Rally Around the Flag – Or Not

Collection-national-flags

You might remember me talking about the US Flag in my “How to Treat an American Flag” article a I posted earlier this year. Or you might’ve read my longer and more serious article of why the Confederate Flag should be removed as well as debunked the most common claims of keeping it around. However, this is a post about flags, because after all they’re quite important emblems of certain groups and entities whether they be countries, states, provinces, cities, or what not. Thus, in many ways they tend to be symbols. A well designed flag will inspire pride than one made otherwise. There’s also a study of flag design called Vexillology and people in this field believe that a well-designed flag should fit these criteria (from the Portland Flag Association).

  1. Keep It Simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory…
  2. Use Meaningful Symbolism. The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes…
  3. Use 2 or 3 Basic Colors. Limit the number of colors on the flag to three which contrast well and come from the standard color set…
  4. No Lettering or Seals. Never use writing on any kind or an organization’s seal…
  5. Be Distinctive or Be Related. Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections…

Now I can go on and on about all the great flags out there. But you’d be bored to tears sh I’ll show you a collection of designs that made people wonder, what the hell they were thinking? Because when you have great flags inspiring patriotism and pride, there are others that lead people to keep them as far away from the public spotlight as possible. So for your reading pleasure, here are some not so great flags from around the world. By the way, if I insult anyone’s flag, I deeply apologize.

1. Venice, Italy

Granted, this was derived from the old flag of the Venice Republic. But still, while the winged lion with a book is actually cool, it's surrounded by too many border designs. Also, on the borders are 7 tiny little flags or coats of arms. I can't tell. I'd more or less expect such design to be on a box for a D&D game.

Granted, this was derived from the old flag of the Venice Republic. But still, while the winged lion with a book is actually cool, it’s surrounded by too many border designs. Also, on the borders are 7 tiny little flags or coats of arms. I can’t tell. I’d more or less expect such design to be on a box for a D&D game.

2. Chimbu, Papua New Guinea

Now I think the stars and the bird are fine. But with the crossed branches over a circle? I think the province is kind of overdoing it. A plain green sash would've been fine. Really.

Now I think the stars and the bird are fine. But with the crossed branches over a circle? I think the province is kind of overdoing it. A plain green sash would’ve been fine. Really.

3. Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Canada

This is a tiny island territory off the coast of Newfoundland. The three  flags on the left are supposed to represent the Basques, Bretons, and Normans. However, the boat seems to be drawn straight from a Saturday morning cartoon. Or an educational cartoon about Christopher Columbus from the 1970s.

This is a tiny island territory off the coast of Newfoundland. The three flags on the left are supposed to represent the Basques, Bretons, and Normans. However, the boat seems to be drawn straight from a Saturday morning cartoon. Or an educational cartoon about Christopher Columbus from the 1970s.

4. Louisiana, United States

For one, the comma is missing between,

For one, the comma is missing between, “union and “justice.” However, while the image appears initially wholesome of a mother pelican feeding her babies, it gets quite disturbing when you realize that she’s feeding them with her own blood. Yikes! Seriously, what’s the matter with you, Louisiana? And those drops of blood were only added in 2006. Really.

5. Ishikawa, Japan

Apparently, Japanese Kanji doesn't translate well into certain fonts. From looking at this, Americans might get the impression that Ishikawa is an obscure  Japanese auto corporation instead of  a civic entity that it really is.

Apparently, Japanese Kanji doesn’t translate well into certain fonts. From looking at this, Americans might get the impression that Ishikawa is an obscure Japanese auto corporation instead of a civic entity that it really is.

6. Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Canada

Now this is for a homeland in northern Labrador in Canada. The symbol is supposed to be derived in Inukshuk origin. However, to many it resembles an abstract art rendition of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. Must give a lot of Inuk children nightmares.

Now this is for a homeland in northern Labrador in Canada. The symbol is supposed to be derived in Inukshuk origin. However, to many it resembles an abstract art rendition of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. Must give a lot of Inuk children nightmares.

7. Glarus, Switzerland

Now this consists of a frowning monk with a halo, a staff resembling an antenna, and a book all in yellow. Guess this guy's frowning due to his inability to bring the word of God to the extraterrestrials.

Now this consists of a frowning monk with a halo, a staff resembling an antenna, and a book all in yellow. Guess this guy’s frowning due to his inability to bring the word of God to the extraterrestrials.

8. Marijampole, Lithuania

I know the guy is supposed to be sowing seeds, but I can't help but look at this and get the impression of the Quaker Oats guy throwing out Rice Krispies. Also, the border does little to give this flag any dignity whatsoever.

I know the guy is supposed to be sowing seeds, but I can’t help but look at this and get the impression of the Quaker Oats guy throwing out Rice Krispies. Also, the border does little to give this flag any dignity whatsoever.

9. Connacht, Ireland

Guess the inspiration for this one was a major disagreement between whether the a black eagle or an arm with sword would be more badass. The factions settled on a compromise and got this. Yeah, should've went with one or the other.

Guess the inspiration for this one was a major disagreement between whether the a black eagle or an arm with sword would be more badass. The factions settled on a compromise and got this. Yeah, should’ve went with one or the other.

10. Buddhism

For one, Buddhism has a flag? Secondly, this resembles a TV test pattern that's usually accompanied by a high pitched beep at 4 a.m. But I'm sure the designer didn't know that.

For one, Buddhism has a flag? Secondly, this resembles a TV test pattern that’s usually accompanied by a high pitched beep at 4 a.m. But I’m sure the designer didn’t know that.

11. Benin Empire

Now this was the flag for the Pre-Colonial Benin Empire situated in modern Nigeria which lasted from 1440-1897. From looking at this flag I guess their motto was,

Now this was the flag for the Pre-Colonial Benin Empire situated in modern Nigeria which lasted from 1440-1897. From looking at this flag I guess their motto was, “Get in my personal space and I’ll cut your bloody head off!” Yeah, decapitation is just a wonderful flag motif.

12. Guam, United States

Think of it as a cross between a cheap souvenir T-shirt from the Bahamas and a Georgia O'Keefe painting.  Now imagine if such combination was drawn by a third grader. Sorry, Guam, but your flag is just ugly.

Think of it as a cross between a cheap souvenir T-shirt from the Bahamas and a Georgia O’Keefe painting. Now imagine if such combination was drawn by a third grader. Sorry, Guam, but your flag is just ugly.

13. Fryslan, the Netherlands

For some reason, I can't help looking at this flag and imagine it being a pattern on somebody's underwear. I just don't know why.

For some reason, I can’t help looking at this flag and imagine it being a pattern on somebody’s underwear. I just don’t know why.

14. Isle of Man, Great Britain

It's said that the three-legged triskelion was a symbol in Mycenae and Lycia back in Ancient Greece. However, I think it's rather creepy as hell if you ask me. Three detached legs with no body doesn't look right to me for some reason.

It’s said that the three-legged triskelion was a symbol in Mycenae and Lycia back in Ancient Greece. However, I think it’s rather creepy as hell if you ask me. Three detached legs with no body doesn’t look right to me for some reason.

15. Antwerp, Belgium

Either this is a closeup image from MS Paint or a NASCAR flag on acid. Any way you put it, it's quite horrendous if you get my drift.

Either this is a closeup image from MS Paint or a NASCAR flag on acid. Any way you put it, it’s quite horrendous if you get my drift.

16. Mozambique

Now the hoe and the book convey the best interests Mozambique wants for its people. But an AK-47? Could you imagine anything worse than that on a flag for an African nation? Seriously, why?

Now the hoe and the book convey the best interests Mozambique wants for its people. But an AK-47? Could you imagine anything worse than that on a flag for an African nation? Seriously, why?

17. Swaziland

While the colors schemes are fine, I'm not sure about the weapons. Yes, shields and spears are part of that country's traditional African culture, but still. Having weapons on your flag kind of sends the wrong message. And given the highly negative stereotypes about Africa, Swaziland ought to know better.

While the colors schemes are fine, I’m not sure about the weapons. Yes, shields and spears are part of that country’s traditional African culture, but still. Having weapons on your flag kind of sends the wrong message. And given the highly negative stereotypes about Africa, Swaziland ought to know better.

18. Northern Marianas Islands, United States

Well, there's at least someone in the Northern Marianas Island who knows how to use a computer. Unfortunately, the inhabitants didn't realize that designing a flag from clip art isn't a great idea.

Well, there’s at least someone in the Northern Marianas Island who knows how to use a computer. Unfortunately, the inhabitants didn’t realize that designing a flag from clip art isn’t a great idea.

19. U. S. Virgin Islands, United States

Now I have to admit, this flag would look great as a design for a license plate. But as an actual flag? Not so much. Also, I'm sure that eagle emblem came straight out of clip art.

Now I have to admit, this flag would look great as a design for a license plate. But as an actual flag? Not so much. Also, I’m sure that eagle emblem came straight out of clip art.

20. Lombardy, Italy

No, this isn't a flag from Comic Con or for a video game competition. It's from a region in Italy that probably invented jacks or the paperweight. If neither, then I'm not sure why they'd design their flag that way.

No, this isn’t a flag from Comic Con or for a video game competition. It’s from a region in Italy that probably invented jacks or the paperweight. If neither, then I’m not sure why they’d design their flag that way.

21. Antarctica

Yes, Antarctica has a flag. It has no inhabitants, no government, and no culture. But it has a flag with its landmass on it. Should've went with a penguin instead.

Yes, Antarctica has a flag. It has no inhabitants, no government, and no culture. But it has a flag with its landmass on it. Should’ve went with a penguin instead.

22. Bermuda

Hmmm....a flag with a picture of a lion holding a picture of a shipwreck mid-plunge. Granted, it was discovered this way by a ship en route to Virginia. Kind of suggests that self-governance isn't Bermuda's strong suit. As for me, Bermuda should've used a flag depicting a pair of Bermuda shorts.

Hmmm….a flag with a picture of a lion holding a picture of a shipwreck mid-plunge. Granted, it was discovered this way by a ship en route to Virginia. Kind of suggests that self-governance isn’t Bermuda’s strong suit. As for me, Bermuda should’ve used a flag depicting a pair of Bermuda shorts.

23. Alo Island, Wallis and Futuna, France

Basically this is for a French territory in the South Pacific. It also commemorates the murder of Catholic missionary Father Chanel who was savagely clubbed and axed to death by natives in the 19th century. To be fair, I can see why the natives didn't care for colonialism and the cultural loss it entails. However, I'm not sure that a savage murder of a priest should really be a historic event a South Pacific island should take pride in. Even if the priest was a complete asshole. Also the style resembles MS Paint.

Basically this is for a French territory in the South Pacific. It also commemorates the murder of Catholic missionary Father Chanel who was savagely clubbed and axed to death by natives in the 19th century. To be fair, I can see why the natives didn’t care for colonialism and the cultural loss it entails. However, I’m not sure that a savage murder of a priest should really be a historic event a South Pacific island should take pride in. Even if the priest was a complete asshole. Also the style resembles MS Paint.

24. Cardiff, Wales, Great Britain

Hmmm....dragon dancing around a leek. Guess the badass dragon flag of Wales was already taken. Still, dragon flag dancing with a flowering wild onion? Is there anything more lame?

Hmmm….dragon dancing around a leek. Guess the badass dragon flag of Wales was already taken. Still, dragon flag dancing with a flowering wild onion? Is there anything more stupid for a flag emblem?

25. Brown County, Nebraska, United States

As Bad Flags would say:

As Bad Flags would say: ” this flag seems to have been designed by a 3rd grader with severe astygmatism using Microsoft Paint circa 1995.” Yeah, I’m sure it has about the kind of artistic merit you’d see in a local commercial.

