On Stomping The American Flag
January 11, 2013 by Sam Rolley
Scott Compton, a high school English teacher in Chapin, S.C., is in hot water for taking the American flag from its place in the classroom and stomping on it during an honors English lesson on symbolism.
“He drew a couple of symbols, like one of them was a cross, and he said, ‘What does this represent,’ and everybody said, ‘Christianity,’” said the parent of one student in the class who is a veteran and upset about the teacher’s actions.
“Then he proceeds to take down the American flag, and said, ‘This is a symbol, but it’s only a piece of cloth. It doesn’t mean anything,’ and then he throws it down on the floor and then stomps on it, repeatedly.
“I asked what was he trying to get, the point across? And [my daughter] said, ‘I don’t know,’ and he said, his explanation was there would be no consequences, it’s just a piece of cloth that doesn’t mean anything.”
School administrators thought Compton’s actions were abhorrent and have placed him on leave for at least the remainder of the school year, according to reports.
“Our superintendent served in the military, I served in the military for 20 years, our flag is a symbol of our freedom, and so many people have fought and died for that liberty, and so we take this action very seriously,” said Mark Bounds, a spokesperson for the school district Lexington-Richland 5.
According to Compton’s attorney, the teacher was attempting to show his classes that America is an “inspirational idea,” greater than the “material objects that represent it,” during a lesson on symbolism.
“He made only positive comments about America throughout this lesson,” wrote attorney Darryl D. Smalls in a statement. “The version of events currently circulating is incomplete.
“He meant no intentional disrespect to those men and women who served our country or to America itself,” continued Smalls. “Several members of his family served in the Armed Forces and they have his total support given all of the facts of the lesson.”
And there is no legal basis that Compton actually did anything wrong, as the Supreme Court has protected “symbolic expression,” even including the burning of the flag, in the past.
The flag is a symbol of American sacrifice and bravery. But is it also a symbol of the abuses of the American government? Furthermore, as the rights of Americans become more endangered with each legislative movement in Washington, is patriotism and flag-worship wise in the United States of today?
The public education system — because it is a product of American bureaucracy and tyranny — has effectively become the initial point of indoctrination for Americans to the propaganda that has come to rule over our society. These schools also serve more and more as the places where the Nation’s youths learn to accept less liberty for more safety. So perhaps Compton’s act of defiance against the idea that America is a flag before which each citizen must bow should be applauded.
It’s obvious that the idea that Compton acted nobly in stomping the flag and informing his students that America is more than the symbols that evoke tears during the national anthem would not be popular with conservatives. Flag destruction conjures images of hippies, America-hating liberals and any number of anarchy-espousing wackos. But the teacher was well within his 1st Amendment rights in stomping the flag. To be a conservative, one must unconditionally support the rights afforded the American people in the Constitution.
Another argument could be made that now is absolutely no time for Americans to be patriotic, at least in the connotation that that word has come to mean in the years since Sept. 11, 2001. The public, through cleverly named legislative and executive actions (PATRIOT, National Defense Authorization) has been conditioned to believe that at all costs Americans must support a governmental crusade against the world’s “evildoers,” “axes of evil” and whatever other convenient terms for imaginary forces fit the needs of the Nation’s leaders at the moment.
President Barack Obama, George W. Bush and their respective Administrations and Congresses are all culpable in using subversion to take away freedom from Americans by evoking patriotic vigor or fear.
Webster defines “patriotism” as follows: “love for or devotion to one’s country.”
If what Compton did to the American flag in his South Carolina classroom was wrong and unpatriotic, what Congress and the current and previous Presidential Administrations have done to the U.S. Constitution is purely treasonous. The Nation the flag has come to represent is no longer under the control of honest men who share a love and devotion to their country, and Americans would be remiss to allow the symbolism of the cloth to blind them to the fact that America is nearly completely destroyed. It now represents colonized land under British rule more than the Revolutionary new country that inspired true patriotism more than two centuries ago.
Americans should revere the men and women who have given so much throughout the course of our Nation’s history to protect what this Nation was founded upon; but Compton is correct, the flag has very little to do with any of that. If the Nation’s people aren’t careful to remember that the America isn’t simply a flag filled with the memory of our war fallen, the very same piece of cloth will be used as a blindfold to dissidence as, for the benefit of the few, Washington’s criminal class undo everything those millions of dead fought to protect.
If you must pledge your allegiance, pledge your allegiance to the Constitution — if only until the Nation is able to clean the stains of evil and corruption from the cloth of its flag.