Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ready... Aim...

Right on the Left Coast linked to some blogs concerning the burning of American flags. Rather than give in to my vengeful, knee-jerk reaction, "Well, let's flush a copy every time a flag burns and see what happens," I began to ponder why someone would go to the trouble of purchasing an American flag only to burn it. Symbolism is a powerful thing. They burn flags because they create an excellent visual symbol--a much more profound one than people shouting in languages we don't understand. So then, how does one stop (or at least slow) the desecration of the American flag? Stop filming it. Streaking used to be a thing--until we stopped showing it on television. Symbols may be powerful things, but only if they get to their target audience. If, rather than broadcasting pictures (or videos) such as those in the links, we had an eight-word blurb, "Rioters in furrinerland burned an American flag today," on the news, flag burning would become rare.


Blogger Hamlette said...

I agree. It's like the old parenting principle of not rewarding disruptive behavior with attention. If a kid throws a screaming fit and doesn't get any attention from it, chances are the fit will end quickly, and not be repeated. Flag-burning continues because it gets attention.

11:23 PM  
Blogger Noumenon said...

Even better than ignoring it, you could make fun of it.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

Who the heck manufactures American flags in the Middle East anyway? "Well boss, we've completed the monthly inventory and... oh CRAP! It's another riot!"

3:40 AM  

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