Friday, November 17, 2006

The American Flag

There was an article in yesterday's issue of USA Today that caught my eye -- “‘Old Glory’ is the Flag to Fly in Pahrump.”

Mark Memmott wrote about banning foreign flags in Pahrump, Nevada, a small community west of Las Vegas. The town board voted this week to make it illegal to hang a foreign nation’s flag by itself or higher than the American flag. The city will issue $50 fines and require thirty hours of community service to individuals guilty of being non compliant with the statute. The approval (3-2) of the ordinance drew a standing ovation at the city council meeting.

I know I will get a little hate mail by saying this, but I do not care about that. I have as much freedom of speech as the next guy, so I will say it anyway.

Good for you, Pahrump!

First - let me say that I do understand that the First Amendment guarantees everyone in this country the right of free speech. And I am exercising that right as I type. I also realize that I may not like what others are saying or doing and that our Constitution defends other's rights to do that which I may find most offensive. (ok, so I took this line from Michael Douglas in "The American President" but I agree with him.) I know that our American Constitution protects freedom of speech and expression without consideration of the person's country of origin or nationality.

But I also know that our Republic is being inundated by foreigners who come to this country and refuse to learn the language or accept our patriotic love of flag and country.

I believe that the primary flag of this country should be the U.S. flag. And I have said this before, if someone feels so attached to their country and flag - what the heck are they doing here? Go home! I knew some foreign (not from Mexico) students while at Porterville College who hated the American flag and hated everything "American." It drove me insane to listen to them. If it was up to me, I would have deported them all. And I told them so. We were friends, so they would laugh and sometimes I think they did it just to get to me. But I had no problem telling them to leave. We do not need people like that here.

I have no problem if people feel adamant about displaying a different flag. (I do not care for it, but I can live with it) But I do have a problem if they disrespect our flag in the process. Flying a foreign flag above ours would bother me. (As flying the flag upside down. I often travel to the local Indian reservation and it really bothers me to see the flag flying like that in a couple of places. That is a sign of distress. They are simply doing it as some kind of protest or to make a point. I do not like it. I find it disrespectful.) The same holds true with flying a foreign flag higher than the American flag - it diminishes (mainly in their eyes) the patriotic standing of our country.

I am proud of the little town in Nevada. By taking a stand against foreign encroachment, this one small community has spoken out with what (I hope) the majority of Americans believe but are too timid - or too frightened from being politically incorrect - to say.

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