Angry flag-wavers are angry

18 06 2010

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My Flag Is NOT OffensiveDriving around Orlando lately, I’ve seen an increasing number of bumper stickers like the one shown at left, reading “My Flag Is NOT Offensive.”  Now, I may be a dirty fucking hippie (or DFH, in common parlance), but I’ve never thought of the American flag as offensive.  So I couldn’t really figure out what this apparent protest was, um, protesting.  Well, I did a few minutes of research, and I think I’ve figured it out.  Once again, it appears that the faux-patriotic flag-waving wingnuts, having run out of legitimate complaints, have created a controversy where there isn’t much of one at all.  (They sure are good at that…)  In this case, they’re trying to make rhetorical hay out of an incident that was forgotten by all sentient people long ago, but which the Wingnut Fringe sees as another Threat To Democracy and the American Way!!!!1!!one!!eleven!

The stickers are sponsored by K92, a local country (you were expecting any other format?) radio station, and they have been holding events like this one around central Florida to distribute them to the masses of their underinformed sheep listeners.  And if you dig into K92’s website far enough, you discover a blog (of sorts) featuring comments from all manner of spelling-and-grammar-challenged, knowledge-averse people.  If you lack tolerance for ignorance, you might want to avoid these excerpts (presented with no editing except for bracketed additions for clarification):

I am Paganistic and I am so pissed at they way this country is acting anymore! First they made us take the 10 commandments out of federal buildings because they offended people well that is what this country was based on first freedom of religion then they were gonna take in God we trust off of the coins like I said I am paganistic and and it didn’t offend me if I didn’t want to read it I had that Right. Now someone has the nerve to say that Our flag is offensive. Well every country has a flag so I say If you don’t like ours go back to the country that flies the flag you do like. If you don’t like how things are in your own country than fix it do not come to our country and try to make it what you want. Don’t mess up our country with your whining eat some crackers and cheese and go home!!!!!!

*****

All I want to say is if you don’t look at this and want to start singing God Bless The USA then you need to move somewhere else far away. I can’t wait to proudly honor my Flag not only for myself but for my son who is a LCPL in the Marine Core currently fighting for our freedom. Whether you agree or disagree about the war, there should be no disagreement about what our Flag stands for so, wave it tall abd proud forevermore.

*****

I would like to thank the crew giving the bumper stickers out in Deltona for letting me get mine early. they didn’t start till 7:00 and i was there at about 6:30, because I have dialysis during the give out times and I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to get some. I am proud to be an AMERICAN. Also my truck radio never ever leaves your station. I love the things that [K92 morning show hosts] Doc and Grace comment on mostly because others are to scared to challenge things. thanks again for being so straight forward. I love it. If you don’t like this country and support it, go back to your own countries.

So far, nothing new under the sun.  I read wild-eyed, bigoted, xenophobic wingnuttery all the time, and this actually is pretty tame as the genre goes.  But next came the comment that clued me in on what really was happening here:

If we can’t wear a tshirt with our flag on it on Cinco De Mayo, does that mean that we will see NO MEXICAN FLAGS flying on July 4th???

Aha! So that’s what this is all about!  Yes, K92 is using the minor, isolated controversy over American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo as an excuse to rile up their frothing-at-the-mouth “American patriot” listeners … and, conveniently, to promote their own station in the process.  You remember that controversy, don’t you?  Well, most of us don’t…but back on May 5, several students at a largely Hispanic high school near San Jose, Calif., wore T-shirts featuring the Stars and Stripes on a day when many of their classmates were celebrating their Mexican heritage, and the assistant principal (himself Hispanic) told the students to turn their shirts inside-out or go home.  A Google News search reveals that a few articles bounced around the Internet in the immediate aftermath of the incident, but since then, it’s only been the right-wing teabagger types and their mainstream media enablers at places like Fox News, the Washington Times, and the Boston Herald who have tried to make the pie higher on this non-newsworthy non-controversy.

No, K92 fanatics, your flag — and mine — indeed is NOT offensive.  But your manipulation of a single incident to promote the recurrent subtext that liberals cannot possibly be patriotic actually IS pretty offensive.  To put it even more simply: if you feel you have to wave a flag and openly declare yourself a “patriot,” then you really aren’t one at all.

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