Thursday, July 9, 2020

Either the flag-burners don't get it...


... or they do get it, and they don't care, and they're willing to take the consequences.  Frankly, I can't believe it's the latter.  They couldn't be that stupid - or could they?

That thought was sparked by this meme on Gab.




I understand that image on a visceral level.  It resonates with me, as I don't think it can with someone who isn't a combat veteran - although any veteran, and any veteran's family, will get it to a considerable extent.

Almost a decade ago, I wrote about my buddy Flynn.  He died in combat after an RPG-7 rocket inflicted mortal injuries.

I remember Flynn's face, agony in his one remaining eye, jaw set in a rictus of unimaginable pain, coughing blood through his set teeth, half his left cheek torn away, left eye dangling from its socket, shirt turning bright red with the blood gushing from his punctured and shredded chest, a gurgling, gasping, groaning, never-ending moan torn from his throat as he gargled his life away in the sand . . . and all I could do was inject a syrette of morphine, and hold his hand, and watch - feel - his life slip away between my fingers while the ambush roared and raged all around us.

I had to let go of his hand, and grab my rifle, and return fire . . . and as I did so, I remember hearing the last half-gasping, half-choking rattle in his throat . . . and by the time I could look around again, it was too late. Just a couple of flecks of African dust, lifted by the last breath through his lips, drifting lazily before his mouth, then slowly sinking down to the ground once more, into the muddy blood that spread slowly from beneath him . . . and his one good eye, staring blankly into the dust, and the blood, and the darkness that had taken him from me.

There's more at the link.

Flynn and I fought under the orange, white and blue flag of the old Republic of South Africa.




It incorporated in its central stripe the "Vierkleur" ("Four-color") flag of the old South African Republic (later the province of Transvaal), the "Union Jack" of Great Britain, and the flag of the Orange Free State, a Boer republic adjacent to the South African Republic, and later a South African province of the same name.  Inevitably, it became indelibly associated with the policy of apartheid, and is referred to by many today as the "apartheid flag", even though it predated that policy by many years.

With the advent of a truly democratic government in South Africa in 1994, a new flag was adopted.




It was an artificial concoction by a civil servant, hurriedly thrown together to produce what was at first thought to be a temporary symbol of the "new nation" that was to arise.  (I was there at the time.  One newspaper commented that it "looked like a pair of Y-fronts [a local term for briefs] on its side", to which the designer retorted, "Well, South Africa needs all the support it can get!")  The new flag eventually became permanent, in the absence of any more popular design.

In 2019 the old "apartheid flag" was outlawed from public display in South Africa, and its use is regarded as "hate speech".  I can understand the anger and bitterness the old flag provokes in the hearts of many black South Africans . . . but it was still the flag under which I fought, and for which Flynn and a number of other friends died, and under which they were buried.  I can't simply condemn it as a symbol of racism, because it was never that to me.  It's a symbol of many other things - things that the new South African flag simply cannot express for me.

I'm an American now, and proud of my adopted flag, and will gladly serve under it if need be:  but the old South African flag still has a visceral effect on me.  It goes far deeper than words can express.  I have a lapel badge in the form of the US and (old) South African flags, their staffs crossed.  I shall still wear it with pride if a suitable occasion arises - and it will have nothing whatsoever to do with racism or discrimination.  Those who can't or won't understand or accept that will just have to live with it.

(For that reason, I can understand veterans of Nazi Germany who still respected the Nazi flag after World War II, even to this day.  They defended it as a symbol of their personal patriotism and military service rather than of Hitler and his demented goons.  For them, it really was that, even though the rest of the world could not or would not understand that perspective.  They'd fought under it, they'd bled under it, and many of their friends had died under it.  It went beyond mere words.  I think US veterans can understand that position as well.  My father, who fought against Nazi Germany, certainly did, and respected it.)

And so we return to the image with which we started this article.  When I see people spit on, or stamp on, or set fire to, the United States flag, and disrespect both it and the nation for which it stands, I too feel a visceral reaction of rage.





Have they no idea how many people have died for and under that flag?  How dare they disrespect, not just the flag, but those people and their sacrifice, by their actions?  Have they no conscience at all?  As for the chant "America was never great" in the video clip above, they couldn't be more wrong - but then, most of them have no reference points.  Their liberal/progressive/left-wing teachers have deliberately failed to educate them about true history.  They have no idea that for decades, the USA was, indeed, regarded as "great" by most other nations and their people, and still is by many.

I came here to make a fresh start with my life after eighteen years of civil and military war, unrest, violence and hatred.  For me, believe me, America has indeed been, and still is, great.  I'm proud to be an American, and not ashamed to say so publicly.  I'm honored to be accepted as a brother by my new national family, and I stand tall and proud beside them beneath our national flag.

I therefore understand the visceral scorn, contempt and disgust that the policeman in this video clip must have felt when he took action to defend the flag.  He would have known it was a small gesture against the violence and hatred on display all around him - but it was still a gesture worth making, and I'm glad he did so.





We need more men like that policeman - and a stronger response to the flag-burning thugs he confronted, too.

"If you haven't risked coming home under the flag, don't you dare stand on it".  Yes, indeed - and don't you dare disrespect it, or burn it, or reject it.  If you do, you reject me and all I stand for.  The one necessarily implies the other.

I think a lot of Americans share that sentiment.  I think, if those who are rioting in our streets don't come to their senses, they may find that out, real soon now.  Rejection works both ways.




