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Thread: Flag Desecration

  1. #1

    Default Flag Desecration

    Please note, this is not a political debate. This is a discussion more about the first amendment regarding the U.S. flag

    Now that, that is out of the way. Buy US Obama (face) National Flag 3 X 5 ft. for sale

    This company is making a U.S. flag with Obama's face on it. I don't consider myself of either political party and would be pissed even if it was Bush's face on it. But is this not illegal to produce? Maybe someone can explain it to me better, but I believe this falls under Flag Desecration, which last I checked was illegal.

    I know certain laws protect the altering of a flag, but I thought that was only to flags that were created before a certain date. I'm sure everyone knows about the Assassin's Creed IV flag, which was exempt from the law due to the era the flag was created.

    The definition I found online about flag desecration was as follows: Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

    I also believe, but have not looked into it. maybe someone from the U.K. can let me know, we are the only country with flag desecration laws.

    This law too me also seems to interfere with the First amendment of freedom of speech. I think it is ridiculous to a point that this law exists. But respect that it is there.

    I would like to hear what other members of ADISC think of this law and your stance of flag defacing.

  2. #2

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    I am inclined to agree with you that the laws seem a bit on the ridiculous side, but you need to respect the fact that they are there. Maybe we need to take another look at them and ask ourselves why they are there, especially since, as you point out, no one else seems to make such a big deal of this sort of thing.

    As to this flag in particular, I don't think it fits into the category of desecration because it is not a US flag to begin with. It's a faux flag with someone's face on it. It's no more an official flag than those "US Dollar Bills" with Santa Claus's face instead of GW's that you can find every Christmas are legal tender. It's something to hang on the wall, not to salute, so I don't think the laws apply.

    Just my thoughts.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by FauxPas View Post
    The definition I found online about flag desecration was as follows: Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

    I also believe, but have not looked into it. maybe someone from the U.K. can let me know, we are the only country with flag desecration laws.
    I wonder if the reason why this company can justify doing this is because that image isn't technically the United States flag having no stars in the obama's face area.

    I'm sure there are other countries that have flag laws but the only one I know has desecration laws is Turkey.

    As for here in England, we have no laws that I know of and if we do then every major retailer has broken it.

    for example, this lovely novelty apron
    Union Jack Bikini Sexy Novelty Apron - Free Delivery | MP Homewares

    or perhaps a modest pair of pants
    Mens Union Jack Magic Boxer Shorts at SockShop - Go On Treat Yourself with Mens Underwear

    or the ultimate in baby footwear
    Funky leather slippers in a 'Cool' Britannia Union Jack design from Bb London

    You can probably find many other examples by just preceding 'union jack' to whatever you want to find.

    By the way, I don't like this kind of stuff as I think it cheapens any pride we have in our nation.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strontium View Post
    I wonder if the reason why this company can justify doing this is because that image isn't technically the United States flag having no stars in the obama's face area.

    I'm sure there are other countries that have flag laws but the only one I know has desecration laws is Turkey.

    As for here in England, we have no laws that I know of and if we do then every major retailer has broken it.

    for example, this lovely novelty apron
    Union Jack Bikini Sexy Novelty Apron - Free Delivery | MP Homewares

    or perhaps a modest pair of pants
    Mens Union Jack Magic Boxer Shorts at SockShop - Go On Treat Yourself with Mens Underwear

    or the ultimate in baby footwear
    Funky leather slippers in a 'Cool' Britannia Union Jack design from Bb London

    You can probably find many other examples by just preceding 'union jack' to whatever you want to find.

    By the way, I don't like this kind of stuff as I think it cheapens any pride we have in our nation.
    I started to think maybe because it was not originally a U.S. flag to begin with maybe? Like if I were to go to the store and buy a flag, rip the stars off it and then add a face, then it would be considered desecration.

    I agree though, this kind of stuff does not make someone more patriotic.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by ICkaraokegirl View Post
    I am inclined to agree with you that the laws seem a bit on the ridiculous side, but you need to respect the fact that they are there. Maybe we need to take another look at them and ask ourselves why they are there, especially since, as you point out, no one else seems to make such a big deal of this sort of thing.

    As to this flag in particular, I don't think it fits into the category of desecration because it is not a US flag to begin with. It's a faux flag with someone's face on it. It's no more an official flag than those "US Dollar Bills" with Santa Claus's face instead of GW's that you can find every Christmas are legal tender. It's something to hang on the wall, not to salute, so I don't think the laws apply.

    Just my thoughts.
    That's what I started to think. But the law is soo unclear about anything. I just don't think we need to be making this kind of stuff.

