Understandably, it pressed the lastnerves on both sides of the issue. I defend the right of Confederate descendants to fly the flag. That's first amendment free expression. Did the flag oppress or offend me personally? No, but I can understand that it is viewed by some blacks as a symbol that perpetuated and encouraged the oppression of our people for quite some time.
Perhaps then, I can also understand the anger that two teens had in Bloomington, IN who took down a homosexual store owner's gay flag and burned it. I don't defend or support theft (that's how they got the flag) but I do think as a former homosexual that burning the gay flag is a right of free first amendment expression. To me the homosexual flag represents a lifestyle that enslaved me, lied to me and tried to destroy my life.
I am personally offended when I see it.
Like in the case with the confederate flag, blacks objected vehemently to the flag being flown on government,not private, property. Again, right on. The government shouldn't encourage symbols of hate and oppression by allowing them to be flown on government property with government approval. I feel the same way about city and county governments flying homosexual flags. Its a property owner's right to fly the gay flag if on their property, but the government crosses way over the line when they get involved.
In most instances, officials say something politically stupid like Beverly Calender-Anderson, director of Bloomington's Safe and Civil City Program. "We do value and honor the diversity in our city and do not condone discrimination or any kind of acts against people because of their sexual orientation, gender, race, class, or anything else." I wonder if that loving commitment to "diversity" would apply to the confederate flag supporters?
The burning of flags has raised a lot of ire mainly because of some terrorists who want to (and have) burned the US flag. And its not necessarily a "liberal" supported cause. In both Texas vs. Johnson (1989) and the U.S. vs Eichman (1990), Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who is arguably one of the most conservative of the nine, agreed that US flag burning was a protected free speech right. So, give me a break! Is the gay flag more important than the US flag? Hardly. As treasonous as it us, if burning the US flag is protected free expression, then no one should blink an eye if we burned gay flags. Should we burn gay flags because they symbolize sexual oppression? I think we should. Related: