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Friday, July 24, 2009

Did Glenn Beck Violate US Flag Code? He Sure Did.

Glenn Beck, and many like him, love to use the image ( whether literal or methaphorical ) of the American Flag to promote their own particular style of "patriotism". In regards to states rights, the rights of the individual, or to lambast percieved unpatriotic behavior in those with whome they disagree, these conservatives ( most ofen those within the fringe elements of the movement: ie birthers, nativists, racists, and outright lunatics ) will use the image of the American Flag not to promote what it means to the nation but to attempt to give credance to whatever they are attempting to pass off at the moment.

These same people are also the first ones to cry foul when someone else uses the flag as a demonstrative tool and, in one fashion or another, violates US Flag Code. And it seems that this code doesn't apply to them. Observe.

US Flag Code clearly states:

(a)(1) Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(b) As used in this section, the term 'flag of the United States' means any flag of the United States, or any part thereof, made of any substance, of any size, in a form that is commonly displayed.

....a flag is a flag or anything "by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag."

The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

Is this to say that Beck should be taken to jail and fined? Not really. It is simply to point out the rnak hypocrisy that he has for the image of the country that he claims to love.

Of course, Glenn Beck isn't the only one to have violated the flag code. His favorite woman on the planet recently had a photo take where the flag literally was a stage prop:

The fringe conservatives, who's ideals and voices are becoming more of a mainstream portion of the movement as a whole, are filled with such hypocritical gasbaggery when it comes to the flag that it is no longer suprising when they act in such a manner.


Vexman said...

Aironlater's diary entry regarding the Flag Code is wrong. The Flag Code is just one section of the US Code. The quoted portion is not a part of the Flag Code, although to be fair, the web site it was derived from gives all sections of the US Code relating to flags as if it was a part of the Flag Code.

If one reads the preamble of the cited section carefully (which was not presented in the diary), the cited flag laws are for the District of Columbia only. They are not part of the Flag Code. Additionally, the US Supreme Court decided in 1989 that these types of anti-flag desecration laws are unconstitutional.

Americans have always been free to treat the flag as they think appropriate. Even with the Flag Code, which was a resolution of Congress, not a law, there are no penalties or legal ramifications for violating it. The attempts to legislate flag desecration would change that. Let's hope they continue to be unsuccessful.

aironlater said...

Although, within the US Code, it does reference The District Of Columbia in the preamble, this is a code that is widely referenced within ALL 50 states. Also, it is a cornerstone of the conservative movement, of which Glenn Beck is one of the loudest voices - whether that be for the sake of his shows success or not has yet to be determined.

That being said, the purpose of this posting, which was readily available within the text, it is not my intent to quash Beck's right to free speech, I am simply pointing out the unblushing disrespect that he is showing to the American Flag.

As you have correctly pointed out, there is not legislation that would impart a fine or jailtime for desecration of the flag. This is also readily understood and pointed out in the posting as well.

From your particular point of view, I may be incorrect, but in the context of the posting - which shows that Glenn Beck is in fact using the American Flag as a prop and showing textbook disrespect for it - all the facts presented are accurate and precise.

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