In April of 2015, a group of students at Valdosta State University chose to peacefully protest the injustices and police brutality in America by walking on the American flag. The event gained national notoriety after a video of a confrontation between a non-student, white female and the protesters went viral. Since then, the act and the scenario have sparked many people to “defend” the flag. Here is an example of the typical response to the symbolic act of walking on the American Flag, taken from social media.
Why say Fuck the Flag?
In responding, or considering a response to a demonstration of this type, have we ever stopped to consider why a group of people would choose to desecrate something so sacred to a given population?
Consider this scenario:
You work for the Coca-Cola company. You are entering your home after a hard days work. Upon entering you discover a room full of masked, uniformed, armed men that have your entire family tied and gagged. They bum rush you, and tie your hands behind your back. They then, lay a Coca-Cola poster on the ground and instruct you to walk across it three times. They tell you that if you refuse to do so they will kill your entire family and you. What do you do?
I venture to say that most people would walk across the poster to save themselves and their families. As humans we desire, above all, to preserve ourselves. Upon taking the first step across that poster you understand that the poster is just that, a poster; Even though the company printed on the poster provides you with income to support yourself and family. To make the scenario more relative, replace Coca-Cola with whatever company you work for, even if you own your own business.
In the above scenario, it is very easy to envision yourself walking across the Coca-Cola poster. After all, it’s just Coca-Cola, right? The entire scenario seems implausible because of how trivial the entirety of the matter is. However, if we remove the hired goons and the threat of death for your family from the scenario, the act is still trivial. Nothing to even bat an eye at. Why would someone even think to walk on the poster, to begin with? There would have to be a reason.
I believe the same to be true for the students of the demonstration. These students believe as I do also, that the flag is just what it is, a flag. A flag that is supposed to represent all those that it flies over. A flag that is supposed to be a symbol of our collective freedom and rights. This begs the question, does the American flag represent all of the American people? Does the country that the flag represents defend against all enemies of its ideals foreign and domestic? No, it does not. Even when the American flag was conceived and created, it flew over an enslaved people. The United States of America does not give equal rights to all its people, period. The black students of the infamous demonstration represent the larger population of black people in the United States. Again consider our previous scenario. The reason that these students walked across this flag was not that they are disrespectful, or uncouth, or because they are thugs. The students walked across the flag because there are masked [as in protected by their duty], uniformed, armed men roaming the streets daily, unfairly targeting, threatening and taking the lives of black men. They are commonly referred to as the “police.” In an attempt to preserve ourselves as a people we have resorted to extreme measures of peaceful demonstration.
If there weren’t a problem in America, then there would be no reason or cause for these students to walk on the flag. If you honestly believe that these students would walk on the American flag for no reason at all, or just because they are ungrateful, or just because they are uncouth, or thugs, then you have failed to see humanity as a whole.
The American Flag does not represent all the people that it flies over. It does not represent the women’s suffrage movement. It does not represent the LGBT communities fight for equal rights. It does not represent the black plight. It does not represent me. So, until the flag represents all people that it flies over, it is just stitched together colored fabric. So burn it, wipe your ass with it, use it as a doormat, fly it proudly, do whatever you please with it. Fuck it. Fuck the flag.
I pledge allegiance to myself…
As a side note I’d like to pose this question to all of those that have come to the defense of the American Flag:
Would you serve in the United States Armed Services for free? No benefits, no G.I. Bill, no stipend for food, clothing or shelter, no medical benefits. Absolutely free. I mean stop what you are doing right now, quit your job, abandon your family, and pick up a job in the United States Armed Services for absolutely no pay. How many soldiers do you think would put down their guns and abandon their post if the government stop paying them?
Allow me to say this: If, and only if, you would serve your country for free are you allowed to be offended by the desecration of the American Flag.
© Stephen R. Freshley and wordbending, 2015. Ministerfreeman.blog, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Stephen R. Freshley and MinisterFreeman.blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.