Friday, July 27, 2007

Penn and Teller on Flag Burning

Here's a great piece of television featuring Penn and Teller's terrific flag burning routine. In it, they take a flag, fold it in a strict military procedure, and complete with a reverent poem and no sign of disrespect whatsoever, appear to burn the flag within a tube composed of a copy of the bill of rights. It is worth noting the oddness of the assumption by many in America that burning a flag is inherently disrespectful. Navy funeral ceremonies have included burning the body, as do those of many cultures. As with so many actions, how it is done and with what purpose shades the level of disrespect. Burning a flag while micterating on it seems disrespectful enough, but burning one while reciting a poem about the greatness of America? It's a wonderful and original look at just what patriotism means, which given the way some people are tossing that term around lately, made it seem topical.

1 comment:

Ian said...

What always amazes me is the way Americans do treat their flag. I always assumed that the rules regarding flags were different here, but apparently they're pretty much the same.

I was taught that a flag should not be flown ragged, and it should not be allowed the touch the ground. I flag that was worn out was supposed to be cremated respectfully. On the other hand, using a flag to make clothing, or draping yourself in the flag - that is disrespecting a flag. Flying a ragged flag is disrespectful. Burning a flag, on the other hand, is proper.