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Home > Culture and Society

WAWIBF... Flag-burning

3 July 2005

Burning flags is excellent fun. Really. People who value flags and get upset when they are seen to be disrespected tend to be tiny-minded idiots, and it’s excellent fun to see them getting all irate when their precious symbol is destroyed in front of them. This week two fine upstanding Floridians, both 18, were incarcerated after going on what has been described as ‘a flag-burning spree’ on Sunday morning. Scott Baber and Brian Richard III drove around Bent Tree, Sarasota, FL in the wee small hours with a can of gasoline. They set fire to four American flags in total. Hardly a spree, but probably more than most of us burned last weekend. Their reasons were political rather than playful. According to the police report, Baber said that he ‘disagreed with Free Trade, how the American Government is being run and the war in Iraq’. Richard – who apparently refers to himself as Lil’ B – had similar issues, mentioning that he did not like ‘who stands behind the American flag’. Well, last weekend no-one was standing behind it, but in each case there was a real live family sleeping behind it.

That’s right. These kids are fucking morons. Not only did they channel their doubtless rather naïve political philosophy in a very destructive way, they also endangered the lives of innocent patriots in the process. Plus, the only real thrill to be derived from flag-burning is to do it in front of the person you’re meant to be annoying. That’s kind of the point. Baber and Richard have been charged with attempted arson, possession of a fire bomb, criminal mischief and, most amusingly, public mutilation of a flag. They now face up to 50,000 years in prison. Oh well. Not to worry.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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