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Are all Flag Code violations equally disrespectful?

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On Saturday, a Twitter thread went viral after citing portions of U.S. Flag Code which, the writer asserts, are regularly violated by the average American.

Leftist media sources like Huffington Post and Quartz leaped at the opportunity to mock flyover Americans for their alleged hypocrisy, and a quick topical search of “Colin Kaepernick” on HuffPo shows that they’ve supported him and other kneelers over and over and over again, not simply in their right to protest but the overarching claim that an unjust America doesn’t deserve such reverence.

Quick digression: no one (intelligent) has made the argument that the Kaepernick crowd has no constitutional right to sit or kneel or otherwise peacefully protest the national anthem. However, I’ve heard several of my Leftist friends who are incapable of making a legitimate argument set this up as a strawman in order to pick apart an easy target. Of course he has a right to kneel, just as I have a right to call him an ungrateful moron for doing so. We have the right to do a great many stupid things in America, but that doesn’t mean that the proper response is to do every stupid thing at our disposal. The right to burn the American flag should not be celebrated by burning the American flag, just as the right to drink alcohol shouldn’t result in a constant state of inebriation. But back to the thread.

The Left may never understand this, but there is a massive difference between politics and patriotism.

The intent of this thread is clear: to equate touting a t-shirt with the image of an American flag with actively protesting America’s honor and virtue by kneeling during the national anthem and claiming that the country systematically “oppresses black people and people of color,” as Kaepernick has.

Many Leftists are branding this an epic “gotcha!” moment, but it operates on two flawed premises: 1) that all violations of Flag Code are inherently equal, and 2) that the tweeter’s interpretation of Flag Code is factually accurate.

When discussing apparent violations of U.S. Flag Code, there are three things that absolutely must be considered, assuming the intent is to have a reasoned, intelligent conversation.

As much as possible, I want to limit this discussion to the legal question at hand, shelving the broader debate concerning how the NFL, Colin Kaepernick, ESPN, Donald Trump, and the average American should respond. The NFL has already been clear that this is a political issue for them, not one of free speech. Their bias in selective enforcement of uniform policy, for instance, is obvious. So I’ll try to shy away from the politics of the debate and stick to the facts.

Here are the three steps to use in evaluating Flag Code:

1: U.S. Flag Code Is Empty Law

By this, I mean that it is unenforceable. As such, you might say that the provisions are more guidelines than actual rules. The Supreme Court decided in United States v. Eichman (1990) that the criminalization of flag burning was unconstitutional, making anything less (and almost anything else is less) unquestionably justified from a First Amendment standpoint. This also means that, should you and I disagree on how to interpret existing Flag Code, which is certainly plausible, there is no jurisprudence to back up either of our claims. If we can’t convince each other, we’ll have to agree to disagree; there’s not much clear-cut right or wrong here.

Additionally, as we’ll see in a moment, since Flag Code bears no legal weight, its adherence has traditionally become more of attitude than of action.

2: What Does the Code Actually Say?

Interpretations aside, several of the claims made in the Twitter thread are factually bunk. Some are true, and we’ll identify those as well. But it’s essential that we approach this topic truthfully.

One of the tweets includes this misleading statement: “Not covered in the ‘Respect for Flag’ section; standing/kneeling/sitting. That’s considered a conduct violation, not disrespectful.” The flawed premise here is that only violations of the “Respect for Flag” section are considered disrespectful, which is simply untrue; all violations of flag code are considered such. The tweeter assumes that because one item falls under Title 36, Chapter 10, §171. Conduct During Playing, and the other Title 36, Chapter 10, §176. Respect for Flag, that the two categories should not be measured equally.

But let’s address each claim individually, each from subsections of Title 36, Chapter 10, §176. Respect for Flag:

The first claim cites, “(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free” and features images of the popular spreading of a large flag across a sporting field. This is accurate, but it will be discussed in my third section. Factually, it is valid.

Next, “(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery,” with images of flag-stamped clothing, such as shirts, socks, swimwear, etc. I take issue with his interpretation here, as I see a legal distinction between “the flag” and “the image of the flag.” A pair of pants made from a retired flag, for instance, would be inappropriate. A pair of pants bearing the image of the flag, I disagree. A more legitimate grievance for this section could have been the practice of Olympic champions to drape the flag around their shoulders following victory, though even this might not qualify as “wearing apparel” or “drapery.” This claim is murky at best.

