Monday, July 14, 2008

The Stars and Stripes, A symbol of Honor

When hippies burned the first American flag with total impunity America was dealt a mortal wound. From that time forward, America ceased to be an ideal and became just a place.

As a young man, I remember when unserviceable American flags were sent for a proper disposal by burning. These burnings were a direct reflection of the esteem and honor in which the American flag was held. Today, the flag is little more than a bit of colored cloth with little meaning. It no longer has a connection with the heart and the soul it once did among most people. That is sad, but understandable. You can find the flag on the backsides of sloppily dressed, ill mannered youths, made into bathing suits for cutesy teens, wrapped around greasy heads as "do rags", made into ties for bogus patriots and adorning all manner of other inappropriate items. These items do not identify the wearer, owner or user as a patriot, but as an ill informed, insensitive ass.

The American flag is not a fashion statement, a nifty paint job or an advertising gimmick. It is the symbol of a country that has defended freedom on it's own soil and restored freedom to dozens of other countries at a cost in blood and treasure unrivaled in history. That alone should garner immense respect for the Stars and Stripes. The fact that it covers the bodies of our honored dead should penetrate even the most addled brain of the most uncouth lout with the message that the American flag stands for and deserves honor.

The Supreme Court was wrong in its decision that burning the American flag was covered under the First Amendment as being free speech. I cannot forgive the congregation of catatonic old coots who reached that nadir of juris prudence. Thus snot-nosed, acid-dropping ingrates were given license to desecrate the symbol of a great country they were not fit to serve. Free of restraint and adult supervision, the sons and daughters of the 60s and 70s grew up with little respect for anything, the rights of others, the opinions of others, the feelings of others, even their own bodies and minds.

In looking back on the 60s and 70s, I find no honor in those that acted so callously and disrespectfully and tried to attach nobility to cowardly self preservation. History has shown that many grew up to be men and women bereft of character, devoid of conscience, destitute of integrity, and slaves to their basest desires. Those people, those flower children with not even the most tentative grasp on reality permeate the bureaucracy and sit in the House and Senate today. We are reaping the rotten fruit of amorality, disrespect and dishonor they sowed and the rest of us ignored. It is a bitter harvest indeed.

Bill Fortner

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