26. Drnis, Croatia

This flag is supposed to be of the shepherd Saint Roch with a leg wound. Beside him is a dog with a loaf of bread in its mouth. According to legend it's said that Saint Roch cut his leg from a rock so he could feed the dog. But the dog found bread instead. What the significance of that event is to an obscure town in Croatia I'll never know. Also, the guy seems to be licking the staff.

This flag is supposed to be of the shepherd Saint Roch with a leg wound. Beside him is a dog with a loaf of bread in its mouth. According to legend it’s said that Saint Roch cut his leg from a rock so he could feed the dog. But the dog found bread instead. What the significance of that event is to an obscure town in Croatia I’ll never know. Also, the guy seems to be licking the staff.

27. Oceanside, California, United States

Seems more appropriate for a tourist advertisement than a city flag. Seriously, I could easily see it on their brochures, if not T-shirts.

Seems more appropriate for a tourist advertisement than a city flag. Seriously, I could easily see it on their brochures, if not T-shirts.

28. Vina del Mar, Chile

Yes, this is an actual flag. No, it's not a beach towel design. But I suppose this place probably has its flag on souvenir beach towels as well.

Yes, this is an actual flag. No, it’s not a beach towel design. But I suppose this place probably has its flag on souvenir beach towels as well.

29. Rome, Italy

Seems like Rome tends to be in agreement with the Cleveland Browns as far as color schemes go. Still, if you're doing a two color flag, at least pick better colors. And no, brown shouldn't be one of them.

Seems like Rome tends to be in agreement with the Cleveland Browns as far as color schemes go. Still, if you’re doing a two color flag, at least pick better colors. And no, brown shouldn’t be one of them.

30. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Now this flag is actually quite decent. However, that doesn't explain the presence of the disembodied arm holding the scales. Seriously, that's fucked up. Yeah, kind of an example in which one weird detail can mess up everything.

Now this flag is actually quite decent. However, that doesn’t explain the presence of the disembodied arm holding the scales. Seriously, that’s fucked up. Yeah, kind of an example in which one weird detail can mess up everything.

31. Provo, Utah, United States

Seem this flag makes Provo look like some obscure corporation that sells camera equipment, vitamins, or chemicals. Fortunately, their city council saw the light and unanimously approved a new design this year.

Seem this flag makes Provo look like some obscure corporation that sells camera equipment, vitamins, or chemicals. Fortunately, their city council saw the light and unanimously approved a new design this year.

32. Siauliai, Lithuania

Now I'm fine with the horned bull an the ferocious bear. But I'm not so sure about the eye pyramid. Might draw in a great many conspiracy theorists, especially those who talk about the Illuminati.

Now I’m fine with the horned bull an the ferocious bear. But I’m not so sure about the eye pyramid. Might draw in a great many conspiracy theorists, especially those who talk about the Illuminati.

33. Belgrade, Serbia

Hate to break it to you, Belgrade. But your flag gives us the impression that your waterways are full of blood. It's kind of terrifying to think about that.

Hate to break it to you, Belgrade. But your flag gives us the impression that your waterways are full of blood. It’s kind of terrifying to think about that.

34. Irkutsk, Russia

Look, Irkutsk, I know that animal predation is a normal part of nature. But that doesn't mean that a predator with an animal carcass in its mouth makes a great flag motif. Seriously, why?

Look, Irkutsk, I know that animal predation is a normal part of nature. But that doesn’t mean that a predator with an animal carcass in its mouth makes a great flag motif. Seriously, why?

35. Ibiza, Spain

Reminds me of a map from a 1990s video game. Particularly one developed with the magic of MS paint.

Reminds me of a map from a 1990s video game. Particularly one developed with the magic of MS paint. Also, the stripes are too much here.

36. Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Seems like Calgary can't seem to tell the difference between what makes an appropriate flag motif and what makes an appropriate sports logo. And when I see this, I think of some college football team in Texas for some reason.

Seems like Calgary can’t seem to tell the difference between what makes an appropriate flag motif and what makes an appropriate sports logo. And when I see this, I think of some college football team in Texas for some reason, not a Canadian city.

37. Mississippi, United States

That banner in the corner  is said to represent a time in Mississippi when was the state with the  most millionaires (which was around 1860). Of course, anyone familiar with US race relations and history can explain why. It's also used as a symbol for white supremacy through any means necessary, even terrorism or secession from the union just to keep black people in a state of uncompensated involuntary servitude.

That banner in the corner is said to represent a time in Mississippi when was the state with the most millionaires (which was around 1860). Of course, anyone familiar with US race relations and history can explain why. It’s also used as a symbol for white supremacy through any means necessary, even terrorism or secession from the union just to keep black people in a state of uncompensated involuntary servitude.

38. Virginia, United States

Let's see. This flag seems to symbolize Virginia's victory over the Brits in the American Revolution.  Of course, I'm not sure why they'd include a woman with an exposed breast killing a crowned guy in a purple outfit. I mean violence and partial nudity aren't stuff you'd want on a flag.

Let’s see. This flag seems to symbolize Virginia’s victory over the Brits in the American Revolution. Of course, I’m not sure why they’d include a woman with an exposed breast killing a crowned guy in a purple outfit. I mean violence and partial nudity aren’t stuff you’d want on a flag.

39. Asku, Kazakhstan

Seems like a more appropriate flag for someone like Jadis, the White Witch or for someone off Game of Thrones. Yeah, that's the most intimidating snowbird I've ever seen.

Seems like a more appropriate flag for someone like Jadis, the White Witch or for someone off Game of Thrones. Yeah, that’s the most intimidating snowbird I’ve ever seen.

40. Hanover Park, Chicago, Illinois, United States

This flag is for a neighborhood in Chicago.  From Bad Flags:

This flag is for a neighborhood in Chicago. From Bad Flags: “Hanover Park is home to the world’s strongest man, who can lift a pyramid of eight stick figures above his head.” Also, the logo looks as if it was taken straight out of non-profit organization designed to reach out to economically disadvantaged kids.

41. Herimoncourt, Doubs, Franche-Comte, France

So I guess the badass bat logo was already taken by Batman, no less. Still, the place should've used a better font than Times New Roman. Seriously, a creepier font might do a better job attracting tourists.

So I guess the badass bat logo was already taken by Batman, no less. Still, the place should’ve used a better font than Times New Roman. Seriously, a creepier font might do a better job attracting tourists.

42. Hezbollah

If I was a member of this Shitte paramilitary organization in Lebanon, I'd be embarrassed to have a flag like this. Now I can understand the hand holding an AK-47. But I don't think what's left of the arm resembles anything of a minaret or a rocket  to me. To be discreet here, you might want to call a focus group.

If I was a member of this Shitte paramilitary organization in Lebanon, I’d be embarrassed to have a flag like this. Now I can understand the hand holding an AK-47. But I don’t think what’s left of the arm resembles anything of a minaret or a rocket to me. To be discreet here, you might want to call a focus group.

43. Greene County, Ohio, United States

“Dammit, Orville, watch out for that clock tower.” Seriously, this flag looks like it was designed from the computer program my mom uses to make birthday cards. That clock tower is totally clip art for sure.

44. Greene County, Virginia, United States

I swear this flag's insignia was probably designed by the same person who did the Mr. Yuck sticker. Well, at least the border anyway.  Still, it was probably designed on the back of a cocktail napkin anyway.

I swear this flag’s insignia was probably designed by the same person who did the Mr. Yuck sticker. Well, at least the border anyway. Still, it was probably designed on the back of a cocktail napkin anyway.

45. Irribarren, Venezuela

There's a better way to mix royalty, grayscale, caution symbols, and shark attacks. But this isn't it. Not sure what's that thing in the bottom middle. Wonder who could design a mess like this?

There’s a better way to mix royalty, grayscale, caution symbols, and shark attacks. But this isn’t it. Not sure what’s that thing in the bottom middle. Wonder who could design a mess like this?

46. Yap, Micronesia

That's supposed to resemble a canoe with a sail unfurled, carrying a large Rai. However, to me it looks like a circle with a jet pilot helmet they use in the military.

That’s supposed to resemble a canoe with a sail unfurled, carrying a large Rai. However, to me it looks like a circle with a jet pilot helmet they use in the military.

47. Jainism

Now Jainism is an ancient religion in India which has its own monks, teachers, scriptures, and souls. However, while the color scheme and some of the symbols are nice, there's just one little point of contention. Let's just say two decades of putzes wearing armbands in Germany can taint this flag's 1,000 year legacy forever. Sorry that Nazism and WWII have to ruin everything for you, Jains.

Now Jainism is an ancient religion in India which has its own monks, teachers, scriptures, and souls. However, while the color scheme and some of the symbols are nice, there’s just one little point of contention. Let’s just say two decades of putzes wearing armbands in Germany can taint this flag’s 1,000 year legacy forever. Sorry that Nazism and WWII have to ruin everything for you, Jains.

48. Baie-James, Quebec, Canada

Since when does a city in Canada think that having Hedwig electrocuted would make a great design for a flag? Really, that just makes Harry Potter cry. Also, the set up looks like it's straight from a tourist ad or brochure.

Since when does a city in Canada think that having Hedwig electrocuted would make a great design for a flag? Really, that just makes Harry Potter cry. Also, the set up looks like it’s straight from a tourist ad or brochure.

49. Kvalsund, Norway

Seems like the fish up there are very into 3 way make out sessions. Still, who would've thought that Norwegians were tri-sexual pescatarians? Yeah, that's pretty messed up.

Seems like the fish up there are very into 3 way make out sessions. Still, who would’ve thought that Norwegians were tri-sexual pescatarians? Yeah, that’s pretty messed up.

50. Kyrgyzstan

Seems the national symbol for this country is a radiating tennis ball. Oh, it's said to represent a yurt. Doesn't look like one to me.

Seems the national symbol for this country is a giant flaming tennis ball in the sky. Oh, it’s said to represent a yurt. Doesn’t look like one to me. More like an appropriate logo for Serena Williams.

51. Libya (1977-2011)

I'm sure the government of Libya wanted something fancier. But Muammar Ghadafi insisted that the country's flag match his palace drapes. Seriously, Libya has an amazing history and all they could come up with was a green sheet! Oh, wait, I've heard they might've changed it a few years ago.

I’m sure the government of Libya wanted something fancier. But Moamar Gaddafi insisted that the country’s flag match his palace drapes. Seriously, Libya has an amazing history and all they could come up with was a green sheet! Oh, wait, I’ve heard they might’ve changed it a few years ago.

52. Jekabpils, Latvia

Wonder what that lynx is doing under this tree. Probably going about its business. By the way, do they even have lynxes in Latvia? I think they do. But I've always seen them as a primarily North American feline though.

Wonder what that lynx is doing under this tree. Probably going about its business. By the way, do they even have lynxes in Latvia? I think they do. But I’ve always seen them as a primarily North American feline though.

53. Masoy, Finmark, Norway

I understand the hammer and sickle were already taken. But seriously, a halapik? As Bad Flags says: " It’s an ingenious creation meant to bring total destruction to the wicked baby seal at the business end. As both a bludgenoning tool to smash the seal’s sull and and hacking tool, to drag away the freshly killed cottony soft carcass, you kill two birds (or one innocent infant seal) with one blow." Seriously, a baby seal bludgeoning and ripping tool. Real nice. Maybe they should redesign it with something less medieval and less controversial. Let's not glorify baby seal killing shall we?

