Fetishizing a flag (again)

Here in Arizoma there's a bill running through the senate (HB 2583) to make it mandatory for all classrooms (including tertiary level) to display a 2 ft by 3 ft Stars and Stripes - I guess we've solved all the other important problems. You can read about it here. While I have no real problem with this (as long as the universities don't have to pay for this - a fear shared by ASU's student government - and we're not forced to start every class with some sort of ritual), I do see the reasoning behind this as being, frankly, idiotic. Witness:

"The flag represents everything that is good about America and anything that is not so good can be changed because of what the flag represents," [Tyler] Mott [a University of Arizona student who proposed the idea] said. He sees that as especially important in classrooms where students debate opposing ideas without fear of repercussion.

The UA graduate found a friend in [Russell] Pearce, R-Mesa, an outspoken immigration reformist who said an American flag should be in every classroom that receives state funding, especially at a time of immigration marches where foreign flags are waved.

"This is America. If they don't like it, they can leave," said the plainspoken Pearce.

He went on to recall the veterans in this nation's history who sacrificed to keep the tattered flag waving during the American Revolution or to raise it on Iwo Jima. "When do we stand up and recognize this?" Pearce asked.

Pearce took up Mott's cause with the bill that has backing from the American Legion and the Arizona Family Rights Advocacy Institute.

"It's important that not only U.S. citizens but public-funded institutions recognize, display and appreciate the American flag. It's symbolic of our country's freedom," said Robin Scoins, with the institute. ...

"The flag being there teaches children to respect our country and our freedoms and our way of life," Mott said.

The flag being there wont teach anyone anything. It's just a form of pseudo-patriotic noise.


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symbols of state are just like symbols of faith and religion. they only mean something to the person who gives them that meaning.

if you try to force-feed "patriotism" and "everything that's good", you get them to create the symbol of "state oppression" and "state worship" instead.

as long as we can agree that "its still just a piece of cloth", we can give everyone the *freedom* to choose their own value of the symbol and by doing so, make it truly mean what "they" want it to mean.

i keep see so many examples of the prisoners dilemma playing itself out in real life its disgusting - its not enough for everyone to take their own value and raise the collective value of it for all, someone has to "have it all" and in doing so, ruin it for all including themselves.

By Joe Shelby (not verified) on 05 Jun 2006 #permalink

These people are so stupid that they don't even know the "proper" dimensions of the US falg (and pretty much any other one). It is not a rato of 2 to 3 between hoist and fly (width and length), it is 1 to 1.9. However 3 X 4 is acceptable as is 2.37 X 4.50. http://www.montney.com/flag/proportions.htm

If you are going to impose some silly rule on people at least make it a consstently silly rule othrwise all you have is a religion:)

And of course we ahve comments like "This is America. If they don't like it, they can leave," said the plainspoken Pearce.

How 1960's, Americak Love It or Leave It. That is grat formulae for making your society better, toe the line or get the hell out, we don't need no stinking improvements!

By CanuckRob (not verified) on 05 Jun 2006 #permalink