The following excerpt is separated into three tweets: “(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.”

On advertising, I would again cite “the flag” vs. “the image of the flag,” although “any manner whatsoever” could arguably include both. The embroidery and printing/impression of the flag undoubtedly refer to the image, as these designs are inherently artistic reproductions of the flag, not the flag itself. Thus, for the three tweets in subsection (i), the first is arguable, and the other two are valid.

Lastly, “(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.” Again, there is a legitimate distinction between “the flag” and “the image of the flag.”

3: What Is the Intent?

If you see no distinction between burning a flag and putting its image on a throw pillow, you’re an idiot. I don’t know how to tell you more subtly that your brain cells are likely on the brink of extinction.

Flag Code states that the flag should be hung “union left,” meaning that the stars should be in the upper left corner, vertically or horizontally. So if a woman hangs her flag vertically but (mistakenly) simply rotates it 90 degrees, making it union right, is she disrespecting the flag? Legally, yes. But in her heart, not remotely. This is not the ideal, and it is technically inappropriate, but her intent is clearly to honor her country.

What if a man posts his flag just before leaving for work, rather than at sunrise as suggested? Again, this is not the ideal, but his intent is to honor the flag and display American pride.

Spreading the flag across the outfield at a baseball game, though technically inappropriate, is intended to declare the same message as the playing of the anthem itself: reverence, loyalty, and unity.

These infractions are in no way comparable to outright protest against the flag and the republic for which it stands. I would love to see the Left characterize kneeling, sitting, or stretching during the national anthem as a manifestation of love and reverence for America, or even a desire to unify the public around its ideals.

As a black, liberal, retired Marine expresses in Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing,” it is undeniably your right to protest the flag and the anthem, but don’t pretend for a second that it makes you equally patriotic with those who stand at attention with hand over heart.

The Left may never understand this, but there is a massive difference between politics and patriotism.

Unlike the writer of this viral thread, I won’t conclude by suggesting that Leftists look in the mirror, as I support their Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment. But I will say this: if you want America to be Europe, go to Europe; if you want to show your love for America, display the flag proudly and don’t mislabel its mistreatment as heroism; and if you want to sound intelligent, read a book.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

Entertainment and Sports

Here’s how polls have reacted since Taylor Swift endorsed Phil Bredesen

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Taylor Swift just gave Marsha Blackburn the fundraising boost she needed to win in Tennessee

There is still plenty to debate about the effectiveness of political endorsements by entertainers. 2016 demonstrated that a unified Hollywood was not able to make a dent in President Trump’s momentum. Some say their incessant crying actually riled up more Trump supporters than Hillary Clinton supporters.

The latest major entertainer to throw her hat in the political endorsement arena is singer Taylor Swift. She stayed focus on her home state of Tennessee by endorsing Phil Bredesen for Senate. That was a week ago. How has the endorsement played in the polls?

Let’s just say the Bredesen campaign is trying to stay positive by pointing to internal polling since public polling is abysmal.

Tennessee Senate race poll: Marsha Blackburn leads Phil Bredesen

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/10/15/tennessee-senate-race-marsha-blackburn-widens-lead-over-phil-bredesen-new-york-times-poll/1646568002/Republican nominee Marsha Blackburn has widened her lead to a commanding 14 percentage points over Democratic rival Phil Bredesen, according to the latest major public poll of Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race.

But the Bredesen campaign is pushing back in a memo to supporters that highlights recent internal polls taken by the campaign that show the race is still tight.

There has been plenty working against Bredesen since an October 3 poll put him at down by 5-points. He faced backlash for claiming he would have voted for Brett Kavanaugh to be confirmed. Then, an undercover video by Project Veritas revealed his staffers and volunteers claiming he didn’t really mean it. The combination of lies, bad press, and Swift’s endorsement have made his poll numbers plummet.

Entertainers should entertain. They are entitled to their opinions, of course, but attempts to use their clout to sway politics is only effective if they take the time to get directly involved. Most do not.

