Flag Desecration: Tattered

19:36 Tue 04 Mar 2008
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It’s probably not surprising that I’ve never been sympathetic to displays of “patriotism”, particularly flag-waving (or lapel pins, etc.), and that I regard with suspicion any sacred cows, yes, even including the Stars and Stripes.

Bill Hicks more or less sums up the whole flag-burning thing:

I respect the attempts of various people to reclaim the US flag as actually representing freedom and liberty, and hence its being a symbol of dissent against various state depredations, but I think it’s too late, and that generally the people who are most likely to wave it are people most likely to pledge support to the government no matter what the government is actually doing.

They’re also the people who are most likely to object to ‘desecrating’ the flag (especially burning it, as in the Hicks piece above). As the US Flag Code is rather strict and precise, those people who rally against flag-burning are probably violating that code themselves by wearing e.g. flag-themed T-shirts.

All of which details color Seth Butler’s photo series Tattered. In it, Butler finds numerous examples of flag desecration, almost all unintended, by people who are most likely intending to display their patriotism and their ‘respect’ for the flag.

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