The item of offense du jour for radical leftists and angry liberals recently has been the American flag, which they have taken to burning in protest or trying to banish from public spaces like college campuses, claiming it is a symbol of government oppression.
However, the font of common sense, Mike Rowe, addressed the dust-up over the American flag on campuses not too long ago by suggesting that left-leaning colleges and universities refuse to accept any federal funding as well, since it comes from the government represented by the hated flag.
Fox News reported that his response prompted a fan named Susanne to question why the “Dirty Jobs” host had become so “blindly patriotic,” regarding the “mere symbol” that is the American flag, to which Rowe replied with his characteristic grace and intelligence in a Facebook post.
“I’ve never thought of myself as ‘blindly patriotic,’ but I am a fan of the United States, the Founding Fathers, and the men and women who have served on my behalf,” Rowe began. “I also confess to feeling lucky to live here.”
As for Susanne’s assertion that the flag was merely a symbol, Rowe agreed with this explanation: “So too is the crucifix. And the middle finger. And the swastika. And the compressed chunks of carbon that millions wear on their ring fingers as expressions of timeless love and eternal devotion.” (That would be diamond rings, for those of you who slept through geology class.)
“But if you really believe our flag is nothing but a ‘mere symbol,’ equally suitable for flying or burning, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable if the people you work with suddenly started coming to the office in pointy white hats fashioned from bed sheets.” Rowe said. “Would that be a problem for you? Or how about the rainbow flag, favored by the LGBTQ community? Would it be OK if people started burning that? If not, why not? I mean, it’s only a symbol, right?”
“The thing about ‘mere symbols,’ Susanne, is that they represent ‘mere ideas,’ and ‘mere ideas’ are the backbone of ‘mere humanity.’ In the case of the flag, we’re talking about ideas that are wrapped into the Constitution – a document that separates us from every other country on the planet,” he continued.
“Mere ideas are the reason people fight and die. Mere ideas are the reason we’re allowed to speak freely, protest publicly, bear arms and burn the very symbol that represents those very freedoms,” explained Rowe. “I didn’t suggest that you or anyone else be denied your right to fly or burn whatever flag you wish. What I failed to do, is quietly accept behavior I don’t care for. Which, if I’m not mistaken, is the same compulsion that motivates others to publicly express themselves in whatever ways they choose.”
With that last line, he summed up the feelings of millions of Americans.
As usual, Mike Rowe wrote with his typical calm sensibility to explain things in such a way that virtually anybody could understand, and also as usual, he was exactly right.
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