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Entertainment and Sports

There’s one thing missing from Hollywood’s multitude of excuses for First Man failing

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Theres one thing missing from Hollywoods multitude of excuses for First Man failing

Hollywood’s latest anti-American biopic, First Man, was poised to be a box office hit. There was tons of buzz, great critical reception, and the winning combination of actor Ryan Gosling and director Damien Chazelle who dazzled us with the Oscar-winning La La Land. When it failed miserably to meet its first weekend’s modest expectations at the box office, Hollywood started making excuses.

The one cause they still refuse to accept is the choice they made to not include the iconic planting of the American flag on the moon. Their excuse: the moon landing was a human achievement, not an American achievement.

The moon landing was an American achievement despite movie’s depiction

http://noqreport.com/2018/10/13/moon-landing-american-achievement-despite-movies-depiction/No matter how much Hollywood hates America and does everything it can to downplay our accomplishments while highlighting our mistakes, many Americans are unwilling to reward them for their hatred. This was a conscious decision to spite the United States. It’s plain and simple.

It isn’t just an insult to Americans. It wasn’t received very well by some who participated in the event.

Despite backlash from conservative journalists and moviegoers alike, Hollywood continues to scratch its collective head. They had the right mix. They had the right topic. They made the movie well. Surely it must be something other than the blatantly obvious, right?

They point to The Right Stuff, a 1983 space biopic that also failed to be as successful as they expected. They ignore Apollo 13, which was a smash hit.

Some are attributing First Man’s failure to the success of Venom and A Star is Born, but there’s a problem with that excuse. They knew these movies were coming out when they made their estimates. Both had been successful the week before, so they even adjusted expectations for First Man down to compensate. It still wasn’t enough.

They’ll blame everything they can imagine, but they’ll never accept that patriotic Americans who were interested in seeing Ryan Gosling playing American hero Neil Armstrong lost interest when they heard about the rewriting of history the movie did for purely political reasons.

I’m one of them. As an avid moviegoer who loves Armstrong and is proud of OUR accomplishment to put him on the moon, I would have seen it on opening night had it not been for the unpatriotic snub.

Don’t tell that to the Hollywood spin machine. They’re still unwilling to accept it.

Why ‘First Man’ Got Grounded in Its Box Office Debut

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-why-first-man-got-grounded-debut-1152224So far, there’s no evidence that a dust-up over Chazelle’s decision not to show the famous image of Armstrong planting the American flag has impacted the movie. Rather, films about space have always been a risky proposition, whether pure fiction or based on a real story, even if several have gone on to become box office successes.

“Damien’s vision and passion for filmmaking are evident in every frame of First Man,” says Orr. “He is building a diverse résumé of titles that will stand the test of time in our business, and we will be talking about his work for years to come.”

Let’s hope Hollywood someday learns their role in this world is to entertain and sometimes even inform. It doesn’t behoove them to rewrite history to match their globalist, anti-American worldview.

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Entertainment and Sports

Man who identifies as transgender woman wins Cycling World Championships

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Man who identifies as transgender woman wins Cycling World Championships

Rachel McKinnon. a transgender woman who was born male and possesses all the physical advantages of a man, won the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles. It’s the latest event that draws questions about the fairness of biological males competing in female events.

Despite outcry by biological females and men alike, it is being billed by some as a victory for the LGBTQ community and transgender men or women around the world. Critics point out that biological males have an unfair advantage over biological females when it comes to activities that require physical strength, speed, or endurance. That doesn’t seem to deter those competing in these events.

Biological Male Wins World Championship Event in Women’s Cycling

https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/10/14/biological-male-wins-world-championship-event-in-womens-cycling/McKinnon celebrated the victory on Twitter, writing: “First transgender woman world champion … ever.” Later, the professor responded to criticism from “transphobic bigots” by tweeting:

Allowing biological males who identify as transgender women to compete in women’s athletic events has been a controversial subject, as critics argue that it puts female competitors at an inherent disadvantage.

My Take

Unlike some of my colleagues, I have no problem with transgenderism. What I have a problem with is the unfairness of women’s competitive sports being infiltrated by those who have clear and scientifically demonstrable biological advantages over their competitors.

If performance enhancing drugs are frowned upon in sports, what could be more performance-enhancing than growing up with the musculature and hormone advantage of a man, then competing in women’s sports?

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