  5. #5

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    Coincidentally, I am wearing an Old Navy shirt with the American flag on it as we speak. Is that flag desecration? It appears to have all 50 stars and all the stripes. I didn't count. Anyway, I am not aware of any current laws on the books about flag desecration. There has been a proposed amendment that has continually been defeated by Congress every other year or so. Flag Amendment

    Let me ask you this: What is desecration? Burning? A face on the flag? If it was John Wayne would you object? If it was brown, yellow and purple? It will be hard to define. There's that old artistic license thingy. Also, how would you enforce a law? Jail time? Community service? There's already other more dangerous criminals in jails and prisons.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I am conservative and am proud of our flag and for the rights it stands for. But therein lies the problem. The liberals say desecration, including burning, is a way of expressing themselves, thus free speech. I can see their point, a little bit, but since it is a symbol of so many things throughout our history, I really don't think it should be modified or destroyed in any way.

    As for foreign countries (and I use the term loosely to include all other countries than the US). I think they are proud of their country like the majority of us are. But have you ever seen an Iranian burn an Iranian flag? No. He would probably be shot on site.

  6. #6

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    I can understand why the US has laws against desecration as I'm sure I've seen history about people in the sixty's setting fire to the flag at demonstrations.

    edit: Then again, I didn't see the post above until I posted this

  7. #7

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by zipperless View Post
    Coincidentally, I am wearing an Old Navy shirt with the American flag on it as we speak. Is that flag desecration? It appears to have all 50 stars and all the stripes. I didn't count. Anyway, I am not aware of any current laws on the books about flag desecration. There has been a proposed amendment that has continually been defeated by Congress every other year or so. Flag Amendment

    Let me ask you this: What is desecration? Burning? A face on the flag? If it was John Wayne would you object? If it was brown, yellow and purple? It will be hard to define. There's that old artistic license thingy. Also, how would you enforce a law? Jail time? Community service? There's already other more dangerous criminals in jails and prisons.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I am conservative and am proud of our flag and for the rights it stands for. But therein lies the problem. The liberals say desecration, including burning, is a way of expressing themselves, thus free speech. I can see their point, a little bit, but since it is a symbol of so many things throughout our history, I really don't think it should be modified or destroyed in any way.

    As for foreign countries (and I use the term loosely to include all other countries than the US). I think they are proud of their country like the majority of us are. But have you ever seen an Iranian burn an Iranian flag? No. He would probably be shot on site.
    I believe that printing stickers and shirts is fine and all. But when you create an actual flag for hanging/display. It should not have any alterations on it. Not a big John Wayne fan, but even then, yes, I would still have a problem with it.

    See where the first amendment comes in, is where I question what's okay and what's not and should it protect whatever? Should we be allowed to alter the flag without consequence.

  8. #8

    Default

    desecration of the flag in the US holds no penalty under law. though in the 60's during the war, i had not just a few friends arrested for doing things with the flag other than flying it;
    wearing it as pants, burning, using it as a cape, window dressing, seat cover, and as a rag.....
    thankfully, the cops were prevented from that sort of outrageous behavior long ago.

    please find two useful web address below;
    USFlag.org: A website dedicated to the Flag of the United States of America - United States Code

    United States Flag Code - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    4 USC Chapter 1 - THE FLAG | Title 4 - Flag and Seal, Seat Of Government, and The States | U.S. Code | LII / Legal Information Institute

  9. #9

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by littlelodgewrecker View Post
    desecration of the flag in the US holds no penalty under law. though in the 60's during the war, i had not just a few friends arrested for doing things with the flag other than flying it;
    wearing it as pants, burning, using it as a cape, window dressing, seat cover, and as a rag.....
    thankfully, the cops were prevented from that sort of outrageous behavior long ago.

    please find two useful web address below;
    USFlag.org: A website dedicated to the Flag of the United States of America - United States Code

    United States Flag Code - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    4 USC Chapter 1 - THE FLAG | Title 4 - Flag and Seal, Seat Of Government, and The States | U.S. Code | LII / Legal Information Institute
    What about the list of prohibitions on the wiki?


    The flag should never be displayed upside down except as a sign of distress.
    The flag should never touch anything beneath it.
    The flag should never be worn or used as bedding or drapery.
    The flag must always be allowed to fall free and never displayed furled.
    The flag must not be marked with any insignia, letter, word, signature, picture or drawing.
    The flag may not be used for any advertising purposes; no advertising may be attached to a pole flying a flag.
    The image of the flag may not be printed, embroidered or otherwise impressed on anything designed for temporary use and discard. This includes napkins, paper plates and cups, packaging or stamps. (Exception: USA First-Class stamp, 41-cent 2007.)
    No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform; flag patches are allowed as part of the uniform of a federal, state, civic or patriotic organization.

    Or is that all our of date and or just guidelines?

  10. #10

    Default

    there are PDF files that you can down-load from our government directly for even more information.
    it is always best to go to the source first.

    even though i am a patriot who fought for my country and flag; part and parcel of that is your and my right to free speech.... something that i saw trampled on all to hell back in the 60's....
    nothing is worth having that isn't also worth fighting for/to keep sacred.

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