When Does Loving the Flag Become Flag Idolatry?
Now, I grew up loving that flag. I pledged allegiance to that flag every day at school. Since 9/11, however, I've been seeing a lot more of that flag, and I'm starting to wonder, has our love for the flag become a sick obsession?
Wikipedia says that:
"A flag is a piece of cloth flown from a pole or mast, usually intended for signaling or identification. Flags were initially created for signalling (as in semaphore), and for the identification of those who displayed them, and are still used for that purpose today. Flags are also used in messaging or advertising, or for decorative purposes, though at this less formal end the distinction between a flag and a simple cloth banner is blurred. Generally, a piece of cloth is a flag if it is flown like a flag, with one side attached, though many flags are recognisable if displayed in other forms.The flag is merely a symbol identifying our nation. As a symbol, it represents the various people who make up our nation and the various (changing) beliefs that represent our nation. As such, every person sees that flag in a different way, typically, as a reflection of their own respective view of the Nation, as a whole. Some see it without fault. Others see it without merit. Many, like me, see it somewhere in between.
And then there are some who wrap themselves in the flag in a way that wreaks of idolatry. Idolatry is defined as: 1. Worship of idols. 2. Blind or excessive devotion to something.
When I see over fifteen flags on stage with the President, I gotta think "it seems a bit excessive." And thats okay, I suppose. But when that collective obsession attempts to kill the mother which gave birth to the symbol, namely Freedom, then we have a problem akin to matricide.
Last week, the House passed the Flag Amendment which would make burning a flag unconstitutional. Apart from the nightmarish logistical problem of discerning what will be considered a flag for the sake of this Draconian mandate, I believe the very fact that this amendment has passed the House (again), is a sign that our flag "love" has become flag obsession or better yet, flag idolatry.
Now tell me, in a land that cherishes freedom, when we outlaw the free expression of flag burning and turn democratic dissenters into prison worthy criminals, hasn't our love become a tad bit excessive? When you love something, you do not hug it until it can no longer breath. You let it breathe.
Freedom needs to breathe.