I understand the hammer and sickle were already taken. But seriously, a halapik? As Bad Flags says: ” It’s an ingenious creation meant to bring total destruction to the wicked baby seal at the business end. As both a bludgenoning tool to smash the seal’s sull and and hacking tool, to drag away the freshly killed cottony soft carcass, you kill two birds (or one innocent infant seal) with one blow.” Seriously, a baby seal bludgeoning and ripping tool. Real nice. Maybe they should redesign it with something less medieval weaponish and less controversial. Let’s not glorify baby seal killing shall we?

54. Matruh, Egypt

It's supposed to be a goat, which might be cool to some. But I'm not sure it's a flag worthy creature. Also, seems to be running way from a yellow brick wall.

It’s supposed to be a goat, which might be cool to some. But I’m not sure it’s a flag worthy creature. Also, seems to be running way from a yellow brick wall.

55. Mauensee, Lucerne, Switzerland

Now I've heard of flying fish. But I'm kind of sure they don't have feathers. Is it supposed to be an angel fish? If not, then why the hell does this fish have feathered wings?

Now I’ve heard of flying fish. But I’m kind of sure they don’t have feathers. Is it supposed to be an angel fish? If not, then why the hell does this fish have feathered wings?

56. Mont-Laureir, Quebec, Canada

Hate to say this but this looks more like a logo for a 1980s computer company nobody has heard about since. Seriously, I think I saw such similar imagery on hospital buildings or corporate headquarters.

Hate to say this but this looks more like a logo for a 1980s computer company nobody has heard about since. Seriously, I think I saw such similar imagery on hospital buildings or corporate headquarters.

57. Penza Oblast, Russia

Seems like this obscure area in Russia seems to be a fan of resting bitchface Jesus about to overturn changing tables in the Temple of Jerusalem. Not a great example of Russian Orthodox iconography.

Seems like this obscure area in Russia seems to be a fan of resting bitchface Jesus about to overturn changing tables in the Temple of Jerusalem. Not a great example of Russian Orthodox iconography.

58. Inglewood, California, United States

Now this centennial flag doesn't really resemble something you'd fly at city hall. Rather, it resembles some agricultural company logo celebrating its anniversary. Seriously, photoshop? Why?

Now this centennial flag doesn’t really resemble something you’d fly at city hall. Rather, it resembles some agricultural company logo celebrating its anniversary. Seriously, photoshop? Why?

59. Poperinge, Belgium

I guess this place is really into artichokes. Or are those hops or Brussels sprouts? Perhaps they're turtles or cockroaches. Wouldn't see why any place would want to put such designs on its flag.

I guess this place is really into artichokes. Or are those hops or Brussels sprouts? Perhaps they’re turtles or cockroaches. Wouldn’t see why any place would want to put such designs on its flag.

60. Sicily, Italy

Now what's freakier than a flag with 3 disembodied legs? Well, a flag with 3 disembodied leg triskelion and a face on it. Add 3 stalks of wheat and a pair of wings coming out as well. Now that's what I called freaky. Yeah, wonder what the Sicily's flag designer was on when he came up with that idea.

Now what’s freakier than a flag with 3 disembodied legs? Well, a flag with 3 disembodied leg triskelion and a face on it. Add 3 stalks of wheat and a pair of wings coming out as well. Now that’s what I called freaky. Yeah, wonder what the Sicily’s flag designer was on when he came up with that idea.

61. Southland, New Zealand

This doesn't look like a flag motif at all. The setup seems to resemble the kind of motivational posters you'd see in a school library. More like, "Enjoy the adventure of reading" type of message there.

This doesn’t look like a flag motif at all. The setup seems to resemble the kind of motivational posters you’d see in a school library. More like, “Enjoy the adventure of reading” type of message there.

62. Ulan Bator, Mongolia

Now this is supposed to be an anthropomorphic Garuda bird, a mythological creature in Buddhism. However, to me, this is one really ugly flying monkey. He also seems a bit tubby, no offense.

Now this is supposed to be an anthropomorphic Garuda bird, a mythological creature in Buddhism. However, to me, this is one really ugly flying monkey. He also seems a bit tubby, no offense.

63. St. Moritz, Switerland

Now this is supposed to be Saint Mauritius, a Roman soldier from the 3rd century who refused to kill Christians at the behest of Emperor Maximilian. Thus, he and his legion were martyred. Still, as Bad Flags put it: "It looks like a tribute to the first  Swedish knight with a pageboy haircut to walk on the moon." Yeah, pretty cartoonish if you ask me.

Now this is supposed to be Saint Mauritius, a Roman soldier from the 3rd century who refused to kill Christians at the behest of Emperor Maximilian. Thus, he and his legion were martyred. Still, as Bad Flags put it: “It looks like a tribute to the first Swedish knight with a pageboy haircut to walk on the moon.” Yeah, pretty cartoonish if you ask me.

64. Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg, Hungary

Well, aside from the airmail envelope border, there seems to be a lot of crap on this flag. Guess one place wanted a flag that symbolized the most stuff. Still, it's quite a bit overboard to say the least.

Well, aside from the airmail envelope border, there seems to be a lot of crap on this flag. Guess one place wanted a flag that symbolized the most stuff. Still, it’s quite a bit overboard to say the least.

65. Long Beach, Mississippi, United States

To be fair, this Gulf Coast city has been through a lot of crap like Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwaer Horizon oil spill. However, it's known for growing radishes. Yet, what they have here resembles purple carrots. Oh, wait they actually grew radishes like that? Now I feel bad. Still, from that insignia, they seem to be desperate for tourists.

To be fair, this Gulf Coast city has been through a lot of crap like Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwaer Horizon oil spill. However, it’s known for growing radishes. Yet, what they have here resembles purple carrots. Oh, wait they actually grew radishes like that? Now I feel bad. Still, from that insignia, they seem to be desperate for tourists.

66. Wallonia, Belgium

Now Walloons have a deep reverence for the French Chanticleer rooster, which is from a children's fable. It's said to appear in a movie called Rock-a-Doodle. Yeah, not something you'd want on a flag. You can see why many emblems tend to have eagles on them. Eagles are cool. Chickens not so much.

Now Walloons have a deep reverence for the French Chanticleer rooster, which is from a children’s fable. It’s said to appear in a movie called Rock-a-Doodle. Yeah, not something you’d want on a flag. You can see why many emblems tend to have eagles on them. Eagles are cool. Chickens not so much.

67. Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia

Jesus Christ, a bear with an halberd. Only a matter of time until he learns to use an AK-47 which is a Russian built. Also, it's newly bipedal with oppose able thumbs.  Yeah, Russian outdoors people might want to stay away from bears bearing medieval weaponry.

Jesus Christ, a bear with an halberd. Only a matter of time until he learns to use an AK-47 which is a Russian built. Also, it’s newly bipedal with oppose able thumbs. Yeah, Russian outdoors people might want to stay away from bears bearing medieval weaponry.

68. Georgia

This was the state flag of Georgia from the 1950s to 2001. Its reason to have a Confederate flag on its emblem stems from the racist white legislators trying to send a message against desegregation. Luckily, it was replaced with a less racist design in 2001.

This was the state flag of Georgia from the 1950s to 2001. Its reason to have a Confederate flag on its emblem stems from the racist white legislators trying to send a message against desegregation. Luckily, it was replaced with a less racist design in 2001.

69. Orange County, California, United States

Seems like a more appropriate logo for a company that grows oranges. And I sure as hell wouldn't think California as an appropriate place to grow them this time of year. Especially since the state's in  drought. Nevertheless, Orange County is a rich person's area that sometimes tends to hoard water for themselves and their golf courses. What a waste.

Seems like a more appropriate logo for a company that grows oranges. And I sure as hell wouldn’t think California as an appropriate place to grow them this time of year. Especially since the state’s in drought. Nevertheless, Orange County is a rich person’s area that sometimes tends to hoard water for themselves and their golf courses. What a waste.

70. Chiapas, Mexico

From Bad Flags: "The center seal tells the story of two lion lovers. The first lion, Eduardo, lives in the palace. The other lion, Timoteo, is stuck on the other side of a rushing river from his love. A deep chasm keeps apart their love. One day, as Eduardo uses his castle as a scratching post, Timoteo gets an idea. If he scratched that palm tree enough, he may be able to break it down and bridge the gap and run to his lover’s open paws. Unfortunately, the tree is just a little short, and Timoteo plunges to his untimely death." Now that's a horrible story. Still, please let it be a joke. Seriously, why would a place in Mexico want a flag depicting such events is beyond me.

From Bad Flags: “The center seal tells the story of two lion lovers. The first lion, Eduardo, lives in the palace. The other lion, Timoteo, is stuck on the other side of a rushing river from his love. A deep chasm keeps apart their love. One day, as Eduardo uses his castle as a scratching post, Timoteo gets an idea. If he scratched that palm tree enough, he may be able to break it down and bridge the gap and run to his lover’s open paws. Unfortunately, the tree is just a little short, and Timoteo plunges to his untimely death.” Now that’s a horrible story. Still, please let it be a joke. Seriously, why would a place in Mexico want a flag depicting such events is beyond me.

71. Perm, Russia

Pretty sure I won't trust a bear on a book. This is especially the case when the book is most likely the Bible in question. Of course, it's pretty obvious that's the book in question on this flag.

Pretty sure I won’t trust a bear on a book. This is especially the case when the book is most likely the Bible in question. Of course, it’s pretty obvious that’s the book in question on this flag.

72. Greenburgh, New York, United States

Motto is either "Who wants chili?" or "Eye of newt and tongue of shrew, feast your eyes on this witches' brew." Uh, let's hope it's just chili.

Motto is either “Who wants chili?” or “Eye of newt and tongue of shrew, feast your eyes on this witches’ brew.” Uh, let’s hope it’s just chili.

73. Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front

This is a revolutionary movement at the Horn of Africa seeking to unite Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djbouti under the gun and torch. Yeah, doesn't seem democratic to me either. Seriously, with an AK-47 what do you expect me to think?

This is a revolutionary movement at the Horn of Africa seeking to unite Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djbouti under the gun and torch. Yeah, doesn’t seem democratic to me either. Seriously, with an AK-47 what do you expect me to think of these guys? Possible terrorists?

74. Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

Now the place name translates to "Land of Fire." However, it's actually a pretty cold place and one of the southernmost inhabited areas in the world. Still, doesn't make me understand why part of the flag is tangerine and includes a seagull. Yeah, a bird that can be found practically anywhere even in a parking lot in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Also, looks like it was designed by a 7 year old.

Now the place name translates to “Land of Fire.” However, it’s actually a pretty cold place and one of the southernmost inhabited areas in the world. Still, doesn’t make me understand why part of the flag is tangerine and includes a seagull. Yeah, a bird that can be found practically anywhere even in a parking lot in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Also, looks like it was designed by a 7 year old.

75. North Caucasian Emirate, Russia (1918-1921)

Now this consists of 3 stars making an eye and a nose along with a smiley face mouth. Might have something to do with the whimsical religion of Islam. Of course, the region it represents didn't last.

Now this consists of 3 stars making an eye and a nose along with a smiley face mouth. Might have something to do with the whimsical religion of Islam. Of course, the region it represents didn’t last.

76. Tamil Eelam

This is a flag a of a proposed Tamil state located in what's currently north and east Sri Lanka. Of course, while the image is badass, it also seems more like an emblem for some armed insurgent organization. Yeah, I think the crossed guns have to go.

This is a flag a of a proposed Tamil state located in what’s currently north and east Sri Lanka. Of course, while the image is badass, it also seems more like an emblem for some armed insurgent organization. Yeah, I think the crossed guns have to go.

77. New Jersey, United States

Now New Jersey's flag looks quite decent with the exception of the color. And the horses' head. Doesn't help that it's been the setting of two award winning HBO crime shows like The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire.

