Flag Laws and Protesting Ethics

May 4, 2015 in Government

Desecrating the flag is not against the law, but not something I personally support… the freedom to do so, I do support.

I need to point out that our flag represents more than our military. In history, every large government has had a military. So, I am claiming that it is our government that defines our flag, not our military. So, if someone does not agree with the government and wants to show they do not support the federal government, and they show disrespect to federal government by using the flag, they are not desecrating the graves of dead soldiers. If they were stomping on military emblems then I would support the soldier’s case against desecration of the emblem… because we should never blame the soldiers for the faults of government. The flag means something different to all of us. Those people who see the flag most frequently in a military sense will feel that people protesting American problems are anti-soldiers… but that just isn’t their reason for using the flag.

Imagine a British soldier in the US, prior to our independence. We weren’t allowed to protest the royalty, with their flag or by any other means. People who felt oppressed didn’t care about the British soldier’s feelings about being disrespected, because they weren’t making a statement that soldiers suck. They were making the statement that the rules of the king sucked. While people ultimately fought the soldiers, the soldiers themselves are just part of a system. When you, as a soldier, tie your emotions too much to an object like a flag or the government you protect, you may not see that the protesting citizen’s problems aren’t with you, but with the people in charge of you… and us. Do we really want to be like the British who gave us no freedom to express ourselves? Do we want our current government to suppress the voices and non violent actions of its citizens? Our founders made sure that we could stomp on our flag one day if we felt oppressed by our government. While, most people are not oppressed, I have no beef with people using the flag as a symbol of oppression who are actually oppressed.

Nothing is more idiotic to me than someone saying, “if you don’t like this country than leave it.” Imagine if our founders did that… imagine if everyone just submitted to the will of a federal, or feudalist, system. To deport all the people who dissent from your opinions about our government would lead to totalitarianism. Nothing is more un-American than denying freedoms of speech and non violent action. Also, the idiocracy of the “leave” logic is that you assume people who are born into a system can just leave the system. It’s extremely expensive to migrate, and the poorest people have never even had the money to travel outside the US. Furthermore, no country would accept our poor and oppressed anyways. Our poverty is our problem and telling oppressed people to leave or shut up only leads to further oppression. I’m sure they would like to leave, those living in poverty, but there is no greener side for them. So, if they can’t leave, then, are you saying you would rather see them “leave” a different way? Like starvation and death.

This comes back to the belief that poverty is created by laziness. In reality, poverty and unemployment are natural byproduct of capitalism. You can blame an individual for not being as good as you at finding work and income, but there will always be people who lose out and there will never be enough jobs for everyone. Poverty will always exist within capitalism in a highly technical world… we need to stop blaming the losers and saying oh well… let’s take away their feed cause they weren’t good enough. Just be glad you aren’t a loser, or one of the people oppressed by our economic system.

So, don’t go running off with some oppressed person’s American flag that they are protesting, because you are symbolizing the taking away their benefits and their path to happiness too… you’re not defending the troops like you think. The lady soldier who was videotaped running off with the inequality protesters flag, looked like a corporate executive running off with mounds of money from the same people. The fact she was not beaten by cops, charged, or lost her government job, is further proof of the oppression going on today. I don’t justify violence, or theft, or oppression. I prefer better lawmaking and developing better economic policies to prevent oppression, but when this cannot be accomplished, I am not going to further persecute the communities being oppressed… or judge the teenagers for acting out in violence.

So, I don’t believe that stomping on a flag solves anything… it only drives us further apart. Still, I’m not going to ridicule citizens who have been oppressed by our government and its economic policies… and I’m definitely not going to assume they hate the troops… or me. John Kerry turning in his medals was a direct hit on the military; people walking on the flag because of economic oppression have nothing to do with the soldier, unless they say otherwise.