Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, supported the criminalisation of flag desecration by supporting what would be the Twenty-Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. She is considered a major player in the Democratic Party; the fawning press is mesmerised by her monotone gravitas. She is adored, respected and indeed her D.C. home was used for a secret encounter between the flip-flopping prowar? Illinois Senator Barack Obama and the racist, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York. [“Hard working Americans, white Americans,” vote for me dear superdelegates.] Senator Feinstein is a threat to America and a vile and reprehensible figure ensconced in her bubble of power and privilege with vast millions and numerous homes. I can well understand why she wants to censor and silence those who challenge the system and the core values of a nation from which she has so profited.
I have never burned the American flag but would not hesitate to do so if it were banned by constitutional amendement. Unlikely with a Democratic majority but a possibility nonetheless. Yet when the Republicans controlled the Senate, Senator Feinstein, with cowardice and shame, voted to amend the Constitution to eviscerate the First Amendment and carve out an egregious taboo on protected speech. The flag is not a sacred symbol for me. It does not represent a positive, progressive, nationalistic ideal. It symbolises Jim Crow, war, greed, colonialism, poverty, genocide and millions of sick Americans who are not provided health care.
We need to deemphasise the sacredness of nation-state and develop a greater sense of planetary solidarity. Love of country unfortunately has created a terrorist democracy that uses war as its pretext for defining its greatness. Until that is shattered, there must be sustained resolve to dissent and protest. Otherwise, one is merely surrendering to autocracy and an ultra-nationalist, ethnocentrism.
Flag desecration is a legitimate and non-violent form of disobedience. People have died to protect that right or so we are told. Senator Feinstein, you cannot take away this precious right: To burn, tear or bespatter a flag in protest must survive assaults on protected speech in our putative democracy.