Now New Jersey’s flag looks quite decent with the exception of the color. And the horses’ head. Doesn’t help that it’s been the setting of two award winning HBO crime shows like The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire.

78. Pocatello, Idaho, United States

Okay, this is a flag of a city in Idaho. However, it looks more like an emblem designed for a local auto dealership with shitty commercials. I heard they changed it in 2008. Let's hope it's not something that's looks straight out of some printing program.

Okay, this is a flag of a city in Idaho. However, it looks more like an emblem designed for a local auto dealership with shitty commercials. I heard they changed it in 2008. Let’s hope it’s not something that’s looks straight out of some printing program.

79. Tampa Bay, Florida, United States

Now that's a very tacky flag. I mean not only does it have a seal in the middle but that colors are so distracting. Of course, it kind of embodies the spirit of the city. If not, then Florida.

Now that’s a very tacky flag. I mean not only does it have a seal in the middle but that colors are so distracting. Of course, it kind of embodies the spirit of the city. If not, then Florida.

80. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

This was actually voted among the 5 worst flags of the North American Vexillogical Association. Still, it's been the city's flag since the 1950s and seems to have way too much on it. Perhaps a flag depicting cheap beer would've been more appropriate. Still, you have wonder what kind of art schools the city has to produce a flag like this.

This was actually voted among the 5 worst flags of the North American Vexillogical Association. Still, it’s been the city’s flag since the 1950s and seems to have way too much on it. Perhaps a flag depicting cheap beer would’ve been more appropriate. Still, you have wonder what kind of art schools the city has to produce a horrible flag like this.

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Worst Excuses for Keeping a Confederate Flag

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Disclaimer: While I am not apologetic in my stance on the Confederate Flag issue and wish for its removal, I understand this post may feature some material bound to offend a significant part of the US population, particularly in the South. And while the Confederate Flag has been taken down at the South Carolina state house, plenty of such flags remain in the area such as in Mississippi. Seriously, the Confederate Flag only belongs in museums, historical sites, Civil War media, and cemeteries. No where else. Nevertheless, I’ve done my research on this. So don’t say that I don’t know my history if the flag offends me. Because I know my history and can completely understand why that flag offends people. Also, anyone offended by the picture should know that I’m not praising the Confederate Flag in any way. In fact, this is an article on me debunking excuses people make on keeping it.

Now in my “Thoughts on Charleston” post, I discussed how the Charleston Church shooting was racially motivated and why it was a problem. I also discussed a bit on why the Confederate Flag needs to be removed. However, while the South Carolina state house agreed to remove the flag from its state legislature, there was a substantial number of white people who weren’t happy about it. In fact, they were quite angry. And this led to a spat between the Klu Klux Klan and the Black Panthers nearby over last weekend. Others may think that we should worry about bigger things other than removing a flag, especially when it comes to stopping terror. However, many of these people either have no idea what this flag really stands for or conveniently ignore that fact. Many tend to keep Confederate Flags just to express their southern pride or love for Southern Rock groups. Some may keep a Confederate Flag thinking it’s a cool symbol of rebelling against authority. And many are quick to defend that the Confederate Flag is a symbol of heritage, not hate. Not to mention, in states like Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina have laws banning the public mutilation, defilement, and cast of contempt on this flag. But such laws were overruled by the US Supreme Court in 1989 and aren’t enforceable anyway. But I’m sure they’re still on the books. However, hate to let ya’ll down, but the Confederate Flag is nothing more than a symbol of white supremacy and history shows this. Always has been, always will be. It’s not hard to figure out the American Civil War was over slavery and a lot of powerful white Southerners were really big fans of it. Nevertheless, I present to you many of worst excuses that people make about keeping the Confederate Flag.

  1. “The Confederate Flag is a symbol of Southern heritage and pride.”
While the Confederate Flag is a symbol of Southern heritage, it's one that embodies some of the worst aspects in the history of the American South. Basically it represents a region that split with the country in the name of preserving and expanding an institution where blacks were coerced into a lifetime of involuntary servitude with no rights or compensation. Here is an engraving of a slave auction in Virginia where this mother and daughter are unlikely to see each other again.

While the Confederate Flag is a symbol of Southern heritage, it’s one that embodies some of the worst aspects in the history of the American South. Basically it represents a region that split with the country in the name of preserving and expanding an institution where blacks were coerced into a lifetime of involuntary servitude with no rights or compensation. Here is an engraving of a slave auction in Virginia where this mother and daughter are unlikely to see each other again.

Well, if you feel that a Confederate Flag is a symbol of Southern pride, then I think you might want to find yourself a better way to express that. But while I agree that the Confederate Flag is a symbol of Southern heritage, but in a way that reflects the worst of what it represents. By this, I mean a time in which the South was run by a wealthy elite who owned large plantations manned by a large underclass of blacks who either were or among descendants of kidnap victims and subjugated under a lifetime of involuntary servitude, which they depended on. And they tend to use a rationale that blacks were lazy and inferior simpletons in order to justify it. Now many of the Northern states on the other hand, had outlawed this notorious institution and was a realm of many anti-slavery activities that these Southern aristocrats didn’t like. This was especially the case since the cotton gin led to an economic boom in the region which made these rich guys even more dependent to keep blacks in a lifetime state of involuntary servitude. Of course, it also explains why Mississippi was home to the most millionaires in 1860. So tensions build up over the years which result in a bunch of political dysfunction and sporadic moments of violence. It soon got to the point that these wealthy elites became so distressed about the North being no fan of enslaving black people, that they decided to split from the country to form their own so they never have to worry about such encroachment again. Of course, the North didn’t like them leaving the country and so commences a bloody 4-year war, which the North won by the way. And the white Southerners were very bitter that this war helped outlaw such practices so they went to great lengths to make sure that blacks could never gain any social, political, or economic power. Of course, they managed to get away with such practices for decades until blacks started demonstrating during the 1950s and 1960s. But it doesn’t stop the white Southerners from romanticizing the days when wealthy plantation owners forced black people to work for them so they didn’t have to abide to certain whitey hiring regulations other than perhaps the occasional overseer. They don’t want to think about the highly unethical implications and human rights violations pertaining to forced black labor as well as other anti-black policies so they conveniently choose to forget that. But still, you get the idea what the Confederate Flag sort of represents.

  1. “The Confederate Flag is a symbol of freedom and states’ rights.”
While Confederate Flag supporters often say that the American Civil War was about states' rights, moments like the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott Decision show this wasn't the case. Sure the South wanted to preserve slavery and their way of life. But they also wanted to expand it into the territories and force the North to return runaway slaves. Since Northern states had banned slavery for quite some time, it didn't want to comply. Now this is a poster warning free blacks in Boston to be wary of slave catchers and kidnappers who might want to enslave them.

While Confederate Flag supporters often say that the American Civil War was about states’ rights, moments like the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott Decision show this wasn’t the case. Sure the South wanted to preserve slavery and their way of life. But they also wanted to expand it into the territories and force the North to return runaway slaves. Since Northern states had banned slavery for quite some time, it didn’t want to comply. Now this is a poster warning free blacks in Boston to be wary of slave catchers and kidnappers who might want to enslave them.

Yes, but this flag represents the Confederacy which split from the Union in 1860-1861, but the “freedom” and “states’ rights” in this pertained to the idea that a white person was free to own slaves who were usually black. Besides, those who think the American Civil War was fought over states’ rights should really look up the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which required that all escaped slaves were to be returned to their masters upon capture and that citizens and officials had to cooperate, even in free states. Then there’s the Dred Scott Decision that centered on a black man who tried to sue for his and his family’s freedom on account that his master had died in a free territory. But the Supreme Court denied that request in which Chief Justice Roger Taney said that blacks were, “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” You should also take into account that thanks to the 3/5ths Compromise in the Constitution, the Southern states had a lot of political influence and representation in Congress, but industrialization, urbanization, and immigration would give the North much more political power. Now both the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott Decision took place before 1860 and were heavily favorable to slave owners in the South. But they also both reveal that the South didn’t just want to keep slavery within their borders (and they were in no position to abandon it either). They wanted to expand it to the territories and force the North to support that institution against their will. Abraham Lincoln and his fellow Republicans opposed both these measures in 1860 which led to the South seceding from the Union after Lincoln’s election to president in 1860. So much for states’ rights.

Dred Scott was a slave who tried to sue the government for his and his family's freedom on account that he spent time in a free territory. However, the Supreme Court ruled against him on account that blacks weren't considered US citizens and had no right to sue. Also, the Missouri Compromise of 1850 was declared unconstitutional which carried a designation of free territories in the first place. It has been known as the worst US Supreme court ruling in history. And it's no surprise that a few of the justices at the time were slave owners.

Dred Scott was a slave who tried to sue the government for his and his family’s freedom on account that he spent time in a free territory. However, the Supreme Court ruled against him on account that blacks weren’t considered US citizens and had no right to sue. Also, the Missouri Compromise of 1850 was declared unconstitutional which carried a designation of free territories in the first place. It has been known as the worst US Supreme court ruling in history. And it’s no surprise that a few of the justices at the time were slave owners.

We should also take into account that documents pertaining to the South’s split from the union because they refused to be in a country that was turning them into second-class citizens and refused to honor one of their most cherished beliefs, that slavery was beneficial to the negro. And it’s very clear that the Confederates weren’t in any way shy about this since the right to own slaves was written into their constitution. Besides, Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens said it himself in his “Cornerstone” speech, “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth…” And in Texas’s secession declaration, slavery is mentioned at a whopping 21 times as well as said that governments and states of the nation were established, “exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity,” and this didn’t apply to black people. So to say that the Confederate Flag was a symbol any other freedom than for whites to treat African Americans as property as well as force them to work for them against their will and with no compensation, then that argument is relatively weak. Besides, most historians think that the South played the states’ rights card only when they disagreed with federal policy and only when the rights in question applied to their states.

  1. “My ancestors fought under that flag.”
Southern Unionism was widespread throughout the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Southern Unionists comprised of 25% of Union Forces including my 3rd great-grandfather from East Tennessee and at least 3 of his brothers. This is an engraving of Southern Unionist refugees from Georgia in East Tennessee, a hotbed for Union sympathizers.

Southern Unionism was widespread throughout the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Southern Unionists comprised of 25% of Union Forces including my 3rd great-grandfather from East Tennessee and at least 3 of his brothers. This is an engraving of Southern Unionist refugees from Georgia in East Tennessee, a hotbed for Union sympathizers. However, in the “Lost Cause” myth, these people tend to be totally erased.

Are you sure about that? The National Park Service has a database listing American Civil War soldiers and sailors so you can look up your ancestors there. But even if your Civil War ancestors were white and resided in the Confederacy, there’s a substantial chance that they might not have fought for the side you previously thought. Unionism was widespread in the Confederacy during the Civil War (explaining the existence of West Virginia) and 25% of Union soldiers also resided in a secessionist state. So perhaps flying a Confederate Flag at your front porch may not actually be your way to honor the memory of your ancestors than possibly giving them the finger on the cause and country they fought for. This is especially the case if you find out that your 3rd great-grandfather from Arkansas actually fought for the Army of the Tennessee instead of the Army of Tennessee according to family legend.

Southern Unionists were often targets of violence by Confederates during the American Civil War. This is an engraving of a mass hanging of Southern Unionists in Gainesville, Texas.

