THE SENATE IS poised to vote on the same proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit flag desecration that was passed by the House last year. The proposed amendment is a radical approach to a near nonexistent dilemma, akin to the atomic bombing of a city because there may be a felon in the area.
The flag is a beautiful and inspiring banner representing freedom and justice for all Americans. It is freely displayed and can be protected only by us, the people. Each citizen can gaze upon it, and it can mean what our heartfelt patriotic beliefs tell us individually.Government "protection" of a nation's banner only invites scorn upon it. A patriot cannot be created by legislation. Patriotism must be nurtured in the family and educational process. It must come from the heartfelt emotion of true beliefs, credos and tenets. Our beautiful flag represents those beliefs, credos and tenets that are outlined by the Constitution. Therein lies the beauty of our flag.
The proposed amendment would stain the image of our banner, as it would no longer wave free, unprotected by government and freely held high by the citizens of the United States.
Are we now, after 209 successful and glorious years, going to knuckle under to the pressure of modern lobbying techniques to pursue pseudo patriotism? Organizations exploiting high-tech lobbying, spending millions of dollars pressuring lawmakers and pandering to a false patriotism, should rethink their priorities and not succumb to the temptation of this "golden calf."
We must not delegate to government our responsibility of citizenship lest we endanger our most precious freedoms.
Teaching in the home and in our schools the principles evident in our Constitution and Bill of Rights requires responsibility and sacrifice. That energy enhances pride in our heritage. Let's use the advanced technology of the 21st century, the computer, e-mail, the Internet and all new communication advances to outline American ideals, inspire good citizens and create new patriots in lieu of spreading false patriotism by the panacea of an amendment.
Respect for our beautiful flag can only come from the hearts of the people. Attempts to bestow honor by government decree upon the flag are idle myths and must not prevail.