Friday, June 16, 2006


"The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."

This is the text of Senate Joint Resolution 12 - a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect the flag of the United States. It must be an election year again!

Yes, it is. And our dear Republicans are once again wrapping themselves in the flag. And guess what? Anyone, such as a Democrat, who votes against this resolution will therefore be unpatriotic, in favor of desecrating our dear flag. Oh brother - give me a break!!

A short anecdote. When George H.W. Bush (George I) was campaigning for the office of President, his first run, I attended a rally where he spoke, just out of curiosity (know thine enemy). As I and hundreds of others entered the outdoor space in a downtown Portland park, we were each handed a small paper U.S. flag on a wood stick that we could wave in the air as George pontificated. Once inside, I looked carefully at the setup. The back of the stage was a very large flag of the United States hung from above, and the end of our dear old flag, several feet, was lying crumpled up on the stage floor in the dirt and dust! This was the backdrop for George's speech. As we all left the park after the rally, almost all of the paper flags were tossed in trash cans conveniently placed at the exits. I sure wish we had a flag non-desecration amendment at that time so I could have made a citizen's arrest of George H.W. Bush and his campaign staff!

My wife and I have two flags of the United States of America; the first is a wool 48-star flag from the Navy ship on which my father-in-law proudly served during World War II; the second is a cotton/poly 50-star flag that we fly from our front porch on appropriate holidays. We fly our flag for two reasons: 1) we are proud to be Americans, and 2) we refuse to let the political right wing of this country claim that the flag belongs only to them. Since the election of George Bush II, I also display a small sign under our flag that says simply "Take Back America."

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