Southern Unionists were often targets of violence by Confederates during the American Civil War (mostly for resisting draft laws but many were arrested as well). This is an engraving of a mass hanging of Southern Unionists in Gainesville, Texas. Like black troops, Southern Unionists who also fought for the Union also risked execution upon capture. Sometimes this would lead their families consigned to the not-so-tender mercies of their often unforgiving neighbors. After the Civil War, many Southern Unionists continued to be persecuted for their wartime beliefs after Reconstruction as well as targets of the Klu Klux Klan.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of descendants of Confederate veterans who don’t want anything to do with the Confederate Flag. Of course, many of these sons of Confederate veterans tend to be black and would want no part in honoring what their ancestors fought for. Not surprisingly, these guys were white and most likely owned slaves as well.

These are the official and military flags used by the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Though never used in any official capacity, the Confederate Battle Flag was used as an unofficial emblem of the Confederacy. This was because it was a very recognizable design from long distances.

These are the official and military flags used by the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Though never used in any official capacity, the Confederate Battle Flag was used as an unofficial emblem of the Confederacy. This was because it was a very recognizable design from long distances.

Even so, the Confederate Flag we know today was actually used as the Battle Flag for the Army of Northern Virginia but the design wouldn’t be incorporated in the official Confederate Flag design until 1863 with the “Stainless Banner” flag as well as in the “Blood-Stained Banner” in 1865. But both these flags have the Confederate Battle insignia in the upper left corner. But before these two flags, there was the “Stars and Bars” flag which had 3 stripes in red and white as well as a blue square with 13 stars. But this would later be disowned since it was too similar to the Union Flag and caused confusion during the 1st Battle of Bull Run (especially at long distances). So let’s just say if your Confederate ancestors fought under that flag, it was more or less on an unofficial basis. So it’s no surprise why the Confederate Battle Flag has become a widely recognized symbol of the American South since it was the Confederacy’s most recognized flag during most of the war. And the later flag designs both show this. But as far as we know the Confederate Flag was never adopted by the Confederate Congress, was never officially used for Confederate veterans groups, and never flew over state capitols during the Confederacy. So for the descendants of Confederate veterans, I’ll rule this as partially true.

  1. “Even if it is racist, the meaning of words and symbols is relative to the individual.”
The swastika is a good example of how symbols can be interpreted in many different ways. In Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, it's a sacred and auspicious symbol as well as a good luck charm. But try to explain that to Westerns who link it with Nazism, Anti-Semitism, totalitarianism, racism,  hate, and mass slaughter.

The swastika is a good example of how symbols can be interpreted in many different ways. In Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, it’s a sacred and auspicious symbol as well as a good luck charm. But try to explain that to Westerns who link it with Nazism, Anti-Semitism, totalitarianism, racism, hate, and mass slaughter. Of course, the Nazi swastika is turned, but still. Nevertheless, unlike Americans with the Confederate Flag, Asians can still play the culture card for the swastika because they’ve used it way long before it became associated with Nazism.

Yes, words and symbols can mean a variety of different things depending on the individual. But even though you may fly a Confederate Flag showing your love for Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn’t mean that your neighbors would interpret it that way. But most of the time words and symbols carry meanings that stand independently of any individual’s subjective interpretation. Such that it might lead your passionate but non-racist Rebel Flag waving Lynyrd Skynyrd fan to be mistaken for racist  or believing that any pursuit of white supremacy isn’t wrong and may be worthy of celebration. This is especially true when a symbol or term has very negative connotations for a certain group of people explaining why many people want the Washington Redskins to change their name. It also explains why nobody in the West no longer uses swastikas for decoration.

  1. “Taking down the Confederate Flag will rewrite history.”
Whenever Confederate Flag supporters complain how removing this banner would rewrite history, what they really mean is that it will change the American Civil War history as they remember it. Of course, it's no surprise that many of these Confederate Flag supporters believe in the myth of the "Lost Cause" which is a virulently racist and very distorting pseudo-history viewpoint. Of course, Birth of a Nation basically shows the worst of the "Lost Cause" myth and the ideology it supports.

Whenever Confederate Flag supporters complain how removing this banner would rewrite history, what they really mean is that it will change the American Civil War history as they remember it. Of course, it’s no surprise that many of these Confederate Flag supporters believe in the myth of the “Lost Cause” which is a virulently racist and very distorting pseudo-history viewpoint. Of course, Birth of a Nation basically shows the worst of the “Lost Cause” myth and the ideology it supports.

Actually, when we’re talking about taking down the Confederate Flag, it will still be used in a historic capacity such as being displayed in museums and historic sites, Civil War media, and Civil War reenactments. Not sure if displaying them on Confederate Civil War memorials and monuments is acceptable, but I’ll leave it. Let’s just say Confederate Flag removal will only apply to places like government buildings, state and national parks (save Civil War battlefields), public schools and colleges, and other public places. Still, taking down the Confederate Flag may not rewrite history but it will help put the Neo-Confederate “Lost Cause” myth to rest since it was only made up to justify the oppression of African Americans in the South with Jim Crow laws and extralegal violence. I think removing the Confederate Flag might help Americans come to terms with an ugly part of their history, which many tend to ignore. So removing it might rewrite history to an extent, but only in a way that brings down the “Lost Cause” myth which continues to be influential in media and in schools despite that it’s a major distortion of history used to serve a very racist political agenda. And sometimes historic distortions need to be corrected by removing symbols of hate from where they don’t belong.

  1. “Even if it is racist, meanings of words and symbols can change over time.”
It's illegal in Germany to wave a Nazi flag. But it's a perfect illustration of how once symbols acquire a negative interpretation to them, it usually stays that way. And the fact people still make excuses of keeping the Confederate Flag just makes it more disturbing. Nevertheless, an American keeping a Confederate Flag is certainly equivalent to a German keeping a Nazi one.

It’s illegal in Germany to wave a Nazi flag. But it’s a perfect illustration of how once symbols acquire a negative interpretation to them, it usually stays that way. And the fact people still make excuses of keeping the Confederate Flag just makes it more disturbing. Nevertheless, an American keeping a Confederate Flag is certainly equivalent to a German keeping a Nazi one.

They may but if a symbol acquires a highly negative meaning, it tends to stay that way. And at its most benign, it’s been used by the historically-ignorant without being fully cognizant of its implications. But whether it represented a defunct government whose reason for existence was to preserve slavery or as a symbolic embodiment of the so-called “Lost Cause” myth, you can’t take pride in such a flag without tacitly endorsing a racist view or being remarkably clueless. Even if your ancestors fought for the Confederacy. And since the American Civil War, Southern whites tended to use the Neo-Confederate “Lost Cause” myth as their history just to enact Jim Crow laws as well as keep black people from any form of social, political, or economic power. The Confederate Flag is an artifact from that history as the “Lost Cause” myth continues to be propagated by Sons of the Confederate Veterans as well as United Daughters of the Confederacy. However, these two organizations as well as other historical societies tend to be among the more mild offenders.

FILE - "In this April 14, 1964 black-and-white file photo, a man holds a Confederate flag at right, as demonstrators, including one carrying a sign saying: "More than 300,000 Negroes are Denied Vote in Ala", demonstrate in front of an Indianapolis hotel where then-Alabama Governor George Wallace was staying." The Confederate Flag enjoyed a resurgence of popularity after World War II, particularly to white supremacists who saw the rising Civil Rights Movement as a threat. Let's just say white segregationists' use of the Confederate Flag was no accident.

FILE – “In this April 14, 1964 black-and-white file photo, a man holds a Confederate flag at right, as demonstrators, including one carrying a sign saying: “More than 300,000 Negroes are Denied Vote in Ala”, demonstrate in front of an Indianapolis hotel where then-Alabama Governor George Wallace was staying.” The Confederate Flag enjoyed a resurgence of popularity after World War II, particularly to white supremacists who saw the rising Civil Rights Movement as a threat. Let’s just say white segregationists’ use of the Confederate Flag was no accident.

Yet, after World War II, the Confederate Flag enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the South used by segregationist whites to protest integration especially with the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education which declared school segregation unconstitutional. Southern states tended to use the Confederate Flag in their public pageantry during the Civil Rights Movement with the South Carolina raising flag at their state capitol in 1961. Two notable groups who used this as a symbol were the Dixiecrats and the Klu Klux Klan, both noted for white supremacy and opposition to the Civil Rights Movement. As Southern historian Gordon Rhea said: “It is no accident that Confederate symbols have been the mainstay of white supremacist organizations, from the Ku Klux Klan to the skinheads. They did not appropriate the Confederate battle flag simply because it was pretty. They picked it because it was the flag of a nation dedicated to their ideals: ‘that the negro is not equal to the white man’. The Confederate flag, we are told, represents heritage, not hate. But why should we celebrate a heritage grounded in hate, a heritage whose self-avowed reason for existence was the exploitation and debasement of a sizeable segment of its population?”

  1. “Just because I keep a Confederate Flag doesn’t mean I’m racist.”
I'm not saying that Confederate Flag supporters are racists. It's just that I find it a hard time to consider them not to be when I see them waving a flag that's clearly a symbol for white supremacy by any means necessary. Seriously, this flag has been used to justify racist policies in the South, opposition to the Civil Rights Movement, and extralegal violence against African Americans. So I don't think Confederate Flag supporters are helping their case.

I’m not saying that Confederate Flag supporters are racists. It’s just that I find it a hard time to consider them not to be when I see them waving a flag that’s clearly a symbol for white supremacy by any means necessary. Seriously, this flag has been used to justify racist policies in the South, opposition to the Civil Rights Movement, and extralegal violence against African Americans. So I don’t think Confederate Flag supporters are helping their case.

Maybe, but as I said time words and symbols carry meanings that stand independently of any individual’s subjective interpretation. Just ask any Asian Hindu and Buddhist who’s denied Anti-Semitism while wearing a swastika T-shirt. You may not see yourself as a racist, but try convincing your cringing black neighbors that whenever they see the Confederate Flag flying outside your porch. Sure you might fly it in the name of southern pride or that you’re a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd. But most of the African American community and others identify it as a symbol of white supremacy, as well as political repression and violence against blacks. Many people also identify it as a symbol of treason in which a power elite of rich white guys seceded from the union in order to preserve a way of life that benefited no one but themselves as well as subjugated 40% the region’s population to a lifetime of involuntary servitude and a legal designation of property.

  1. “The Confederate Flag has nothing to do with racism.”
Uh, yes, the Confederate Flag has everything to do with racism. In fact, it's been always used as a symbol of racism from the moment of its inception. In fact, the guy who designed it said it himself and he certainly wasn't in the closet about his white supremacy.

Uh, yes, the Confederate Flag has everything to do with racism. In fact, it’s been always used as a symbol of racism from the moment of its inception. In fact, the guy who designed it said it himself and he certainly wasn’t in the closet about his white supremacy.

Really? But even in the antebellum American South, most Southern whites didn’t own slaves either. But most of them supported slavery anyway and a lot of them fought for the Confederacy. In the Antebellum South, white supremacy was accepted by almost all white Southerners of all classes which made slavery seem natural, legitimate, and essential for a civilized society. The whole Old South had a system of preserving slavery with elaborate codes of speech, behavior, or practices illustrating the subordination of blacks to whites. Southern whites serving on “slave patrols” and “overseers” were offered positions of power and honor. Such positions gave poor white Southerners the authority to stop, search, whip, maim, and even kill any slave traveling outside their plantation. “Slave patrols” were institutions bringing Southern whites of all classes in support of the prevailing economic and racial order. Oh, and policing and punishing slaves who transgressed the regimentation of slave society at the time was seen as community service. Not to mention, there was a constant fear of free blacks threatening law and order in the Old South as well. Also, there was no secret ballot so a poorer white guy voting against the wishes of the establishment ran the chance of facing social ostracism. Many Southern whites were linked to extensive kinship networks and/or depended on white Southern planters economically. Then there’s the fact many non-slaveholders perceived the possibility of owning slaves one day with the opening of the territories and how slavery gave poor whites some sense that they weren’t at the bottom of the Southern plantation society. So how could the Confederate Flag have nothing to do with racism, then how could it represent a society built around the idea of white supremacy?

