Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Acceptable Reasons To Burn An American Flag

  • Warmth.
  • To derive a unique boner, one made up of equal parts firebuggery and patriotism.
  • You are in Rage Against The Machine.
  • Ribs need to be cooked.
  • Signal to Gondor that the Orcs are on the march.
  • 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.
  • You have taken out a large insurance policy on the flag, and owe money to several disreputable and impatient individuals.
  • No one is paying attention to you.
  • Making a Nicolas Cage film. (This is not based in reality, but–in my head–a giant American flag bursts into flames during every Nicolas Cage film.)
  • Want to light your doobie in the most rebellious way possible, maaaaaan.

And, finally:

(Fun fact: burning money? TOTALLY against the law. Federal crime, and the Supreme Court isn’t touching that case with a ten-foot rehnquist.)


  1. When I was a child, some group of veterans sent my family a few free books, so we could learn (?) about patriotism. One was a picture book of all the different American flags (different numbers of stars, battle jacks, state flags, etc.). Nice, and as an appendix at the end, it had illustrations of the Flag Code.
    So I am burdened with the knowledge of when it is not acceptable to fly the flag (after dark, unless lit by a spotlight), and how you dispose of a damaged flag (like the ones stupid people fly on their car antenna). You, I see from point six, also know.
    The other book they sent us contained fifty or seventy short biographies of Armed Forces members who won the Congressional Medal of Honor. While some were from the big wars I’d already learned about, others were not. So I still have a rather impressive working knowledge of American interventions, invasions, and interferences, where Our Boys were in danger, and heroically responded (with fatal consequences for someone else).
    I’m glad to have had the chance to listen to “Wave That Flag,” but “U.S. Blues” is a better song, IMO.

  2. The father of a high school girl friend once said to me “you know that there is such an expression as an asshole is always an asshole.”

  3. So confused. Should I or not burn and flag and if I want to what does that mean?

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