You Can’t Fly the Confederate Flag — or Salute the American One

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

According to the left, it’s not OK to fly the Confederate flag. But it is OK to protest the American flag and disrespect the national anthem.

Not a day goes by when you don’t hear about a new “safe space” being afforded at our expense — where common-sense, reason and the Constitution are suspended—in order to appease some offended group.

So, where’s the safe space for patriotic NFL football fans?

Remember the rush to indict the “Confederate flag” after Dylan Roof went on a killing spree in a black church in Charleston last year?

Rather than bringing the nation together, as George W. Bush did on 9/11 by condemning the evil done in the name of a so-called “peaceful” religion, President Barack Obama chose to divide the country, and diminish our freedom in the process.

Just because an action is popular, doesn’t make it right. Banning flags as “offensive” and guns as “dangerous” sounds good as a sound bite to many who’ve never contemplated freedom.

Freedom is a risky proposition.

Yes, it means we have to tolerate the burning of the American flag as an act of protest — no matter how much we hate it. It means we endure the obscene and often misogynistic lyrics of hip-hop, rap and other forms of modern music — or we can simply exercise our own freedom to turn them off or change the channel. And as painful as it might be — especially if you have loved ones in harms way defending the very freedom that others take for granted—it means we allow a Colin Kaepernick to disrespect the flag and the anthem of this great nation.

Because a truly great nation — founded by visionaries whose vision would at a future point, undo their own hypocrisies — is not threatened by acts of protest; it’s strengthened by them.

Not everyone agrees.

A group of high school seniors in my town decided to display their patriotism by flying the American Flag on one side of their pickup trucks and the Gadsen flag on the other.  A few of them decided to fly the “Stars and Bars” — popularly known as the Confederate flag, even though it was not the original and official flag of the Confederacy. (But facts are meaningless when the meaning of a symbol has been hijacked by nefarious forces.)

Some students and community members were outraged by the display of this controversial flag, which they consider to be the banner of hatred and racism. Within days, a school board meeting was convened to determine what, if anything, was to be done about it.

At that meeting, a number of students spoke, starting with Rim High School student body president, senior Audrey Ferrara.

“This flag and the swastika is dehumanizing and yet it is now being tolerated on my high school campus, which is confusing to me,” she said, explaining, “I stand against these flags, as well as, the distraction; this flag should not be representing me or my school.”

First of all, that is an outright fabrication.  There was no display of the swastika by any of the boys flying the flags.

But her comment illustrates two things about the nature of the justification for those who want to silence speech they find offensive. First, in true Alinsky style, ban supporters are willing to go to any lengths to demonize and dehumanize those displaying the offensive symbol (in this case, tying them to Hitler). Second, the exercise of an individual’s First Amendment right is cast as a threat to another, or taken to represent the viewpoint of the entire school body instead of the merely the individual in question.

This student body president is clearly confused or didn’t pay attention in civics class.

What did emerge from that meeting was the true story that failed to make headlines. The boys in question — who are, by every account, of unquestionable character and the highest integrity, with many already signed up to serve our country in the military — have been vehemently and even violently harassed by those who oppose the flag.

According to one article, the oil was drained out of one boy’s pick -up truck, which could have caused catastrophic engine damage had he driven it far.  Another article outlines an earlier incident, in which another boy was helping a disabled motorist in the grocery store parking lot when an older man accosted them, and began ranting about the “racist flag” flying from his pick up truck.

What started as an argument escalated to violence when the older man — unsatisfied with the outcome of the argument—decided to run the boys over with his car.  According to the Press Enterprise article, only a concealed carry holder drawing a weapon averted a sure catastrophe:

“He got into his vehicle and sped toward the group,” San Bernardino Sheriff’s Spokesman Gilbert Flores said of McLaughlin, adding that McLaughlin was reportedly traveling about 25 mph.

A witness who had a concealed weapons permit and was carrying a gun pulled his weapon and pointed it at McLaughlin, stopping him and making a citizen’s arrest. Police were called and McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of attempted assault with a deadly weapon, Flores said.

McLaughlin posted bond on a $25,000 bail and was released from custody, Flores said.

All of this illustrates the tremendous double standard in our society: if your “cause” or “protest” is politically correct or popular with the media, it will be presented in the most sympathetic light.

Case in point: Colin Kaepernick. The media will patiently explain his Fist Amendment right to protest, defending him with the same passion usually reserved for defending their own press freedom.

But when it comes to ideas, symbols or even personalities that are unpopular or severely mischaracterized — the Tea Party, Donald Trump or the Confederate Flag—the media stands up for the “right to not be offended.” The only problem is that the so-called “right to not be offended “ does not exist.  It does not exist in our society, nor is it acknowledged anywhere in the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights.

As the lone “no” vote in the California State Assembly on a bill banning the display and sale of all Confederate Flag memorabilia back in 2014, I decided to lend my voice to the discussion at the Sep. 1 school board meeting.  My point was very simple. The school board had only one duty — to uphold and defend the Constitution — to which each of its members swore an oath.

And the Constitution does not grant a ‘heckler’s veto’ to those who are offended.  I began to make a point about other things that the board might consider banning — music, movies, even political parties. After all, the Republican Party — which so many in the media and the education establishment would love to ban — was the party formed for the sole and exclusive purpose of opposing the the institution of and the expansion of slavery. It was the anti-Slavery party, period.  When I got to mentioning the Democrat party as the pro-slavery party — which might make it a worthy candidate to be banned on campus — as if on cue, I got interrupted by a heckler.

Made my point exactly.

Whether you want to fly the Stars and Bars or the Confederate Flag, or you want to dishonor “Old Glory” by sitting down during the national anthem, we as a free people should defend your right to do it. No matter how much we might disagree or even hate your doing it.

That’s freedom. That’s the meaning of the First Amendment.


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