Peter

11 comments:

Aesop said...

's okay if they burn flags.
1) A miguided bunch of Nancys in black man-dress opine that it's free speech, something which those who served under that flag fought, bled, and died to protect.
2) Anyone expressing their speech thusly is also expressing their non-American citizenship and enemy status more eloquently than any mere words or traitorous oaths could ever express. Fair enough; enemy combatant status noted.
3) Anyone doing same anywhere near my immediate presence can justifiably expect to be wrapped in same, in haste. I may even thoughtfully amplify their speech with a quart of BBQ charcoal starter, the better to hear their point. This is known as "skin in the game", and if one is going to attack an inanimate symbol, they have no leg to stand on when it fights back, in a manner that produces third degree burns. Fair is fair.
They have now been negotiated with.

stencil said...


.
But any new policemen will come from the same generation as these rioters. And these all - all - are products of the same school system that replaced family, home, and nation with "society."
.

Michael said...

Aesop maybe 22 LR IS the answer....

No need for polite discourse with barbarians, nor the politicians that order police to stand down. I suspect THAT honorable Police Officer got pulled on the carpet for his honorable and proper act of respect for the Flag.

Most police are good neighbors at least in my area. I share coffee with them, sometimes they buy. The Politicians control the police response.

McChuck said...

The Left hates America.
What part of "fundamentally transform" confuses people?

rognuald said...

These people who burn and stomp on the flag don't care about your meme nor do they fear any consequences of doing so since all they've gotten from us so far is words. You and I are racist oppressors and these flags are our racist symbols to them. Our flags are no better than the Confederate flag to them. These people aren't Americans, they want to destroy America. If we don't take action, they might succeed.

edtheham said...

What you wrote resonates with me. I never served in the military, but I would never disrespect the US flag, or any countries' flags this way.

I have said something similar about the Confederate battle flag for many years. Whether you agree with the politics behind it or not, the flag was paid for in blood and deserves better than to be waved around to pi$$ off black people. Unfortunately, people of my opinion did not speak up.

What you said was spot on.

Dov Sar said...

I had friends buried under that flag, and came close myself a few times. I would have gladly given my life for this country back in the day. But we as a nation have turned our back on God, and Romans 1:18-28 tells us exactly what we are going through and why. What we see is not the root problem, it is a symptom. The problem is that we do not see fit to regard God any longer, so He is giving us over to a depraved mind.

I am sorry that the blogger has suffered so much, and is so grateful to a country that is, sadly, collapsing. Perhaps the collapse will make better, more grateful, more gracious and God fearing people out of all of us. God would not bring this disaster upon us if it wouldn't be an opportunity for repentance and restoration to Him as individuals.

Beans said...

I am okay with burning the American Flag in 'protest.'

Wait. Hear me out.

But... If a protestor can burn an American Flag as an expression of his/her/its First Amendment Rights, then I can burn a Rainbow Flag, a BLM Flag, an NFL Flag, a Planned Parenthood Flag, a DNC Flag, a Mexican Flag, a United Nations Flag, a Venezuelan Flag and any other damned flag I want to and as an expression of MY First Amendment Rights it is not to be considered a 'hate crime' and the State will protect my happy arse for doing so.

There. Either-Or. Either protect All Flags or protect no flags.

I would prefer people not trample or burn American flags. I will, if I can, express my First Amendment rights and try to save, if possible, any American flags in distress that I can.

It, in all it's variations, and the Confederate flag in all it's variations, are what my ancestors served under and died under and worked very hard to get to lands under it. I cherish the flag, most assuredly I do. I hate to see ripped flags, flags potentially touching the ground, flags that are faded, and try to help rectify the situation whenever I can. Purposely trashing the flag peeves me off, it does, but some chowderheaded judges somewhere said it was okay to do so.

So. Equal flag rights or no flag rights. But don't say that the American Flag isn't protected when someone's made-up feelings flag is.

Cosda said...

Try burning one of those other flags in a public place and you will be arrested on a public safety violation.

Michael said...

Judging from a recent event where some one wrote ALL Lives Matter on a BLM "Mural" that looked more like a Gang Tag NOT a "Mural" on a public street and is defending themselves from legal charges of a "Hate crime"....

Burning a Media Protected Flag like BLM-Gay etc. will get you charged with a "Hate Crime" AND you Doxed and your employer threatened if they don't fire you.. A "Public Safety" violation is NOT Enough for the many "Karen's" with cell phones and politicians trying to ride this color revolution to new employment with the New Bosses.

Learn the 3 "S"'s folks don't stand there awaiting the official police response or make it easier for Doxxers. The Boston Massacre was done by a mob of Gilligan's who thought standing there throwing stuff at British Soldiers was a good idea. Our current batch of rioters aka "Peaceful Protestors" are PROTECTED by the Liberal Media and Liberal Politicians YOU and I are NOT.

BFR said...

Why does anyone think that facts or conversing about them is relevant?

The site owner says: "or they do get it, and they don't care, and they're willing to take the consequences. Frankly, I can't believe it's the latter. They couldn't be that stupid - or could they?"

Really? Is that what Peter really thinks? I hope that he was just employing sardonic comedy.

None of what you see is stupidity (at the direction level); it is a very well employed strategy that is succeeding.

The useful idiots are disposable; the shot callers are untouchable, and those in denial are stupefied.