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My Country, Right or Screw It

It is always striking the way both parties' ideological priorities shift depending on whether they are in or out of power, but rarely more so than in the right's abrupt embrace of dissent--until recently widely considered a misdemeanor form of treason--as the highest of civic virtues. Still, I was rather stunned to see conservative celeb Chuck Norris openly advocating flag desecration in print:

I suggest you fly some revolutionary flag in lieu of your 50-star flag over the next year. Post the 13-star Betsy Ross flag, Navy Jack or Gadsden flag ("Don't Tread on Me") or any representation that tells the story of Old Glory and makes a stand for our Founders' vision of America. Of course, patriots know that the 50-star flag truly represents one nation under God and our Founders' republic, but modernists simply don't get it. So what do you say we make a statement by flying a different flag and educate our neighbors when they ask us, "Why are you flying that flag instead of the contemporary Stars and Stripes?" (If you insist on posting a modern USA flag, too, then get one that is tea-stained to show your solidarity with our Founders.) [emphasis mine]

Now, a more cynical person than myself might suggest that this presents a perfect opportunity for the Democrats to take a page out of the GOP playbook and put Mr. Norris and his ilk on their heels by passing an anti-flag-desecration resolution of some kind. But, like most liberals, I support the speech rights even of those who disagree with me. So, do what you will, Mr. Norris. Wrap a bushel of Darjeeling in Old Glory and dunk it in a scalding tub if it will make you happy. All you're doing is revealing just how pinched and provisional your vaunted love of country truly is.