Today, from Senator Josh Hawley (r) via Twitter:
Josh Hawley @HawleyMO
As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s birthday, it’s time we focused on the workers and families who built our country. The elite have had their day. The great American middle deserves theirs
9:59 AM – 1 Jul 2019
4 U.S. Code § 8.Respect for flag
…(d)The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free….
Last night the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra played a two hour outdoor concert of patriotic music to celebrate the 4th of July preceding the annual “Booms and Blooms” fireworks show at Powell Gardens in Kingsville, Missouri. Throughout the concert someone in the audience prominently displayed a large flag with a blue field and a single white five pointed star in front of the orchestra.
A flag with a blue field and a single white star is called the “Bonnie Blue” flag. It is most prominently known as an early flag of the confederacy.
Think about that for just a second.
Next to “Dixie’s Land,” perhaps no other song was as well loved by the Confederate soldier as “The Bonnie Blue Flag.” Written by Harry Macarthy (1834-1888) and sung to the old Irish tune “The Irish Jaunting Car,” the song lays out the order of secession of the States that went on to form the Confederacy. The first flag of the Confederacy was a single white star on a blue background. This song, especially popular in the South during the early years of the war, counts out the eleven seceding states one by one….
More on the song:
….After the Civil War and the collapse of the Confederacy, “The Bonnie Blue Flag” developed a life of its own. In the second decade of the twentieth century, the song was revived as a symbol of “Lost Cause” mentality in the midst of fifty-year commemorations of the War. During the Civil Rights era, “The Bonnie Blue Flag” once again became a song of protest, this time against the integration of public spaces. It even found its way back into the classroom, as one New Orleans resident remembers learning it in his elementary school classroom in the 1950s….
The refrain from the song [pdf]:
For Southern rights, hurrah!
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.
We have no idea if the individual(s) who displayed the flag were aware of the history or of the symbolism implied. The flag in the photo appears to be displayed upside down (with the single point of the star pointed downward).
The only confederate flag that matters is a white rag on a stick.
Celebrating a little early (July 2, 2017)
“…A person gets from a symbol the meaning he puts into it, and what is one man’s comfort and inspiration is another’s jest and scorn…”
“…Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard…”
….(k)The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
(Added Pub. L. 105–225, § 2(a), Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1497.)
….Symbols of State often convey political ideas, just as religious symbols come to convey theological ones. Associated with many of these symbols are appropriate gestures of acceptance or respect: a salute, a bowed or bared head, a bended knee. A person gets from a symbol the meaning he puts into it, and what is one man’s comfort and inspiration is another’s jest and scorn….
….It is now a commonplace that censorship or suppression of expression of opinion is tolerated by our Constitution only when the expression presents a clear and present danger of action of a kind the State is empowered to prevent and punish. It would seem that involuntary affirmation could be commanded only on even more immediate and urgent grounds than silence. But here, the power of compulsion is invoked without any allegation that remaining passive during a flag salute ritual creates a clear and present danger that would justify an effort even to muffle expression. To sustain the compulsory flag salute, we are required to say that a Bill of Rights which guards the individual’s right to speak his own mind left it open to public authorities to compel him to utter what is not in his mind….
….Struggles to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential to their time and country have been waged by many good, as well as by evil, men. Nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon, but, at other times and places, the ends have been racial or territorial security, support of a dynasty or regime, and particular plans for saving souls. As first and moderate methods to attain unity have failed, those bent on its accomplishment must resort to an ever-increasing severity. As governmental pressure toward unity becomes greater, so strife becomes more bitter as to whose unity it shall be. Probably no deeper division of our people could proceed from any provocation than from finding it necessary to choose what doctrine and whose program public educational officials shall compel youth to unite in embracing. Ultimate futility of such attempts to compel coherence is the lesson of every such effort from the Roman drive to stamp out Christianity as a disturber of its pagan unity, the Inquisition, as a means to religious and dynastic unity, the Siberian exiles as a means to Russian unity, down to the fast failing efforts of our present totalitarian enemies. Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard….
In a time of war, no less.
Via Twitter, this morning:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!
5:55 AM – 29 Nov 2016
He’s not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, is he?
