I wrote this post ages ago and left it as a draft – perhaps I felt somehow it’s moment had passed, or perhaps I was too worried about the potential backlash! However, the other day I saw a thread on Twitter where British people were saying they thought that burning the flag was treasonous, and should be met with a prison sentence, amongst other punitive measures. I wish I’d kept the thread now, but in recalling I had this written I thought I would finally share it, with some added words at the end. Lis
Ok, brace yourself – I’ll apologise for the offence, but I won’t apologise for my words.
I am against making flag burning illegal.
Ok, there, I said it – but before you get all huffy and upset with me, let me explain why. The flag is a sign of your country – in fact when the flag becomes sacrosanct and cannot be burned or stomped on you create a new, fresh tyranny. You create a time where the flag is raised up to a point of idolatry. Yes, idolatry. It’s only a flag, after all. Bible burning is not illegal in the US, even though that ought to offend at least as many people.
We must be careful to avoid idolatry of the flag – it is only a sign, not who we are.
Now, what is offensive about flag burning is that it doesn’t offend enough people. While the flag of a good country doesn’t need protection (because that country and all it stands for are good in the eyes of its citizens), if someone does burn it, they are seen as outcasts, the social consequences should be enough of a deterrent. Who wants to be shunned by everyone in their town because they are a self-hating American? So what does it mean that America now believes itself to have a ‘flag burning problem’? It means that you have nurtured vipers in your bosom. You have allowed the young, in particular, of your nation, to be raised to hate the very values which your flag represents. In fact it’s probably time to ask what your country really represents today?!
America is so corrupt, let’s not add another layer to it by outlawing expressions of hatred towards it. However, let’s watch Trump (hopefully) make America great again, in particular dealing with immigration, so that the social consequences of flag burning will once again be enough of a deterrent to a deeply offensive act.
I will add that in trying to track down the thread on twitter today I came across this article, which states:
The United States Flag Code (4 USC Sec 8 Para (k) Amended 7 July 1976) states: “The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” (Link)
I do appreciate that there is a difference here between the two types of burning (respectful, versus defiant), but I also couldn’t help feeling it was a slightly ironic too. The article also says the flag is: “considered to be the most sacred symbol of the United States of America”. Should it be?
For us, in these times, let us gather under the standard of our LORD! In Luke 14:26, Yeshua calls on us to hate our own family for His sake – in order to be His disciple! In fact the nature of the word ‘hate‘ in that context is comparative, i.e. we are to love all those things, and people LESS than we love God. We are to love our lives less than Him, and our families less than Him. That includes our nation, and it also includes our flag.
God Bless you