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How offensive is the American flag?

The Swiss flag flies high in Zurich.
The Swiss flag flies high in Zurich.Michelle Hurni

Those who complain about the US flag being “offensive” obviously don’t look at the patriotism in other countries.

Have complaints of the “offensive” US flag gotten out of control? You decide:

  • On Tuesday, July 22, the two American flags atop the Brooklyn bridge were replaced with flags bleached white. An affront to the flag? The country? Did the white flags symbolize surrender? Were they desecrated when they were bleached?
  • In California, Cinco de Mayo has become a holiday where not only is Mexican heritage celebrated, but the American flag is banned. In 2000, high school kids wearing the American flag on t-shirts to school were asked to remove them and then sent home from school. They filed a civil rights lawsuit to defend their first amendment right, but it dismissed because “student safety trumps” that right. Since when is wearing the American flag, in America, dangerous? On May 5th, 2014 a group silently protested the high school on the anniversary.
  • A 73-year old veteran in Florida has had his fines paid by business executives. His crime? A small American flag in a flower pot. His fine? $100 a day. Many home owners boards have decided to ban the flag, but what is the reason?
  • In New Jersey, the town of West New York considered banning American flags from being flown (2013).

The list goes on and on, and yet, why should the American flag be banned anywhere in America?

While America is banning the use of the flag (in certain situations), do other countries care if the use of their flags offends people?

  • In Germany, during and after the World Cup win of the football (soccer) team (July, 2014), cars were spotted all over Europe sporting the German flag covering the backside of mirrors.
  • In Brazil, fans painted their bodies to depict their blue and yellow flag.
  • In Mexico, the flag is everywhere, including on big, poofy dresses.
  • The Canadian flag proudly flies throughout the country, and is carried into the rink at the start of hockey games.
  • In Australia, it’s rare to see a stuffed kangaroo without the iconic Australian flag. What about athletes who win sporting events? They will wear the Australian flag around their shoulders like a cape.

Is the use of the American flag now so partisan that it’s looked upon as the flag of one party, and not the country as a whole? Does one party feel they don’t have to display the flag to show their patriotism? Has our country become so divided that even the American flag has become divisive? Is it time for the end of the politically correct bashing of anything related to America, including the American flag? Or are we going to allow the desecration of America to continue until it means nothing?