Flag stomping seems to be all the rage lately and people are either completely against it finding the the practice disgusting and disrespectful, or think they are in the right simply protesting using their freedom of expression.
But both sides are kind of full of bullshit.
Let’s start with the anti-flag stompers. They claim it’s unacceptable and completely disrespectful. Well, yeah, it is very disrespectful since the the flag is the symbol of not only our country and it’s ideals, but also representative of what the men and women who have served in the military have fought to defend. It’s thus understandable why veterans and those who support them get so angry about people walking and stomping on the flag. But here’s the thing: you know what else is disgusting and disrespectful? Sending our men and women to fight and die in endless and needless wars while not giving the support and medical care they need once they return. We’ve let many veterans become homeless which may be a direct result of inadequate healthcare. Instead of giving veterans the resources they need to overcome things like the loss of limbs, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other ills, some are unable to reintegrate back into domestic life. In some ways, it’s surprising there aren’t more veterans walking on the flag. You know what else is disrespectful and disgusting? Discriminatory anti-gay laws; billionaires buying, or at least heavily influencing elections; individual states denying people healthcare by refusing to accept the Affordable Care Act; the legislation that seeks to regulate everything women do with their bodies; systemic racism resulting in numerous deaths; and the list goes on.
There are always people saying “Well, if they hate America so much, they can leave!” They say this regarding people who stomp on the flag, or protest in general. That’s statement is fucking stupid. I don’t know for sure if they hate America, but I don’t think they do. They’re angry about something that’s going on here, and if they truly hated America, why would they want to vocalize the problems they have and try to raise awareness and bring about change? If they hated the country, wouldn’t they want to just let the problems continue until they destroy the country from the inside?
But there’s a problem with walking on the flag as a form of protest. While it clearly sends a message, and while it is a form of free speech that people have fought and died to defend, the main message that’s being heard is a big “fuck you” to the men and women in the military. Despite the fact our country has many failings and hasn’t been doing a great job of living up to the ideals that our flag symbolizes, desecrating the flag turns people off immediately. What are these flag-walkers upset about anyway? I have no i-fucking-dea because their actual message isn’t getting out. People focus on the action rather than the message, because it’s a pretty inflammatory action.
Chances are these protesters are not intending to disrespect our veterans and have some legitimate grievance. They aren’t looking at veterans and thinking, “Hey, fuck you guys!” They might be doing that though, because, like I said, I haven’t seen anything about their actual reasons. It’s an incredibly stupid way to get people on your side.
If you want to stomp on a flag, maybe get a fake one where the stars have been replaced with corporate logos, that’s something more people could probably get behind. But whatever the case, let’s not get so offended over a symbolic action, especially if they really do hate the US, who gives a shit what they think? But people walking on the flag, how about being less offensive and finding a better, more inclusive way to get your message out? It’s really all a bunch of bullshit.
~David T. Kukulkan~