Flags – Burning and Displaying – The Constitution

flag_justiceThere’s a lot of debate in the last few weeks about flags. The flag of the United States and the second flag of the Confederacy.

In many southern states the Stainless Banner is still used in many public places and by private citizens. It is strongly associated with a history of slavery. It’s very creation is steeped in the idea that the white race is superior to the black race. Many people see it thusly. Others see it merely as a symbol of southern pride and do not think of it racially.

In most of the United States people consider the Stars and Stripes a symbol of national pride. Others see it as representative of atrocities that this nation has inflicted upon others and of general tyranny.

What I find most interesting about the debate is the complete lack of consistency on both sides of the argument.

Both groups seem to think that the government should not be able to ban its chosen flag while absolutely thinking the government should be able to protect the same flag.

As I Libertarian I think the both sides are incorrect. The government has absolutely no say in how any person treats a flag. If a person wants to hang it from their porch in pride the government should in no way prevent them from doing so. If a person wants to burn it on their porch then the government should in no way prevent them from doing so.

When the government makes a law telling citizens of this country how they are allowed to display or destroy their flags I will stand up and decry it. I will shout from the tallest tree that this law is wrong.

If a business, a governor, or a private citizens chooses to display a flag of their own accord, that’s their legally protected decision. If they choose to destroy it in any manner, that’s up to them.

If the governor of Alabama wants the Stainless Banner removed from the statehouse, then so be it. But if the federal government orders it so removed, that’s a problem.

If someone burns their flag in a public display of dissatisfaction with the government of the United States and gets arrested, that’s a problem.

We cannot simply support a law when it works to our benefit. We must support the law even when it works against us. Then we are consistent. Otherwise we don’t really support the law at all. If we don’t support the law then how can we expect anyone else to do so?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

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