The Banner and the Name

Five years ago Congress tried and failed to pass an amendment to the Constitution barring desecration of the U.S. flag. Now they're back again!

The argument has been made by Adrian Cronauer (the inspiration for the movie "Good Morning America") that the U.S. Flag is "... qualitatively different than any other symbol we have in this country." Others have argued that many have died defending the flag and what it stands for and we should not allow it to be dishonored by those who have neither respect for it nor those who revere it.

Growing up in the South and attending a large southern university, I have seen many individuals of just about all races displaying the Confederate flag or wearing the Confederate flag as a symbol. The law that allowed me to attend a predominately white university did not erase the hatred by others who attended, or orient them to the harmful messages sent by lifeless symbols. Even if all who displayed the Confederate flag were aware of the message sent, America is still a country of free speech, and it is that freedom of speech that allowed us to inform the larger public of the abuses of the apartheid of our day. When faced with protection or banning of a symbol, or preserving a way of life, I side with the way of life.

Some may argue that the flag as well as the cross and any likeness of Christ should be protected from desecration. Out of the knowledge of what both stand for or represent, I would counter the argument. The flag represents free speech and freedom to achieve. The cross represents freedom of belief and the power to achieve.

Those citizens who desecrate the flag are the foolish, not acknowledging that it represents a strong and free people with the vision to establish a constitution assuring their rights as well as the rights of their posterity to conceive, express, and act on ideas not embraced by the existing powers, so long as their actions do not detract from the freedom of others. (And we would not expect non-citizens to care.)

Those who desecrate the cross are ignorant of what the cross or likeness of Christ means to those who follow Christ: God tells us clearly in Deuteronomy 5:8 not to make or revere any graven image or any likeness of anything. God knew that as soon as we had an image we would fall to revering the image and attributing to it powers it could not have. The prophecy of this occurrence is told in the book of Isaiah, Chapter 40, verses 9-18. There, the prophet Isaiah chides man for creating his own god rather than serving the one true God. It is true that Christ was nailed to a cross as a common criminal. But we are not empowered by His death. We are empowered by His resurrection and specifically, as detailed in the book of John, Chapter 16, verses 7-6, by the Holy Spirit sent back by Christ to guide us. It would be wise to take some time to read all of these scriptures and determine from the reading just what the cross should mean to us. We might realize that the cross means far more to non-Believers than it ever should to us. Return to homepage