imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Burning the American Flag because of What it Represents

by Kenneth J. Theisen Tuesday, May. 23, 2006 at 1:57 PM

The Senate will soon debate an amendment to ban flag-burning. As long as the U.S. flag represents a nation bent on dominating the world regardless of the human and economic costs, people both here and abroad will continue to burn it. Where there is oppressions there is always resistance.

Sometime between now and the 2006 elections in November, the U.S. Senate will debate one of the most pressing questions facing the American people. No, they will not debate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and possible U.S. withdrawal. They will not take up the Bush regime’s preparations for war, possibly even nuclear war, against Iran. They will not seriously talk about global warming, the degradation of the environment, preparations for the coming hurricane season, or the Bush regime’s massive spying on the American people, or any other pressing issues. Instead they will debate whether or not to amend the constitution to allow Congress to ban the burning of the American flag.

Those in favor of the amendment intend to divert the attention of the rest of us from the real questions of the day. They also hope to drum up support among their political base for more of the same reactionary policies which have been coming out of Washington since the election of Bush.

In 1989 the U.S. Supreme Court in Texas vs. Johnson ruled that flag-burning is constitutionally protected free speech. Since then there have been numerous attempts to amend the constitution by Congress to outlaw flag-burning. Last year the House of Representatives passed a flag-burning amendment sponsored by “U.S. war hero” California Republican Representative Randy Cunningham, who is now serving time for taking .4 million in bribes while serving in the House of Representatives. The current measure before the Senate has 57 co-sponsors. It passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 6-3 vote. It needs a two-thirds majority vote to pass out of the Senate and then needs to be ratified by 38 states within seven years to take effect.

Proponents of the amendment say that the flag must be protected because it “symbolizes America and what the country stands for.” But they fail to understand that is exactly why the flag is burned around the world and here at home. The flag does symbolize and represent U.S. actions around the world. By burning the flag, people are protesting and offering resistance to those various actions.

Just what does the American flag represent to billions of people? It is an imperial flag that represents more than 200 years of oppression to people in the U.S. and throughout the world. The U.S. flag flew over the ships that uprooted millions of Africans and carried them to enslavement. It was carried by troops that invaded Mexico and forcibly stole a large section of the country. It was carried by the soldiers who committed genocide of the aboriginal people of America. In 1898, the flag was raised in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines when the U.S. “freed” those nations from Spain, only to bring them under U.S. domination with the use of cannon, rifles, and bayonets.

The U.S. troops who repeatedly invaded the countries of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America in the 20th century proudly bore this flag. Of course the U.S. made these countries free for exploitation by American companies such as United Fruit, ITT, Kennecott Copper and the energy industry.

When the U.S. became the first and only country to use nuclear weapons, the planes that dropped the bombs on Japan had the flag prominently displayed. The B-52 air fleet that carpet bombed, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the sixties and seventies also had the flag painted on its planes. The soldiers who massacred the My Lai villagers in Vietnam wore the flag on their uniforms as do the current U.S. occupiers of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The defenders of the flag say we are a nation of laws and that is one of the ideas that the flag symbolizes. Let us examine some of these laws. When the U.S. Constitution was drafted and legalized the notion that slaves were worth 3/5 of a person and that slavery could continue, a U.S. flag flew over the meeting hall. When the Supreme Court decided the Dred Scott decision upholding the rights of slaveholders over their “property” and Plessey vs. Ferguson legitimizing Jim Crow laws, the flag flew over the court building. When year after year, the U.S. Congress refused to pass anti-lynching legislation it flew over the steps of Congress. When the Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act and other racist anti-immigration legislation, including this year, the flag continued to fly. When President Roosevelt signed an executive order to imprison 120,000 Japanese Americans the American flag flew over the barbed wire at the concentration camps.

Today, the flag flies at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and many other prisons run by U.S. forces where prisoners are denied fundamental legal rights and are tortured and killed. I do not know if it flies at the secret prisons where the CIA practices “intense interrogation” techniques such as water boarding that our President and Attorney General claim are not torture.

Under the Bush regime U.S. government rhetoric has risen to new heights of hypocrisy. Under the banner of the stars and stripes, the U.S. government claims to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan by invading them and bringing death and destruction to their people. In Iraq, the only freedom that exists is freedom from life brought to more than 100,000 people. In both countries, puppet governments are propped up with U.S. troops. U.S. supported drug lords rule the countryside in Afghanistan. Using the cover of preventing Iran from obtaining “the bomb”, the U.S. is now planning a “preemptive war” against that country.

Fortunately, most people easily see through the hypocrisy of the U.S. government propaganda. Actions speak much louder than words.

That is why to the vast majority of the world’s people, the American flag represents an imperialist country that militarily and economically dominates the world without regard to the human and environmental costs. It is this representation which will cause people to burn it regardless of what action Congress takes. No laws or propaganda can change reality. Where there is oppression there will always be resistance.

Kenneth J. Theisen is an Oakland resident who writes about national and international issues.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 6 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
mr. al Saturday, May. 27, 2006 at 10:24 AM
Hey Kenny doubletrouble Saturday, May. 27, 2006 at 3:13 PM
flag burning dan thropp Wednesday, May. 31, 2006 at 7:54 AM
flag burning dan thropp Wednesday, May. 31, 2006 at 11:41 AM
flag burning dan thropp Wednesday, May. 31, 2006 at 3:14 PM
flag burning dan thropp Wednesday, May. 31, 2006 at 3:16 PM

Local News

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

3 Essential Videos J19 3:53AM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J18 2:41PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Fbi joins with Facebook to remove this report J18 7:08AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration J16 8:06PM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup J13 4:14PM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy