Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Run this up a Pole!

Some people are very touchy about flag burning. It seems that it is a definite 'no no' ...... almost akin to murder, in the depth of feeling that it arouses, for the righteously patriotic.

On the scale of things to be outraged about, it does not rate with me. Why should I care about a piece of cloth, when it mostly represents associations with a country miles away?

It gets kind of scary when Howard P.M. sees the importance of a flagpole in every school above the many other priorities of our public schools . A state leader of the opposition recently called for a flag on every taxi in New South Wales. To me, both plans seem like American things to do, that would make the majority of Australians, gasp, gag or giggle. Which leads me on to this story.

Four local New Philadelphian lads were caught up in what seems like a drunken/stoned prank; not that funny,destructive of other peoples property, but a 'prank' , never the less. They stole two flags and painted on obscenities , partially burnt them and returned to hang one of the flags upside down. Before Ohio judge, Linda A Kate, one defendant claimed they "didn't mean to be anti-American or anti-flag ............ we didn't think of it as a symbol." Yeh, right boys. Here's the rub. Apart from the penalty, they received a dressing down from the judge in these terms.....

“Do you understand there are countries in the world where people are rounded up by the government and put in metal boxes to die in the desert?” she asked. “You don’t have to worry about that because of the hundreds of men and women who have been willing to put their lives on the line. You think so little of their sacrifice that you would do this to amuse yourself?”

You have to admit it is pretty bewildering. I wonder if the police chief ,who was there to put in a good word for his SON, looked across at naughty Jaymes, in a knowing way, as if to say, "I told you so". When people in authority crap on like that, it is enough to make you want go out and burn a flag. But what about when it is O.K. to burn the cloth? In the picture above, veterans can be seen burning the flag on a special day. Flag Day, of course.

However, don't think you can get away with it, for arts sake, in the garden state. Victorian wallopers confiscated a flag that a local artist had 'fired up' for exhibition. They felt pretty sure a crime had been committed, but damn well couldn't figure out what it was. Mr Plod was forced to return the art work. Flagfall.

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