  1. “The Confederate Flag doesn’t represent hate and violence.”
For over a century, the Confederate Flag has has stood for the idea that African Americans are less-than-equal members of the political community and that using any illegal violence against their interest is justified and that it’s noble to fight and die for the purpose of enslaving black people even if it means betraying the country. White supremacist organizations like the Klu Klux Klan have been known to use these flags as their symbols. Since it has inspired acts of violence such as lynchings and terrorism toward African Americans, its use is no accident. Still, if the Confederate Flag isn't a symbol of hate and violence, then I don't know what is.

For over a century, the Confederate Flag has has stood for the idea that African Americans are less-than-equal members of the political community and that using any illegal violence against their interest is justified and that it’s noble to fight and die for the purpose of enslaving black people even if it means betraying the country. White supremacist organizations like the Klu Klux Klan have been known to use these flags as their symbols. Since it has inspired acts of violence such as lynchings and terrorism toward African Americans, its use is no accident. Still, if the Confederate Flag isn’t a symbol of hate and violence, then I don’t know what is.

Seriously? Uh, for over a century it has inspired Southern whites to systematically discriminate and commit violence against African Americans. In fact, Southern whites split from the country and started a war because they so strongly viewed that blacks were inferior to human beings and should be put in their place through any means necessary (even though a significant number of white Southerners wanted no such thing like my Tennessee ancestors). For over a century, the Confederate Flag has stood for the idea that African Americans are less-than-equal members of the political community and that using any illegal violence against their interest is justified and that it’s noble to fight and die for the purpose of enslaving black people even if it means betraying the country. Such violence has involved hate crimes like lynchings and acts of terror by groups like the Klu Klux Klan and white supremacist groups. And for a long time Southern whites got away with it because the legal system always ruled in favor of white interests that African Americans would be put in jail for even the most trivial offenses. Nevertheless, if the Confederate Flag doesn’t represent hate and violence, then I don’t know what does.

  1. “The Confederate Flag is a symbol of the proud, distinctive heritage and gentility of the Old South.”
Contrary to the images of  elegant plantations, happy slaves, proper Southern gentlemen, and beautiful Southern belles, life in the Old South wasn't the kind of society people imagine it. The Old South consisted of a society built on white supremacy, slavery, and rule of a rich wealthy elite wanting to preserve a way of life that benefitted no one but themselves.

Contrary to the images of elegant plantations, happy slaves, proper Southern gentlemen, and beautiful Southern belles, life in the Old South wasn’t the kind of society people imagine it. The Old South consisted of a society built on white supremacy, slavery, and rule of a rich wealthy elite wanting to preserve a way of life that benefited no one but themselves. Anyone who wasn’t rich or white meant politically nothing.

Really? What the Confederate Flag symbolizes of the Old South is a heritage that’s distinctive all right. But it’s not genteel in any way and not something for Southerners to be proud of. The heritage the Confederate Flag symbolizes is an ugly one in which society is controlled by a wealthy slave owning elite with whites of all classes united under a doctrine of white supremacy and economic dependency. It represents the idea of blacks being inferior and should be kept in their place by any means necessary. It represents poorer whites who accepted the status quo that was against their own interests under the threat of social ostracism. Not to mention, education was only available to those who could afford it and many poor whites made less than their Northern counterparts. But they embraced racism since their skin color gave them more rights and opportunities than even the most well-off free blacks who had no civil rights (and it didn’t help that most free blacks were very poor and marginalized). Not to mention, the unrealistic prospect that they can be part of the white Southern elite if they can work hard enough. But nevertheless, the Old South was a society that worked mainly in the interests of the white rich guys who ran it. And by the eve of the Civil War, that wealth would be more concentrated. Thus, the kind of society of the Old South was based on the notion of slaves and land being status symbols, concentration of wealth and power at the hands of a few rich white guys, the idea that blacks were property and inferior to whites, and that unless you were a rich white guy who owned a plantation, you meant politically nothing.

  1. “The cry to take the Confederate Flag down is unjustified.”
During the Jim Crow Era, it wasn't uncommon for blacks to be targets for lynchings, especially in the South. These were meant to keep black people in their place as an act of terror and intimidation. And yes, the Confederate Flag was used to justify this since it was seen as the emblem for the notoriously racist myth of the "Lost Cause." If this horrific scene doesn't justify calls to remove the Confederate Flag, then I don't know what does.

During the Jim Crow Era, it wasn’t uncommon for blacks to be targets for lynchings, especially in the South. These were meant to keep black people in their place as an act of terror and intimidation. And yes, the Confederate Flag was used to justify this since it was seen as the emblem for the notoriously racist myth of the “Lost Cause.” If this horrific scene doesn’t justify calls to remove the Confederate Flag, then I don’t know what does.

Seriously? Sure many whites think the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern pride and heritage, which has been hijacked by white supremacist groups. But as history tells us, there was never a time in which the Confederate flag was used to represent anything other than the right for whites to subjugate black people and perpetuate slavery. And when slavery was outlawed, it was used as a banner for white supremacy through any means whether it meant instilling Jim Crow laws, acts of extralegal terror, or opposing the Civil Rights Movement. It’s no wonder why so many people think it’s a racist symbol, particularly most African Americans who’ve seen it as nothing but a symbol of oppression and terror. The sheer presence and endorsement of such a flag by state governments promotes the idea that black lives don’t matter under any circumstance. And it doesn’t help that many Southern states have enacted laws that work against the best interests of the poor and minorities, particularly Voter ID laws, regressive taxes, welfare drug tests, right to work laws, and Stand Your Ground. So I’m sure that there’s nothing unjustified about removing a symbol that has denoted nothing more than white supremacy. This is especially if such ideas kept you from exercising your constitutional rights or in a system in which the odds of receiving justice weren’t in your favor.

  1. “If the Confederate Flag was used as a national flag, then how could it represent slavery and racism?”
In his "Cornerstone Speech," Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens declared that African slavery was the "immediate cause" of secession and that the Confederate Constitution had put to rest, "agitating questions" as to the "proper status of the negro in our form of civilization." Naturally the Article 1 Section 9 (4) in the Confederate Constitution says: "No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed." So the chief and immediate cause of the American Civil War was slavery. As Alex Stephens said it himself. Ironically, he was also friends with a little-known Illinois politician named Abraham Lincoln.

In his “Cornerstone Speech,” Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens declared that African slavery was the “immediate cause” of secession and that the Confederate Constitution had put to rest, “agitating questions” as to the “proper status of the negro in our form of civilization.” Naturally the Article 1 Section 9 (4) in the Confederate Constitution says: “No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.” So the chief and immediate cause of the American Civil War was slavery. As Alex Stephens said it himself. Ironically, he was also friends with a little-known Illinois politician named Abraham Lincoln.

First off, the Confederate Flag we know was officially used as a Battle flag and was only a national flag in an unofficial capacity. Secondly, preservation and expansion of slavery was the most important reason why the South seceded from the Union to form the Confederacy in the first place. Slavery was even called “the cornerstone of the Confederacy” for God’s sake. And obviously, you can’t enslave blacks without having some justification that it’s perfectly fine to do so. Thus, that’s where racism and white supremacy kick in, especially when it comes to getting poorer whites to accept and defend the status quo even if it’s not in their best interests to do so.

  1. “The Confederate Flag is a quaint historical artifact and a memorial to those who’ve fought gallantly and bravely (even in a service of a cause no longer considered virtuous).”
Had the Confederate Flag been confined to be used for educational, historical, and memorial purposes, it would've remained a quaint artifact of history. Unfortunately, white Southerners who supported the Confederate cause never got over racism or losing the Civil War. So instead they made the Confederate Flag an emblem for the "Lost Cause" myth which they used to justify the systematic discrimination and violence against African Americans for decades.

Had the Confederate Flag been confined to be used for educational, historical, and memorial purposes, it would’ve remained a quaint artifact of history. Unfortunately, white Southerners who supported the Confederate cause never got over racism or losing the Civil War. So instead they made the Confederate Flag an emblem for the “Lost Cause” myth which they used to justify the systematic discrimination and violence against African Americans for decades.

Now I am not against anyone honoring their ancestors for their gallantry and bravery, even if it wasn’t on the right side or in service of a cause I wouldn’t consider virtuous. However, if the Confederate Flag was just used as a quaint historical artifact and memorial only shown in museums, historical societies, soldiers’ reunions, or soldiers’ graves, then I’d have little to no problem with it. Unfortunately, people don’t always learn their lessons and even when slavery was outlawed in the US, the virulent ideas of white supremacy remained, especially in the South. We know this because many Southern whites were so vehemently opposed to Reconstruction policies that they’d commit acts of terror to make sure African Americans didn’t exercise their rights. And when these guys returned to power, they passed significant legislation to segregate, disenfranchise, as well as deny them any kind of opportunity for advancement. They also justified such actions through an ideology known as the “Lost Cause” which painted blacks as loyal, benevolent, and subservient slaves to their masters as well as claimed that the American Civil War was fought over states’ rights, not slavery. It also reinforced notions that Jim Crow laws were a proper solution to Reconstruction racial tensions, Confederate soldiers were good, Union soldiers were bad, the Klu Klux Klan were heroic vigilantes, Robert E. Lee was an infallible icon, African American freedom and political power was bad, and any violence committed against blacks was justified no matter how illegal. The Confederate Flag was often seen as a symbol for the “Lost Cause” which promoted such ideas as well as remained an influential narrative of the Civil War for years since it was a history that many white Southerners were comfortable with. Plus, most textbook companies usually cater to Texas anyway. But the “Lost Cause” mythology’s key characteristic was the use of white supremacy as a means to an end. So while the Confederate Flag may be seen as historic artifact by some to honor Confederate soldiers, it’s also been used for far more sinister purposes such as oppressing black people for decades.

  1. “Slavery and racism wasn’t just limited to the Old South.”
Yes, slavery existed in the North as well as the South during the Colonial and Revolutionary Eras. And I'm aware racism in the North has existed as well. However, between 1777 to 1804, Northern states have taken steps to outlaw the practice, though most took gradual steps.

Yes, slavery existed in the North as well as the South during the Colonial and Revolutionary Eras. And I’m aware racism in the North has existed as well. However, between 1777 to 1804, Northern states have taken steps to outlaw the practice, though most took gradual steps.

Yes, I’m well aware that slavery and racism have existed in the North as well as still does to a certain extent. And yes, I know that doesn’t get much attention in the history books as it should (but you can say the same for a lot of stuff in American history, unfortunately). But most of the racism in the North had more to do with economics, political representation, and housing combined with the fact that they were viewed as inferior because they looked different from everyone else. But the racism was nonetheless destructive, systematic, and pervasive as anyone would know from the life of Malcolm X. And yes, white supremacy terrorism, lynchings, and other extralegal violence did take place there, too. Still, while the North had segregation, too, African Americans had more political rights and economic opportunities than they would’ve in the South (for instance, the right to vote). You can also say the same for the West as well (where the African American population has been way underrepresented in western movies).

While slavery was practiced in the North during the Colonial Era and the American Revolution, it was never as widely practiced or seen as anything economically important as in the South. This chart shows the right and restrictions of Northern slaves.

While slavery was practiced in the North during the Colonial Era and the American Revolution, it was never as widely practiced or seen as anything economically important as in the South. This chart shows the right and restrictions of Northern slaves.

