Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Why Do Trump Supporters Desecrate the Flag?

This hideous piece of trash cheapens the symbol of America.  It is also against the law.  And yet, they keep doing it, over and over again.  Why?

In long ago days, when Thee Optimist was a yoot, people were dead serious about the American flag.

You did not handle the flag lightly.  You did not let it touch the ground.  You did not let it become frayed, or get dirty.  You did not display a flag in poor condition.  

If you did, a couple of guys from the local VFW hall were likely to show up at your house and ask you to take it down.  Or bypass you entirely and take it down themselves.

In recent years, supporters of former President Trump have attempted to seize the mantle of "true patriots" or some such ridiculous what have you.  Whatever.  It's stupid.  I get that.

I don't really know what they've been trying to do.  What I do know is this.  A recent Trump rally in Ohio reminded me of their existence.  They are still out there (even though the Orange Julius himself is mostly gone), and they have some strange obsession with desecrating the flag of the United States.  

Why do they do this?  I have no answer.  You can say, "Oh, it's because they're morons."  But is that good enough?

Is it really?

When I was a kid, morons were not allowed to desecrate the flag.  No one would have dreamed of saying, "It's okay if Fred does it.  He's a moron."  Wouldn't happen. 

We are falling a long way.

Desecrator in Chief.  The fish rots from the head.  You're supposed to SALUTE the flag, you silly twat.  Not molest it.

The Flag Has Meaning

The American flag gets shown a lot.  You might even say it's a little bit overexposed.  

"Familiarity breeds contempt," goes the old saying, and very few things are more familiar than the flag.  So it has a tendency to be mistreated.  

But that doesn't mean we should deliberately abuse it.  

The flag, as most Americans know, is the official symbol of the United States of America.  It goes by many names - the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and the Red, White and Blue are a few of these.  It is such a powerful symbol, it's no exaggeration to say that many people have killed and died for the flag.

Every bit of the flag has meaning.  The 50 white stars on the field of blue in the top left corner represent the 50 states.  The 13 red and white stripes (7 red, 6 white) represent the original 13 colonies that rebelled against the British crown, and declared their independence.

Indeed, the colors themselves have meaning.  By custom and tradition, white signifies purity and innocence, red signifies hardiness and valor, and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice.  

The rules for handling and displaying the flag are set out in a law known as the Flag Code.  The Flag Code is a subset (Title 4, Chapter 1) of the larger law known as the United States Code.

The rules for handling and displaying the flag are very specific, and you can review them here.  Trump supporters, for reasons known only to them, mangle and eviscerate these rules at every turn.

American flag displayed correctly.  It's actually not that hard.

Let's Look at a Few Examples, Shall We?

This is a real issue.  It's not at all frivolous.  And since I'm the one making an issue of it, I'd be remiss not to share some eye-popping examples of what I'm talking about.

Try these on for size:

That hurts.  It's ugly as hell, for starters.  Trump's face is bad enough, but some idiot wrote words across the stripes.  As laid out in the Flag Code (Section 8, Respect for Flag): 

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America. 


The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

Of course, Trump supporters kill this rule all the time by putting his ugly mug on the flag.  But they don't stop there:

Beyond gruesome.  Here you've got rifles like erect cocks in the flag's face.  Call it flag porn.  

And while we're at it, this... uh... "flag" also tramples the separation of church and state enshrined in the Establishment Clause of the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. 

Someone hung this eyesore on their house. 

Then there's this, which you see in various incarnations on vehicles of all kinds:   

This one breaks the previous rule, as well as (also Section 8, Respect for the Flag):

The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. 

We might need a lawyer for this, but it certainly also breaks the spirit, if not the letter, of:

The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.

Naturally, at Trump rallies, they all dress like this:

Does it even need to be said?  For the record:

The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.  No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

And finally, what would a Trump truck parade be without a scene like this one:

How can this person possibly think this is okay?  You don't have to know anything about the Flag Code to know this is wrong.  Anyway:

The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.


The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

Not only should that flag be burned, so should the truck and the person inside of it.


  1. I've been told since I was a lad that any flag is really just a symbol--that it is supposed to represent the values and history of the nation or organization to which it refers, thereby creating some pride and unity in its people.

    How ironic that, just within one or two generations, people from the same side of the political spectrum went from respecting the flag (and criticizing those who did not strictly follow the U.S. Flag Code) to gleefully violating said code. And they do so to display their supposed "patriotism."

    But they are merely revealing their utter lack of understanding of what they are celebrating.

    And while these people's flag desecration demonstrates only the first principle in Laurence Britt’s “14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism”
    https://secularhumanism.org/2003/03/fascism-anyone/, they unknowingly subscribe to the other 13 as well (as did the followers of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Pinochet, etc.). They're basking in their sheer ignorance, fueled by their quest for the pathetic little highs of dopamine their brains receive whenever they obnoxiously push their nonsense ("let's own the libs!"). Ironically, they end up fervently supporting leaders who not only don't care a tinker's damn about them, but who actively work to make the quality of their followers' lives far worse (or even lead them to their deaths).

    And that, sir, is the definition of stupidity.

    1. Trumpers/COVID deniers are lambs led to slaughter by their so-called "leaders".

  2. Thank you for your comment. I was leaning more towards, "They are stupid," but I see your point. It's interesting how 18 years ago, when the article you posted was written, the author could write "fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else..."

    They aren't gently wafting anymore. They're more like a "firenado" now. And they're not really masquerading as anything else.

    Most of these 14 characteristics are in place, though much of it happened long before Trump, and was put in place by successive neoliberal and neoconservative administrations.

    We've still got a great deal of intellectual and artistic freedom, feminism is an opposing pole to rampant sexism, and there's tremendous resistance to the glorification of the police. If we'd had four more years of Trump, maybe none of that would be true.

    The article is well worth a look. I'm creating a link to it for people to easily click on (because I got the computer magic like that):

    Fascism Anyone?