    Dustin (e3a6ae)

  74. #NeverTrump gets it… good and hard.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  75. Its just a gangrenous flesh would coronello

    Narciso (7404b5)

  76. Weissman grack and co, need to go to jail for conspiracy, fraud so this doesnt happen again.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  77. 2-1. The two women. Figures.

    What’s that supposed to mean, nk?

    Capsaicin Addict (041266)

  78. Unlike howell jackson and the other two valkyries he means

    Narciso (7404b5)

  79. The contreras recusal after the plea should have been the first clue.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  80. What about it montagu, no more pithy comeback.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  81. What’s that supposed to mean, nk?

    Capsaicin Addict (041266) — 6/24/2020 @ 8:11 am

    Who are you to ask?

    nk (1d9030)

  82. Countdown to posts and comments calling the two DC Circuit judges in the Flynn case Trump crony hacks, in 3 … 2 … 1 …

    Al S (638581)

  83. Time123 (653992) — 6/24/2020 @ 7:40 am

    Someone on the left needs to get some influence over this movement.

    Someone on the left has influence over this movement. Who do you think is running it? What other outcome are you expecting? When does it occur to you that he knows what he’s doing? Marxists don’t care about truth in depictions of religious figures. That discussion would need to happen within the context of a system they are trying to destroy.

    frosty (4c16b4)

  84. Who are you to ask?

    The guy who’s eating popcorn and watching people descend into madness while I giggle a lot.

    Capsaicin Addict (041266)

  85. Two things that often seem to be forgotten in discussions of flag burning:

    The “flag code” specifically calls for flags that have fallen into severe disrepair and are “no longer a fitting emblem for display” to be destroyed by burning. 4 USC 8(k).

    Meanwhile, the flag is specifically not supposed to be used in apparel, bedding, or drapery (4 USC 8(d)) or advertising (4 USC 8(i)).

    aphrael (7962af)

  86. The “flag code” specifically calls for flags that have fallen into severe disrepair and are “no longer a fitting emblem for display” to be destroyed by burning. 4 USC 8(k).

    And what’s forgotten by people who bring that up is that before burning it you take a scissors and separate the union from the stripes so that it’s not a flag anymore.

    Meanwhile, the flag is specifically not supposed to be used in apparel, bedding, or drapery (4 USC 8(d)) or advertising (4 USC 8(i)).

    Yup. I disapprove of lapel pins and arm patches.

    nk (1d9030)

  87. The “flag code” specifically calls for flags that have fallen into severe disrepair and are “no longer a fitting emblem for display” to be destroyed by burning. 4 USC 8(k).
    Given that no criminal penalties are attached to the Flag Code, it is essentially recommendations.

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  88. The Leftist ability to twist the language is remarkable. Of course, its not because they are so smart but because everyone else is so stupid.

    There’s nothing more patriotic than burning the US Flag

    Only a dimwit could fail to laugh at this absurdity. I will now go my support for Israel by burning their flag. Thank you.

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  89. Crews Begin Removing John C. Calhoun Statue In South Carolina
    The removal comes less than 24 hours after the Charleston City Council’s unanimous vote on the statue’s fate. ……
    …….
    The city’s mayor, John Tecklenburg, announced the resolution to relocate Calhoun’s statue last week at a press conference. A special panel of historians will determine the statue’s new home. The mayor said he wanted the statue to be preserved at a museum or educational institution, where it could be displayed in its full historical context.

    “We are taking this action only after careful consideration of the facts of Mr. Calhoun’s life,” Tecklenburg said. He called Calhoun both “South Carolina’s most prominent national statesman” and “its most consequential defender of slavery and white supremacy.”

    Tecklenburg also addressed the Heritage Act, which prohibits the removal of war memorials in the state. Since the Calhoun statue is not a war memorial, he said the state law does not apply.
    ……
    ……In his press conference, Tecklenburg quoted a speech Calhoun gave on the Senate floor in 1837, in which he called the institution of slavery a “positive good” instead of an evil.

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  90. This is dumb.

    We’re free to burn our OWN American flag if we want.

    We’re NOT free from criticism, but the government don’t have a say in preventing a privately own flag from being burned.

    What we’re NOT free and should face charges if someone burns a flag that’s not the burner’s property…and also there are laws regulating burning anything.

    whembly (c30c83)

  91. Is it okay to burn an American flag stamped ‘Made in China’, Captain, sir?!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  92. @95 so long as it’s yours and the act of “buring things” doesn’t violate local safety laws…. sure.

    whembly (c30c83)

  93. @58 “The flag is a symbol. What it means depends on shared context. Burning it means that you’re really angry at the USA or something that it’s done/doing.”

    Sure, but it’s still more respectful than walking on it or spitting on it or stomping it into the mud, all of which also mean you are really angry at the USA. If you wouldn’t threaten to put someone in jail for stomping on it, you shouldn’t threaten to put someone in jail for burning it.

    @67 Nope, not dishonest. Burning the flag as appropriate disposal is, in fact, in the flag code. However, most respectful and actually respectful are 2 different things, which I expected would be a thing people here should understand, given some of the more complex topics discussed here. But I will clarify: one could also say that the beach is the highest point in the ocean, this does not actually make it high.

    Nic (896fdf)

  94. He sure fights hard against a week in jail for a crime he confessed to.

    Never mind the rubber hoses.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)


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