Earlier today in Columbia
Charleston, South Carolina, on the capitol grounds:
From the NAACP:
BALTIMORE, MD — Today #BlackLivesMatter activist, Brittany “Bree” Newsome, wearing propelling gear, climbed the flagpole atop Columbia, South Carolina’s Capitol dome and removed the Confederate Battle Flag, in an act of civil disobedience. South Carolina Department of Public Safety arrested Bree, 30, along with her companion, James Tyson, also 30. Both were charged with a misdemeanor–defacing a monument. A new flag went up within an hour. Subsequently, the NAACP has issued the following statement:
From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO:
“For 15 years, the NAACP has called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag and has maintained economic sanctions against the state of South Carolina. The NAACP, Governor Nikki Haley, a bipartisan coalition of policymakers, an expanding number of American businesses, and a courageous young woman named Bree Newsome are all united in opposition to the Confederate flag. Ms. Newsome temporarily removed the flag flying in front of South Carolina’s state house. As well as supporting the permanent removal of the flag legislatively, we commend the courage and moral impulse of Ms. Newsome as she stands for justice like many NAACP activists including Henry David Thoreau, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and numerous Americans who have engaged in civil disobedience. The NAACP calls on state prosecutors to consider the moral inspiration behind the civil disobedience of this young practitioner of democracy. Prosecutors should treat Ms. Newsome with the same large-hearted measure of justice that inspired her actions. The NAACP stands with our youth and behind the multigenerational band of activists fighting the substance and symbols of bigotry, hatred and intolerance.”
John Cole @Johngcole
I propose Bree Newsome changes her name to Bree Awsome. [….]1:06 PM – 27 Jun 2015
Taking history into her own hands #FreeBree [….]1:04 PM – 27 Jun 2015
Cornell Brooks @CornellWBrooks
Why do we have activists climbing flagpoles when legislators can simply vote?#TakeDownFlag #FreeBree 12:13 PM – 27 Jun 2015
That’s a really good question.
I’m waiting to hear about the second from the same people who were outraged by the first. [crickets]
Uh, you’re supposed to drape the flag over yourself, not drape it on your bar stool and then lean on it.
Dating from 1993:
UNITED STATES CODE
§176. Respect for flag
No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor…
…(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general….
Okay, Chapter 10, as iterated on the non-governmental site above, is not enforceable.
…Especially pertinent to this case are our decisions recognizing the communicative nature of conduct relating to flags. Attaching a peace sign to the flag, Spence, supra, at 418 U.S. 409″]409-410; refusing to salute the flag, Barnette, 319 U.S. at 632; and displaying a red flag, 409-410; refusing to salute the flag, Barnette, 319 U.S. at 632; and displaying a red flag, Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359, [p405] 368-369 (1931), we have held, all may find shelter under the First Amendment. See also Smith v. Goguen, 415 U.S. 566, 588 (1974) (WHITE, J., concurring in judgment) (treating flag “contemptuously” by wearing pants with small flag sewn into their seat is expressive conduct)…
…Although the Flag Protection Act contains no explicit content-based limitation on the scope of prohibited conduct, it is nevertheless clear that the Government’s asserted interest is “related ‘to the suppression of free expression,'” 491 U.S. at 410, and concerned with the content of such expression. The Government’s interest in protecting the “physical integrity” [p316] of a privately owned flag [n5] rests upon a perceived need to preserve the flag’s status as a symbol of our Nation and certain national ideals. But the mere destruction or disfigurement of a particular physical manifestation of the symbol, without more, does not diminish or otherwise affect the symbol itself in any way. For example, the secret destruction of a flag in one’s own basement would not threaten the flag’s recognized meaning. Rather, the Government’s desire to preserve the flag as a symbol for certain national ideals is implicated “only when a person’s treatment of the flag communicates [a] message” to others that is inconsistent with those ideals. [n6] Ibid. [p317]…
…Even assuming such a consensus exists, any suggestion that the Government’s interest in suppressing speech becomes more weighty as popular opposition to that speech grows is foreign to the First Amendment…
Yeah, those are flag burning cases, but the big picture is that government can’t dictate behavior or any orthodoxy about what is “correct” patriotic behavior or speech. This is not a new phenomenon in America, either:
…If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us…
In a time of war, no less.
Ask yourself, what would the political right be saying if it was Barack Obama standing in that same pose instead of Sarah Palin?
So, it all comes down to the political right’s view of what is patriotic orthodoxy. At this point they’re definitely not consistent about it, either. We’ll just have to go with *IOKIYAR.
*it’s okay if you’re a republican