Flag Day 2012, while not a national holiday in the sense that all wealth-consuming federal employees and most other government employees get a day off while the wealth-producing private sector employees work, it is a day set aside to pay respect to the Flag, and, I suggest, all those who have served under it, including the 1.4-million veterans who have given their lives for the country the Flag represents.
It is a day in which we can and should celebrate what the Flag really means. Further, I suggest that it is day in which Americans should act to demand that Congress adopted the “Flag Amendment” proposed by the American Legion and the Citizens Flag Alliance that would amend the Constitution to authorize Congress to protect the Flag from desecration. (See, www.Legion.org, Citizens Flag Alliance.)
Regarding that need, reverence for the Flag was once very much a part of the American character. Consider the poem of American poet and patriot Henry Holcomb Bennett:
THE FLAG GOES BY:
Hats Off!Along the street there comesA blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,A flash of color beneath the sky:Hats Off!The flag is passing by!Blue and crimson and white it shines,Over the steel-tipped, ordered lines.Hats Off!The colors before us fly;But more than the flag is passing by.Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,Fought to make and to save the State:Weary marches and sinking ships;Cheers of victory on dying lips;Days of plenty and years of peace;March of a strong land’s swift increase;Equal justice, right and law,Stately honor and reverend awe;Sign of a nation, great and strongTo ward her people from foreign wrong:Pride and glory and honor, -- allLive in the colors to stand or fall.Hats off!Along the street there comesA blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums;And loyal hearts are beating high:Hats off!The flag is passing by!(Henry Holcomb Bennett, 1863-1924)
Does that spirit of patriotism, of reverence for the Flag of previous generations of Americans, as expressed in Henry Holcomb Bennett’s poem, continue to exist in American hearts?
Today, patriots, like veterans who tear-up at the sight of the Flag, or Tea Party Patriots, are sneered at and denigrated by elitists, from the elitist Occupiers of parks and streets to the elitists of the liberal media to the elitist liberal “progressives” occupying seats in the House or Senate, or occupying the White House, and, of course, the lawyers exclusively occupying the Courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
As evidenced by Bennett’s poem, the Americans of earlier generations reacted to the Flag with “Hats Off!,” and would not allow themselves to become ashamed of their patriotic love of country, and reverence for the Flag, no matter the ridicule of “enlightened elitists” of politics, the media, or the courts, who mocked such patriotism then as now as unenlightened provincialism, jingoism, nationalism, xenophobia, racialism or racism, and other elitist epithets
Among other manifestations, Presidents until now reverently covered their hearts along with common citizens when the Flag passed by. Indeed, no President, until now, would dream of insulting the nation’s history, heritage, or ordinary patriotic citizens by covering his crotch, instead of his heart, as the Flag went by.
Times have changed, however, at least at the level of the elites
Perhaps most astoundingly, the modern U.S. Supreme Court, claiming to “interpret the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution” while in fact amending it in its 5-to-4 decision in Johnson vs. Texas (491 U.S. 397 ) has definitively decided for all time that the Founding Fathers -- including General George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, regarded as the “Father of the Constitution”-- really intended that desecrating the Flag by "burning" or “defecating” on it, is a form of “speech” the Founding Fathers intended the First Amendment to protect.
Pardon me if I suggest that it is absolutely absurd for even the lawyers of the Supreme Court to seriously contend that Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson Madison, and the other Founding Fathers, believed the Constitution they created was intended to protect the desecration of the Flag, or that “defecating” is “speech.”
Indeed, allow me to suggest that anyone, including the five unelected, unaccountable politically-appointed lawyers on the Supreme Court who have majestically decreed that “defecating” is speech, is speaking out of the wrong orifice.
Consider the absurdity of lawyers in courts all across the country – since only one class of Americans can serve in the Judicial Branch of government, lawyers, who have usurped one-third of our tri-part government onto themselves – dutifully and solemnly in their robes following the “precedent” of the U.S. Supreme Court holding that “defecating” is not only actually one of the ways Americans “speak,” but was intended by the Founding Fathers to be a “protected” form of speech when they created the First Amendment. Can anyone other than a lawyer imagine Gen. George Washington doing that?
Consider also: Urinating or defecating publicly in the street is generally regarded as a crime that can get you hauled off to jail, and convicted by a lawyer-judge. However, under the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence, it is constitutionally protected "speech" if you spread a Flag out on the street and urinate or defecate (or both) on it. Then it is “freedom of speech.”
Ever since the Supreme Court’s intellectually absurd conclusion that Americans have First Amendment right to speak through their anal orifice and defecate on the Flag, patriots have attempted to rectify that judicial wrong by adoption of a constitutional amendment that would authorize Congress to fashion legislation to prevent desecration of the Flag.
As noted above, those efforts have included the Citizens Flag Alliance of the American Legion and allied patriots, which have proposed a “Flag Amendment” to the Constitution. (See, www.Legion.org).
The Citizens Flag Alliance proposed Amendment does not prescribe what the legislation protecting the Flag should contain. Rather, it is a very simple Amendment which only authorizes Congress to adopt Legislation to protect the Flag, leaving the actual language of such a statute to be determined by Congress. (See, www.Legion.org, Citizens Flag Alliance.)
It is necessary for a Constitutional Amendment to be adopted because passing another statute protecting the Flag would simply be knocked down by lawyrs sitting as judges as unconstitutional under the Supreme Court “defecation-is-speech” precedent.
All fifty states, I believe, have called on Congress to adopt the Flag Amendment and send it to the states so that the people, as in “We, the People,” may vote on whether to ratify the Flag Amendment, or reject it.
The House of Representatives has consistently passed the Flag Amendment. However, it has stalled in the Senate, America’s House of Lords. In 2006, under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady, then the Chairman of the Citizens Flag Alliance, the Flag Amendment came within one (1) vote of passage in the Senate. That one vote prevented the Flag Amendment from being sent to the States for vote.
However, the Democrat Party took control of Congress in the elections of November, 2006. They have controlled House, Senate, and the Presidency from 2008 to 2010, and continue to hold the Senate and the Presidency in this the 112th Congress. Thus, the Flag Amendment has languished..
Now, Flag Day, 2012, it is a good time to raise the demand on Congress again—“Pass the Flag Amendment. Send it to the States. Let the people vote. “
If, once again, the Congress, i.e., the Senate, refuses, they should do so knowing that in November, 2012, the citizens will have the right to vote, if not on the Flag Amendment, on who will serve in the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.
They should also be aware, that there remain millions of Americans, who do not believe that “defecating” on the Flag is “a form of protected speech,” who still reverently cover their hearts when the Flag goes by, who still cherish what it represents, who sometimes tear-up (especially veterans) when they see it, and who still love their country, and the Flag, on Flag Day, and on every day -- including election day 2012.( For more information, see the Flag Amendment www.Legion.org, Citizens Flag Amendment, the Flag Amendment.)
(Rees Lloyd is a longtime California civil rights attorney now resigning in Portland, a veterans activist, and a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.)