Thursday, April 26, 2007

On Flag Burning

Gentle reader,

There is one thing that seems to have been overlooked by the folks who want to ban flag-burning.

To ban flag-burning is to deny certain rights to your own people.
These rights would then be afforded to everyone else in the world EXCEPT YOUR OWN CITIZENS.

If a flag-burning law were passed:

Citizens of the USA would NO LONGER HAVE THE RIGHT to burn a US flag.

Everyone else in the world would KEEP THEIR EXISTING RIGHT to burn a US flag.

As a British citizen, I could sit in my postage-stamp-sized yard in London (if I still had one) and have a little US-flag-bonfire without fear of major recrimination. Though I'm sure there would be complaints from the neighbors.

As a US citizen, if I tried to do the same, I could be arrested and imprisoned.

To me, that is LOSING FREEDOM.

You cannot legislate respect.

Not for a person.

Not for a country or for its small rectangular, colorful iconic symbol.

True respect, as opposed to mere lip-service, is earned.

It is given to those who deserve it.

The best way to minimize flag-burning is for a country to earn and keep the respect of all people, both inside and outside the country, not by legislation that takes away the freedom of the country's own citizens.

Moving on to the quote of the day...

I realize that all society rests upon force.
But all the great creative actions, all the decent human relations, occur during the intervals when force has not managed to come to the front. These intervals are what matter.
I want them to be as frequent and as lengthy as possible, and I call them "civilization".
-EM Forster

Until the next time, gentle reader, I remain as always,

Your friend,

Buford Twain

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