by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
One gets a good sense of how National Review‘s Rich Lowry responds to those who fail to respect the American flag. His column on the topic carries the headline “Men Literally Died for that Flag, You Idiots.”
The American flag’s place in our culture is beginning to look less unassailable.
The symbol itself is under attack, as we’ve seen with Nike dumping a shoe design featuring an early American flag, Megan Rapinoe defending her national-anthem protests (she says she will never sing the song again), and protesters storming an ICE facility in Aurora, Colo., and replacing the U.S. flag with a Mexican flag. …
… [M]en have fought for the flag, and not just in the sense of fighting under it as members of the U.S. armed services. Our troops have literally fought for the flag, for its physical advance and preservation. This is the story of color sergeants during the Civil War.
Color sergeants carried the flag —typically, both the U.S. flag and the regimental flag — into battle, and not a weapon. They depended for protection on the color guard, a small contingent of troops dedicated to the task. The flag, held aloft and leading the way, was important as a matter of tactics (to mark the location of the unit in the confusion of battle), of morale (to provide a rallying point for the troops), and of devotion and honor (to lose the flag to the enemy was a deep disgrace). …
… There are countless such stories of men risking everything, not for the idea of the flag or any abstraction but for the actual piece of fabric itself.