Does the first Amendment gives us the right to desecrate the
American flag? Or is the flag a sacred symbol of our nation,
deserving protection by law? Tough call? "The Solution:"
For those who want to light Old Glory on fire, stomp all
over it, or spit on it to make some sort of "statement," I say
let them do it. But under one condition: they MUST get permission
from three sponsors. First, you need permission of a war veteran.
Perhaps a Marine who fought at Iwo Jima?
The American flag was raised over Mount Suribachi upon the
bodies of thousands of dead buddies. Each night spent on Iwo
meant half of everyone you knew would be dead tomorrow, a coin
flip away from a bloody end upon a patch of sand your mother
couldn't find on a map.
Or maybe ask a Vietnam vet who spent years tortured in a
small, filthy cell unfit for a dog. Or a Korean War soldier
who helped rescue half a nation from Communism, or a Desert
Storm veteran who repulsed a bloody dictator from raping and
pillaging an innocent country.
That flag represented your mother and father, your sister
and brother, your friends, neighbors, and everyone at home.
I wonder what they would say if someone asked them permission
to burn the American flag?
Next, you need a signature from an immigrant. Their brothers
and sisters may still languish in their native land, often under
tyranny, poverty and misery. Or maybe they died on the way here,
never to touch our shores. Some have seen friends and
family get tortured and murdered by their own government for
daring to do things we take for granted every day.
For those who risked everything simply for the chance to
become an American ... what kind of feelings do they have for
the flag when they Pledge Allegiance the first time? Go to a
naturalization ceremony and see for yourself, the tears of pride,
the thanks, the love and respect of this nation, as they finally
embrace the American flag as their own. Ask one of them if it
would be OK to tear up the flag.
Last, you should get the signature of a mother. Not just
any mother. You need a mother of someone who gave their life
for America. It doesn't even have to be from a war. It could
be a cop. Or a fireman. Maybe a Secret Service or NSA agent.
Then again, it could be a common foot soldier as well. When
that son or daughter is laid to rest, their family is given
one gift by the American people; an American flag. Go on. I
dare you. Ask that mother to spit on her flag.
I wonder what the founding fathers thought of the American
flag as they drafted the Declaration of Independence? They knew
this act would drag young America into war with England, the
greatest power on earth. They also knew failure meant more than
just a disappointment. It meant a noose snugly stretched around
But they needed a symbol, something to inspire the new nation.
Something to represent the seriousness, the purpose and conviction
that we held our new idea of individual freedom. Something worth
living for. Something worth dying for. I wonder how they'd feel
if someone asked them permission to toss their flag in a mud
Away from family, away from the precious shores of home,
in the face of overwhelming odds and often in the face of death,
the American flag inspires those who believe in the American
dream, the American promise, the American vision...
Americans who don't appreciate the flag don't appreciate
this nation. And those who appreciate this nation appreciate
the American flag. Those who fought, fought for that flag. Those
who died, died for that flag. And those who love America love
that flag. And defend it.
So if you want to desecrate the American flag, before you
spit on it or before you burn it ...I have a simple request.
Just ask permission. Not from the Constitution. Not from some
obscure law. Not from the politicians or the pundits. Instead,
ask those who defended our nation so that we may be free today.
Ask those who struggled to reach our shores so that they may
join us in the American dream. And ask those who clutch a flag
in place of their sacrificed sons and daughters, given to this
nation so that others may be free.
For we cannot ask permission from those who died wishing
they could, just once ... or once again ... see, touch or kiss
the flag that stands for our nation, the United States of America