Flagburned | VailDaily.com


Alex Miller

Ever burned a flag? Ever thought of burning a flag? Ever seen anyone you know burn a flag or heard someone say “Gee, I’d like to burn a flag?”Almost as if to further convince us how silly they’ve become, the U.S. House and Senate came this close to approving a Constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration. Thankfully, it failed yet again, but not before the Republican-led Senate got its little prize: another pre-election political stunt to try to paint Democrats as unpatriotic.There’s more to it, though. The flag-burning amendment dementia extends to some Dems as well, including our own Ken Salazar. The normally reasonable freshman senator voted with our normally backward Sen. Wayne Allard to approve the amendment.What’s up with that, Ken?Let’s be clear: 99.9999 percent of Americans neither wish to desecrate an American flag or condone it being done by others. At the end of the day, though, it’s still just a piece of fabric. Yes, it’s a symbol, but more important to who we are as Americans and as a country is how we act in that identity. In that light, banning torture, extraordinary rendition, launching preemptive wars and then lying about it might be better candidates for amendments than something as little-practiced as flag desecration.Fortunately, amending the Constitution isn’t easy, and enough senators had the common sense to vote against this silly little act. Rewriting this austere document should be limited to things that affect us all, like banning slavery, suffrage and the like. And do we really want to put people in jail for flag desecration? What’s next then an amendment to make it illegal to criticize the government?And while Iraq burns, the deficit grows, the president and his cronies run amok and our roads and schools crumble, this is what they’re spending time on in Washington. It’s almost enough to make you want to run out and burn something an Orrin Hatch campaign poster, maybe.Or could that become illegal as well?A.M.Alex Miller can be reached at 748-2931, or amiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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