The facts for this story, but not the legal conclusions, come from an article published by CBS 13 in Reno, Nevada, on 4 October.
The facts of this matter seem clear. A bar in Reno was flying the Mexican flag above the US flag on the same flagpole. A US veteran saw this, knew it violated the US flag code by displaying a foreign flag above the US flag.
Jim Broussard explained his action by saying, “I took this flag down in honor of my country with a knife from the U.S. Army. I’m not going to see this happen to my country. I want to see someone fight me for this flag.”
The Reno police recognized that the flag display in this case was wrong. But they took the position that the US flag code is “advisory” because it has no “criminal enforcement requirements.”
The ACLU entered the fray, against the position of the veteran. In a statement the Nevada ACLU said, “If the federal flag rules were mandatory, they would clearly violate the First Amendment, which protects every American’s right to speak and express themselves, including their choice of flag to display.”
The ACLU had the chutzpah to add this, “In 1989, the Supreme Court held that we even have the right to burn our own flag.” In that case, the ACLU got the US Supreme Court to rule by a narrow margin that it is freedom of speech for an American to burn an American flag.
Let’s assume that is true. What is the message in burning a US flag? Does it mean “I hate America”? Or, “I hate Americans”? Well, what would be the message if this veteran had not merely rescued the US flag from misuse, but had removed and burned the Mexican flag? His real message was “I respect America.” But had he destroyed the Mexican flag, would it have meant, “I hate Mexico”? Or, “I hate Mexicans”?
The ACLU defends the destruction of the American flag, for the message it conveys. On the other hand, in this case, they are protecting the Mexican flag from disrespect. This one incident demonstrates that the ACLU has no use for real, even-handed freedom of speech. To the contrary, they believe only in the freedom of anti-American speech. Any pro-American speech deserves to be crushed like a bug in a corner.
This inherent contradiction of the ACLU’s flag positions was right there in front of the reporter. Somehow, he missed the story. How sad. By the way, the Reno TV station is allowing viewers to vote on whether this veteran was a “vandal” or a “patriot.” By 73% to 27%, the local residents call him a patriot.
For this story on the Net, go here: