||Does the First Amendment
give 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 Surabachi upon the bodies
of thousands of dead buddies. Each night
spent on Iwo Jima 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 warrior 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?
Second, 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 burn
the flag or spit on it.
Third, 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 if
you can spit on her flag. 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. 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 have 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,
the greatest nation on earth.
Go ahead. Ask. I dare you!