Right to fly a flag

In general, ailment I don’t wax political on this blog, more about and this isn’t an effort to do so. However, I do believe in the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, including the freedom of expression protected in the Bill of Rights.

That’s why I just don’t get this story.

Didn’t follow the link? That’s ok. I’ll summarize. The town council of Pahrump, Nevada decided last week to make it illegal to fly a foreign flag without flying the United States flag above it. This particular piece of legislation is targeting Mexican flags in the town of Pahrump, and I think it sets a bad precedent.

What’s wrong with somebody flying a foreign flag? It doesn’t necessarily mean any disrespect to the USA; it may simply be an expression of nationalistic identity and cultural heritage. I lived in Brazil for a while, and when I was in college, I proudly displayed a prominent Brazilian flag from my apartment window. It’s not that I don’t love the USA. I just celebrate Brazilian culture by showing their national flag.

I see this particular issue as discrimination against foreign nationals who want to fly the Mexican flag as a celebration of their cultural identity. Even if the town council disagrees with the expression, it should–in my opinion–be a protected form of expression. It doesn’t hurt anybody. It just allows a person to be proud of their differences that make them unique.

In some ways, this is similar to an experience I’ve encountered in my hometown. Near the train station I use daily, there is a biker shop that flies a prate skull-n-bones flag above their establishment. I hate it. I think it is disrespectful and celebrates anarchy instead of celebrating the government that protects us and our freedoms. I wouldn’t choose to shop at a store that flies a pirate flag–but I still believe that the shop owners should have the right to fly one.

I believe that people should be able to fly whatever flag they choose, even if it isn’t the Old Glory that I love.

Part of the protected freedom of expression includes allowing people to do their own thing, even when you disagree.

One Response to Right to fly a flag

  1. Bruce December 3, 2006 at 12:39 pm #

    I agree, they should have the right to fly what ever flag they choose. This is just another example of rights being taken away because someone or some group decided it’s not in the best interest of the masses. Who are they to judge? My wife flies a Canadian flag outside our home as well as an American one.

    Something similar happened here in Ohio this past November when they voted a ban on smoking in ALL public buildings and work places. I don’t smoke but I don’t feel it is my right to tell someone else they cannot.

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