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Protest Is Fine, But Don't Tread On Our Flag

Oct 03, 2017

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A couple of years ago, I was watching the movie “White House Down.” It follows the story line of right-wing extremists seizing the White House and trying to kill the president because of a proposed peace treaty between the allied nations to remove military forces from the Middle East.

After a furious gun battle and more carnage than a violent video game, the only thing standing in the way of our president being killed is an Afghan War veteran turned Capitol policeman, who happened to be touring the White House with his young daughter, Emily. The hero is John Cale, played by Channing Tatum.

At the end of the film, assuming the president has been killed, the speaker of the House, who is the evil conservative mastermind of the attack, decides that an airstrike to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the only way to destroy all the evidence.

As the fighter planes scream toward the White House with missiles at the ready, Cale’s 12-year-old daughter grabs a downed American flag, runs through the carnage to the front lawn of the White House and begins waving this huge flag. The pilots, realizing the White House is in American hands, abort their mission at the last second.

It is a patriotic moment in an otherwise senseless, left-wing Hollywood production.

Just last week, after my wife fell asleep during an episode of "Law and Order" that we had only seen four times, I surfed and found “White House Down” playing. Luckily, it was almost over, but I decided to watch the grand finale.

As the fighter planes scream toward the White House with missiles at the ready, little Emily grabs a blue presidential flag, runs outside, waves her heart out, and saves the day. By now, Sue was awake and I exclaimed, “What the Hell is this! What happened to the American Flag?”

“You’re imagining things.” she said, “Turn back to 'Law and Order.'”

The next day, I Googled the “flag scene in White House Down” and sure enough, it was filmed in both versions. The film’s publicist, Scott Feinstein, maintains that the presidential flag worked better for the movie.

Let me get this straight. Twelve-year-old Emily, the director, and the producer all feel it works better to wave the blue presidential flag, rather the “Old Red, White, and Blue?” Is that so?

Or, is this simply another attempt to appease and pander to anyone who may feel Old Glory is divisive and exclusive? Is this a milder version of college students and protesters burning and stepping on our flag? Is it a gentler form of dissent than NFL players shaming themselves and their country in front of millions by kneeling during the pre-game national anthem?

It is our flag, and if for some reason you find it distasteful, I don’t care. If you burn her, kneel as she is being honored or vilify her in any way, you are not worthy of her or the honor of being an American. You have that right. It was given to you by better men, but remember, rights don’t stop with you. I have the right to find you offensive, idiotic and thankless.

Also, I am tired of liberals claiming that dissent, disrespect and desecration are a form of patriotism. If you truly love America, you have a repulsive way of showing it. As I have said before, you remind me of the old-timer who says, “I love my wife. I only beat her when she needs it.”

Protesting is fine, but don’t dishonor your country doing it. She doesn’t deserve it, and your cause won’t be furthered. Besides, many times your cause is not grounded in fact. It’s often based on misinterpretation, half-truths and lies.

Are we perfect? No, but America has brought more good to this world than any other country ever. American generosity is unmatched. How many countries owe their freedom to her?

There is no other nation in which you’d be better off. In fact, I wish you’d go and give it a try in Europe, Africa, Asia, Cuba or China. Then, you’d have an appreciation for what you’re now spitting on.

Should you still feel the need to degrade her, remember there are many Americans who have signed their name pledging their lives in her defense. There are far too many who have fulfilled that oath. While we are not perfect, their efforts and sacrifice have been, and they don’t deserve your distain.

Just in case you ever wondered, our colors are White signifying purity and innocence, Red for hardiness and valor and Blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice.