“Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.” – George Bernard Shaw
The debate about taking down the confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds of South Carolina has gotten several people to wonder what’s next. Rush Limbaugh, as well as a few others, have suggested that the American flag itself may be next.
On his show, Rush said:
“The next flag that will come under assault, and it will not be long, is the American flag…If you take a look at the timeline of progression of events, the speed and rapidity with which the left is conducting this assault on all of these American traditions and institutions, if you don’t think the American flag’s in their crosshairs down the road, you had better stop and reconsider.
“I’m not arguing to keep it. That’s not the point. We’re so beyond that. The point is as with everything else the left does, what they tell you they’re irritated about is not where it ends.”
The more I mulled that over, the more I knew he was right. What does the American flag stand for? American exceptionalism. What are we being force-fed like cattle every day? That there is no American exceptionalism, and that to argue otherwise is racist, xenophobic, and jingoistic.
When the University of California wants to ban the phrase “America is the land of opportunity” because it conjures thoughts like “race and gender do not play a role in life successes,” or when the very same university tries to ban the American flag in a school lobby because it makes illegal immigrants feel bad, you know we’re on the road to tyranny.
I don’t mean Hitleresque fascism. There are many types of tyrannical behavior, and this hatred of American exceptionalism and the efforts to tear it down are indeed tyrannical.
The argument can go in numerous ways, but the leading possibility in my mind is that the American flag will be labeled as too deeply infused with hatred because of America’s past. It will be deemed racist because it flew during times of slavery. It will be deemed cruel to illegals because it makes them feel unwelcome. It will be deemed symbolic of a monolithic patriotism, essentially representing only whites, and triggering the fragile people in our “melting pot.”
But that is only the underlying reason; there needs to be a catalyst.
People are treating the confederate battle flag as if it caused Dylann Roof to open fire in a church and slaughter nine block people. Sure, he posed with it. He did so because in his mind, it represented an ideology to which he already subscribed. The flag didn’t make him a racist psychopath. He would have hated black people regardless of a flag.
However, that’s how the conversation is going to start with the American flag. Some monster is going to murder a group of immigrants—or something to that effect—and they’ll trace his facebook, finding photos of him posing with the American flag. This will trigger what everyone loves to call “a national conversation,” which is code for “we need support for a ludicrous idea, so we’re going to connect dots that don’t need to be connected in order to get that support.”
This will lead to talk across the liberal landscape regarding the rectitude of the American flag.
Should we still have this outdated symbol of racism and xenophobia hanging on everyone’s porch? I mean, this guy was posing with the flag before he shot up a bunch of Mexicans. Obviously, the flag was an integral part of his hatred!
Then the redesign talks will be underway. The flag needs to be more welcoming and representative of our global community! Eventually, we’ll end up with a a quilt of inclusiveness–and it will have to be designed by a minority person because white people are evil.
I’m not a proponent of keeping the battle flag up on the S.C. Capitol grounds, for reasons entirely unrelated to the shooting. Though to be honest, I don’t really care.
A flag is a symbol, it is not an ideology. A flag doesn’t make people hate, it just exists alongside their hatred. Focusing so intensely on this flag is just a coping mechanism. It has given us the ability do something with our sadness regarding the shooting. It makes us feel like we have power over a situation in which we have none.
But the American flag will indeed be next in the liberal battle against all things American. Until we have a completely homogenized society in which every single person cannot be offended by anything ever, there will be no stopping this boulder going down the hill. The boulder will finally rest when Americanism is wiped out, and we are absent a cultural identity of our own. We will simply be a blend of everyone and everything else—because a distinctly American culture is racist, xenophobic, jingoistic, bigoted, (insert bad word here).”
This battle flag incident is just a microcosm of what’s to come with things that actually matter, like the American social landscape. That starts with the American flag.