However, while the North isn’t completely innocent of racial injustices either (as I can testify), it was never to the extent that they saw slavery as a cornerstone to the social order which must be preserved by any means necessary. In fact, between 1777 to 1804, every state north of the Ohio River and the Mason-Dixon Line have passed anti-slavery laws and constitutions though for many it was a gradual process. But this didn’t mean the North didn’t have any economic interests in slavery or that Northern free blacks were treated equal to whites prior to the Civil War, which was certainly not the case. Nor did it mean that all of the abolitionists weren’t racist for that wasn’t the case either (with a notable exceptions of Frederick Douglass and John Brown). It wasn’t uncommon for Northerners to oppose slavery due to the view that it was incompatible with free labor.

John C. Calhoun was an influential politician during the Antebellum Era as well as one of the most terrible who ever lived. His most important contributions are ideas that states can declare federal laws null and void that they believed unconstitutional as well as the notion of slavery being a positive good. Such views would be influential in South's escalating threats of and eventual secession.

John C. Calhoun was an influential politician during the Antebellum Era as well as one of the most terrible who ever lived. His most important contributions are ideas that states can declare federal laws null and void that they believed unconstitutional as well as the notion of slavery being a positive good. Such views would be influential in South’s escalating threats of and eventual secession.

The South, on the other hand, had an economic system that depended on slavery that they developed a militant pro-slavery ideology that Southerners responded waged vitriolic responses to political change in the North, especially when it came to slavery in the territories and runaways in the North. The fact Abraham Lincoln came from a party opposed to slavery expansion led several southern states to secede from the Union. When slavery was outlawed, white Southerners weren’t at all happy that they did whatever it took to return to power and do whatever it took to make sure African Americans didn’t exercise their political or economic rights. When African Americans tried to defy them, Southern whites responded with terrorism and violence as long as they could get away with it. And despite the strides blacks took during the Civil Rights Movement, it’s still the case in many ways but in a different form. Yes, the North isn’t above committing racial injustices. But racism was never so ingrained or central in Northern society that it would be willing to divide the country over the right to subjugate a group of people into a lifetime of involuntary servitude due to the color of their skin.

  1. “But slavery existed in America long before the Confederate Flag.”
Yes, the US had slavery long before the Confederate Flag. But the United States was founded on the ideas of life, liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness. And it was these ideas that helped influence the Abolitionist Movement dedicated to outlaw slavery throughout the Union during the Antebellum years. Did they think black people were equal? No, but that's beside the point.

Yes, the US had slavery long before the Confederate Flag. But the United States was founded on the ideas of life, liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness. And it was these ideas that helped influence the Abolitionist Movement dedicated to outlaw slavery throughout the Union during the Antebellum years. Did they think black people were equal? No, but that’s beside the point.

Yes, but the United States wasn’t founded on the idea of preserving or expanding an institution dedicated to subjugating black people to a lifetime of involuntary servitude. Sure many of the Founding Fathers owned slaves and held racist views. But as any school child knows, the US was founded as nation based on the ideas of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as well as that “all men are created equal.” Many of our Founding Fathers may not have believed it in the strictest sense but such ideas have inspired a spirit present in movements related to abolitionism, feminism, civil rights, organized labor, LGBT rights, and other social reforms. Sure there may be Americans who have funny ideas about liberty but in some ways, these ideals have inspired a lot of positive things in this country. And it’s these ideals that have helped made the US flag such a sacred symbol of our nation that embodies them. On the other hand, the Confederacy was founded on preserving and expanding an institution that denied blacks any recognition of humanity and justified even illegal violence to keep it that way.

  1. “But the Confederate Flag is on the state flag of Mississippi.”
This is the state flag of Mississippi. The Confederate Flag square on the top left represents states longing for a time in their history when they were the state with the most millionaires. Of course, knowing Mississippi you can guess why. Not surprisingly, it has been this state's flag since 1894 so it was adopted by an all-white legislature bent on making sure that blacks have no economic or political power.

This is the state flag of Mississippi. The Confederate Flag square on the top left represents states longing for a time in their history when they were the state with the most millionaires. Of course, knowing Mississippi you can guess why. Not surprisingly, it has been this state’s flag since 1894 so it was adopted by an all-white legislature bent on making sure that blacks have no economic or political power.

Yes, but that’s a problem for the state government of Mississippi to sort out. But if you want to show your love for Mississippi then I see no reason for you to fly it (but I recommend that you put on a disclaimer). Just remember that the Confederate Battle Flag was put on it in 1894 at a time when the state’s black residents were denied political rights and economic opportunities thanks to white supremacists politicians.

  1. “The Confederate Flag is a symbol of resistance against an oppressive authority.”
While Confederate Flag supporters tend to argue that the South seceded due to Northern economic and cultural aggression, it's really not the case. In fact, it had more to do with the fact that the North didn't want to cooperate or expand slavery and had successfully retaliated by electing Abraham Lincoln as president in 1860. This shows the caning of Massachusetts US Senator Charles Sumner by South Carolina US Congressman Preston Brooks in the Senate chamber. Yes, the South was usually the aggressor when it came to the years leading up to the American Civil War.

While Confederate Flag supporters tend to argue that the South seceded due to Northern economic and cultural aggression, it’s really not the case. In fact, it had more to do with the fact that the North didn’t want to cooperate or expand slavery and had successfully retaliated by electing Abraham Lincoln as president in 1860. This shows the caning of Massachusetts US Senator Charles Sumner by South Carolina US Congressman Preston Brooks in the Senate chamber. Yes, the South was usually the aggressor when it came to the years leading up to the American Civil War.

People tend to use the Confederate Flag thinking it a symbol of rebellion and sticking it to the man, thanks to the “Lost Cause” ideology that painted the North as an oppressive authority that just steamrolled them with superior resources and manpower (even though these weren’t the only reasons the North beat the South). And that the South split from the Union over Northern economic and cultural aggression over the Southern way of life. But contrary to popular belief, both North and South supported states’ rights only when it was convenient to do so. This is especially true with slavery an institution they not only wanted to protect but also expand and didn’t give a shit what the North thought about it as long as the area didn’t become powerful enough to overtake their influence on the federal government. As Brooks Adams noted: “Between the slave power and states’ rights there was no necessary connection. The slave power, when in control, was a centralizing influence, and all the most considerable encroachments on states’ rights were its acts. The acquisition and admission of Louisiana; the Embargo; the War of 1812; the annexation of Texas “by joint resolution” [rather than treaty]; the war with Mexico, declared by the mere announcement of President Polk; the Fugitive Slave Law; the Dred Scott decision — all triumphs of the slave power — did far more than either tariffs or internal improvements, which in their origin were also southern measures, to destroy the very memory of states’ rights as they existed in 1789. Whenever a question arose of extending or protecting slavery, the slaveholders became friends of centralized power, and used that dangerous weapon with a kind of frenzy. Slavery in fact required centralization in order to maintain and protect itself, but it required to control the centralized machine; it needed despotic principles of government, but it needed them exclusively for its own use. Thus, in truth, states’ rights were the protection of the free states, and as a matter of fact, during the domination of the slave power, Massachusetts appealed to this protecting principle as often and almost as loudly as South Carolina.”

Whenever it came to states' rights in the years leading up to the American Civil War, it was only Southern states' rights that the South really cared about. To them, infringing their northern neighbors' rights not to support slavery was fair game to them. This was demonstrated with their support for the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott Decision. As with any states' rights proponent, Southerners only supported states' rights when it suited them.

Whenever it came to states’ rights in the years leading up to the American Civil War, it was only Southern states’ rights that the South really cared about. To them, infringing their northern neighbors’ rights not to support slavery was fair game to them. This was demonstrated with their support for the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott Decision. As with any states’ rights proponent, Southerners only supported states’ rights when it suited them, particularly on policies they didn’t like.

Historian William C. Davis explained the Confederate Constitution’s protection at the national level as: “To the old Union they had said that the Federal power had no authority to interfere with slavery issues in a state. To their new nation they would declare that the state had no power to interfere with a federal protection of slavery. Of all the many testimonials to the fact that slavery, and not states’ rights, really lay at the heart of their movement, this was the most eloquent of all.” So the kind of “economic and cultural aggression” the South was rebelling against was that the North simply didn’t want the Southern way of life encroaching on their states’ rights. In fact, the South wanted to remain dominant in the federal government in order to protect and expand slavery. When they failed to maintain dominance of the federal government through democratic means (as demonstrated by Abraham Lincoln’s election as president), they sought other means such as military aggression by right of force and coercion. Thus, the Civil War occurred. Nevertheless, who was the aggressor in the Civil War is very hard to say, but in the decades leading up to it, I’m certain it wasn’t the North.

  1. “But you see many black people with a Confederate Flag. So how can it be racist?”
Now Confederate Flag defenders love to show black people with the banner they love to prove it's not racist. However, symbols and words can carry a different meaning than what the individual intends. Such actions don't disprove the Confederate Flag as a racist symbol regardless of the individual's race or ethnicity. In fact, most African Americans view the Confederate Flag as racist. So sorry, Kanye West.

Now Confederate Flag defenders love to show black people with the banner they love to prove it’s not racist. However, symbols and words can carry a different meaning than what the individual intends. Such actions don’t disprove the Confederate Flag as a racist symbol regardless of the individual’s race or ethnicity. In fact, most African Americans view the Confederate Flag as racist. So sorry, Kanye West.

Like I said, symbols and words can carry meanings that stand independently of any individual’s subjective interpretation. There may be African Americans who may not think the Confederate Flag is a racist symbol. But this doesn’t mean that all blacks share this view. In fact, most blacks usually link the Confederate Flag to white supremacy as well as anti-black suppression and terrorism. And history shows that they have a compelling reason to believe this since the “Lost Cause” myth as well as its use by politicians

  1. “But various Southern Rock groups used the Confederate Flag like Lynyrd Skynyrd.”
Since the 1960s and 1970s, many Southern Rock bands have used Confederate Flag imagery. Lynyrd Skynyrd is the most famous among them. However, since 2012, the band has stopped using the flag on their albums and promotional materials  due to racist connotations. Same goes for Wal Mart and NASCAR in recent years.

Since the 1960s and 1970s, many Southern Rock bands have used Confederate Flag imagery. Lynyrd Skynyrd is the most famous among them. However, since 2012, the band has stopped using the flag on their albums and promotional materials due to racist connotations. Same goes for Wal Mart and NASCAR in recent years.

Yes, but Lynyrd Skynyrd has distanced themselves from that symbol since 2012 and has stopped using the flag on their albums and promotional materials. This was over the racist connotations. And since the Charleston shooting, it has been dropped by various retailers, flag manufacturers, and NASCAR.

  1. “The Civil War’s been over for 150 years so why waste our time over arguing about the Confederate Flag?”
As long as people revere and celebrate the Confederate Flag, then they shall carry the banner of a heritage that embodies nothing but the worst of their history. The Confederate Flag is nothing but a white supremacist symbol that advocates racism, hate, and violence against African Americans. It always has been and always will. We need to take it down for good.

As long as people revere and celebrate the Confederate Flag, then they shall carry the banner of a heritage that embodies nothing but the worst of their history. The Confederate Flag is nothing but a white supremacist symbol that advocates racism, hate, and violence against African Americans. It always has been and always will. We need to take it down for good.

