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lakers
10-06-02, 07:01 PM
> Does the First Amendment give us the right to desecrate the American flag?

> Or is the flag a sacred symbol of our nation, deserving protection by law?

> Tough call?

> "The Solution"

> For those who want to light Old Glory on fire, stomp all over it, or spit

> on it to make some sort of "statement," I say let them do it. But under

> one condition: they MUST get permission from three sponsors.

> First, you need permission of a war veteran.

> Perhaps a Marine who fought at Iwo Jima? The American flag was

> raised over Mount Surabachi upon the bodies of thousands of dead buddies.

> Each night spent on Iwo Jima meant half of everyone you knew would be dead

> tomorrow, a coin flip away from a bloody end upon a patch of sand your

> mother couldnít find on a map. Or maybe ask a Vietnam vet who spent years

> tortured in a small, filthy cell unfit for a dog. Or a Korean War soldier

> who helped rescue half a nation from Communism, or a Desert Storm warrior

> who repulsed a bloody dictator from raping and pillaging an innocent

> country. That flag represented your mother and father, your sister and

> brother, your friends, neighbors, and everyone at home. I wonder what

> they would say if someone asked them permission to burn the American flag?

> Second, you need a signature from an immigrant.

> Their brothers and sisters may still languish in their native land,

> often under tyranny, poverty and misery. Or maybe they died on the way

> here, never to touch our shores. Some have seen friends and family get

> tortured and murdered by their own government for daring to do things we

> take for granted every day. For those who risked everything simply for

> the chance to become an American, what kind of feelings do they have for

> the flag when they Pledge Allegiance the first time? Go to a

> naturalization ceremony and see for yourself, the tears of pride, the

> thanks, the love and respect of this nation, as they finally embrace the

> American flag as their own. Ask one of them if it would be OK to burn the

> flag or spit on it.

> Third, you should get the signature of a mother.

> Not just any mother. You need a mother of someone who gave their

> life for America. It doesnít even have to be from a war. It could be a

> cop. Or a fireman. Maybe a Secret Service or NSA agent. Then again, it

> could be a common foot soldier as well. When that son or daughter is laid

> to rest, their family is given one gift by the American people; an

> American flag. Go on. I dare you. Ask that mother if you can spit on her

> flag. Away from family, away from the precious shores of home, in the

> face of overwhelming odds and often in the face of death, the American

> flag inspires those who believe in the American dream, the American

> promise, the American vision...

> Americans who donít appreciate the flag donít appreciate this

> nation. And those who appreciate this nation appreciate the American

> flag. So if you want to desecrate the American flag, before you spit on

> it or before you burn it, I have a simple request. Just ask permission.

> Not from the Constitution. Not from some obscure law. Not from the

> politicians or the pundits. Instead, ask those who have defended our

> nation so that we may be free today. Ask those who struggled to reach our

> shores so that they may join us in the American dream. And ask those who

> clutch a flag in place of their sacrificed sons and daughters, given to

> this nation so that others may be free. For we cannot ask permission from

> those who died wishing they could, just once ... or once again ... see,

> touch or kiss the flag that stands for our nation, the United States of

> America ... the greatest nation on earth.

> Go ahead. Ask. I dare you!

>

> Michael J. Cannell

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