Yes, slavery may be over. But the racism is still alive and well which affects those victimized by it whether it be through violence or the system. Blacks still find themselves discriminated against, undervalued, and negatively stereotyped, especially in the South. And whenever African Americans demonstrated in Ferguson and Baltimore over unlawful police killings saying “Black Lives Matter,” there were plenty of whites who saw them as nothing but disrespectful thugs (which may be true for some but that’s beside the point). White supremacy groups still remain in this country and they still do terrible things. Even though many may not be violent or perhaps racist, many still display the Confederate Flag believing it represents something that it doesn’t. And we still have Americans still expressing reverence for the “Lost Cause” myth which is still taught in American schools, especially since textbook companies still cater to Texas. But if we didn’t have slavery, the Civil War, and Martin Luther King Day, then I’m sure that much of African American history would be ignored in the classroom. Not to mention, when it comes to antebellum slavery, schoolchildren are more likely to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin than The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass: American Slave. Not only that, but the “Lost Cause” myth also distorts the American Civil War that paints a picture of the conflict which had nothing to do with the reality.

How to Treat an American Flag

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The American flag is one of the United States’ most significant and powerful patriotic symbols. We have so many stuff for it such as our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” written by a lawyer named Francis Scott Key who witnessed the Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 while a prisoner on a British ship in Baltimore Harbor. Of course, even though the flag has been around since the American Revolution but contrary to what you might’ve learned in school, it was definitely not designed by a woman named Betsy Ross (that was just some bullshit story made up by her grandson). It was more likely designed by Continental Congress delegate and signer of the Declaration of Independence Francis Hopkinson (and even his claim has holes in it but at least his involvement with the design is supported by evidence). Yet, there are also stories relating to other individuals as well. But as to whoever sewn the first American flag, it could be any flag maker in Philadelphia. Over the years, it has gone through many renditions, there wasn’t a lot of rules that pertained to the stars and stripes at first save perhaps that it should include 13 red and white stripes as well as a blue square at the top left corner that consisted of a number of stars that depicted the number of states at the time. However, until 1912, there was no pattern to how the stars should be displayed. And if you go to an American Civil War museum, then you’d find a lot of interesting patterns.

One of the many designs you might see of a Union flag in an American Civil War museum. The star configuration on the flag wouldn't be established until 1912.

One of the many designs you might see of a Union flag in an American Civil War museum. The star configuration on the flag wouldn’t be established until 1912.

Despite that the Stars and Stripes was adopted in 1777, it wasn’t until 146 years later when there was a serious attempt to establish a uniform code of etiquette for the US flag. On February 15, 1923, the War Department issued the US Flag Code which was adopted almost in their entirety on June 14 of that year by a conference of 68 patriotic organizations in Washington D.C. However, the US Flag Code didn’t become official law until years later. Now military branches have their own codes for the American Flag. This is for civilians.

If something has the likeness of an American flag to an observer, then it should be seen as an American flag. Since this house is painted as an American flag, it's basically disrespect.

If something has the likeness of an American flag to an observer, then it should be seen as an American flag. Since this house is painted as an American flag, it’s basically disrespect.

“The words “flag, standard, colors, or ensign”, as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.” –Introduction to the US Flag Code Ch. 1 Title 4.

When to Display the Flag

The flag should be displayed at all times on a pole at public buildings, legal holidays, and other occasions.

The flag should be displayed at all times on a pole at public buildings, legal holidays, and other occasions. On all days, it’s usually hoisted on flagstaffs from sunrise to sunset.

On all days, especially on legal holidays and other special occasions.

It's always customary for classrooms to stand up and recite the "Pledge of Allegiance" every morning. But even though I love my country, saying the Pledge was kind of a pain in the ass for me. Nevertheless, Francis Bellamy had a way to salute the flag during the pledge but it was discontinued in the 1940s for bearing too much similarities to the Hitler salute (yes, really).

It’s always customary for classrooms to stand up and recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” every morning. But even though I love my country, saying the Pledge was kind of a pain in the ass for me. Nevertheless, Francis Bellamy had a way to salute the flag during the pledge but it was discontinued in the 1940s for bearing too much similarities to the Hitler salute (yes, really).

On official buildings when in use, in or near polling places on election days, and in or near schools when in session.

Customary between sunrise and sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open.

Citizens may fly it at any time.

The American flag flies continuously at the US Marine War Memorial in Washington D. C. which depicts the statue of the soldiers in the Iwo Jima flag raising photo, which was staged as said in Flags of Our Fathers. What happened to the men in it is pretty sad.

The American flag flies continuously at the US Marine War Memorial in Washington D. C. which depicts the statue of the soldiers in the Iwo Jima flag raising photo, which was staged as said in Flags of Our Fathers. What happened to the men in it is pretty sad.

May be displayed at night, on special occasions, preferably lighted.

Flies at the White House and the East and West fronts as well as the dome of the US Capitol at all times and at the US House and Senate while in session. Other places it flies continuously at: US customs and ports of entry, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine as well as Flag House Square in Baltimore, the Francis Scott Key Home, the Marine Corps War Memorial (Raising of the Flag at Iwo Jima), Battle Green at Lexington, Massachusetts, the South Pole, the Moon, Valley Forge, and other places by custom.

50 flags are continuously displayed at the Washington Monument.

A Civil War era flag flies continuously at Pennsylvania Hall at Gettysburg College.

Small flags usually fly at all times on graves of those who’ve served in the US military.

Flying the Flag at Half-Staff

To fly a flag at half staff is a sign of a nation in mourning. This is usually done upon deaths of high elected official, days of remembrance, and upon presidential proclamation.

To fly a flag at half staff is a sign of a nation in mourning. This is usually done upon deaths of high elected official, days of remembrance, and upon presidential proclamation.

Signal of mourning.

Should be hoisted to the peak before being lowered to half-staff.

Durations:

  • By presidential proclamation.
  • 30 days from the day of death for a sitting or former president.
  • 10 days from the day of death for a current Vice President, current/retired Chief Supreme Court Justice, and Speaker of the House.
  • Day of death to day to burial for associate Supreme Court Justice, cabinet member, former Vice President, Senate president pro tempore, and House and Senate majority and minority leaders.
  • Day of death to following day in DC and day of death to burial in decedent’s constituency for US senator, representative, territorial delegate, and residential commissioner for Puerto Rico.
  • Day of death to burial in the decedent’s constituency for governor.
  • On Memorial Day until noon and then raised at peak.
  • On Korean War Veterans Armistice Day (July 27), National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7), and Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15).

How to Fly the Flag

This picture illustrates how you should fly the United States flag. And believe me, the US flag code thinks of everything.

This picture illustrates how you should fly the United States flag. And believe me, the US flag code thinks of everything.

Should be hoisted briskly and ceremoniously.

Should never touch the ground or floor.

When hung over a sidewalk, union side should be away from the building.

When hung over the center of a street, union side should be to the north in an east-west street and to the east in a north-south street.

Must not fly any flag above it or to the right if flown at the same level, except at the United Nations Headquarters and only the UN flag for the former and the member states for the latter.

When 2 flags are placed against a wall with crossed staffs, it should be at right and in front of the staff of the other flag.

When a number of flags are grouped and displayed on staffs, it should be at the center and highest point of the group.

When displayed on a private estate, it shouldn’t be hung (unless at half-staff or when an all weather flag is displayed) during rain or violent weather.

Church and Platform Use

In an auditorium, must be displayed flat, above, and behind the speaker.

When displayed on a staff at church or in a public auditorium, it must hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in a position of honor on the speaker’s right while he or she faces the audience. Other flags should be placed on the left facing the audience.

When it is displayed at the floor of a church or public auditorium, it should be placed on the speaker’s left.

While it may seem like a US Flag Code violation, it's actually not since this photo was taken behind the scenes. The code calls the stars to be at the observer's left and will certainly look like this to the audience. Thus, this is correct.

While it may seem like a US Flag Code violation, it’s actually not since this photo was taken behind the scenes. The code calls the stars to be at the observer’s left and will certainly look like this to the audience. Thus, this is correct.

When displayed horizontally or vertically against the wall or hung, the stars should be uppermost and at the observer’s left.

The only acceptable time when an American flag can be draped is on a coffin during a funeral for a serviceman, public official of high standing, or first responders, especially if killed in the line of duty.

The only acceptable time when an American flag can be draped is on a coffin during a funeral for a serviceman, public official of high standing, or first responders, especially if killed in the line of duty. However, it should be removed and folded before being presented to the next of kin.

When covering a casket, it should be placed so that the union (star side) is at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave or touch the ground.

Ways to display it on a casket:

  • Closed Casket: When the flag is used to drape a closed casket, it should be so placed that the union (blue field) is at the head and over the left shoulder of the deceased. It may be said that the flag is embracing the deceased who in life has served the flag.
  • Half Couch (Open): When the flag is used to drape a half-couch casket, it should be placed three layers to cover the closed half of the casket in such a manner that the blue field will be the top fold, next to the open portion of the casket on the deceased’s left.
  • Full Couch (Open): When the flag is used to drape a full-couch casket, it should be folded in a triangular shape and placed in the center part of the head panel of the casket cap, just above the left shoulder of the deceased. (ushistory.org)

Maintaining the Flag

Look, I understand you want a picture of your cat for Facebook patriotic kitten photo contest. But still, American flags shouldn't be on the ground nor be placed in a jumbled up mess.

Look, I understand you want a picture of your cat for Facebook patriotic kitten photo contest. But still, American flags shouldn’t be on the ground nor be placed in a jumbled up mess.

When lowered, it should never touch the ground, water, or other object as well as received in waiting hands. It should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

Of course, I can attach much political symbols on this picture during the 5th anniversary of 9/11. But even Mr. and Mrs. Bush should know better than to step and wipe their feet on the stars and stripes.

Of course, I can attach much political symbols on this picture during the 5th anniversary of 9/11. But even Mr. and Mrs. Bush should know better than to step and wipe their feet on the stars and stripes.

It should never be stepped on.

Gee, Beatles, this picture of the American flag seems all right with the union at the observer's left, but it's hung a little too low since the Fab Four are basically stepping on it. Then again, I'll just let them off this one since they're fantastic and British.

Gee, Beatles, this picture of the American flag seems all right with the union at the observer’s left, but it’s hung a little too low since the Fab Four are basically stepping on it. Then again, I’ll just let them off this one since they’re fantastic and British. Also, they probably weren’t consulted.

It should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

The flag should be ceremoniously folded like this:

And here's a step-by-step graphic to show you. As my experience with folding an American flag at West Overton, you need at least one other person to do this. Seriously, you see this flag folding at military funerals.

And here’s a step-by-step graphic to show you. As my experience with folding an American flag at West Overton, you need at least a few people to do this. Seriously, you see this flag folding at military funerals.

1. Begin by holding it waist-high with another person so that its surface is parallel to the ground.
2. Fold the lower half of the stripe section lengthwise over the field of stars, holding the bottom and top edges securely.
3. Fold the flag again lengthwise with the blue field on the outside.
4. Make a rectangular fold then a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to meet the open top edge of the flag, starting the fold from the left side over to the right.
5. Turn the outer end point inward, parallel to the open edge, to form a second triangle.
6. The triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded in this manner (usually thirteen triangular folds, as shown at right). On the final fold, any remnant that does not neatly fold into a triangle (or in the case of exactly even folds, the last triangle) is tucked into the previous fold.
7. When the flag is completely folded, only a triangular blue field of stars should be visible.

How to Dispose of a Worn Flag

If you have an American flag that's worn out and torn to shreds, you can dispose it right in bins like these from organizations like the Boy Scouts, American Legion, VFW, the military, or others.

If you have an American flag that’s worn out and torn to shreds, you can dispose it right in bins like these from organizations like the Boy Scouts, American Legion, VFW, the military, or others.

When the flag is in a condition that makes it no longer an emblem for display, it must be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably burning. If you can’t do it yourself remember that you can always contact your local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Boy Scouts of America, the military or other organizations that conduct dignified flag burning and retirement ceremonies.

As your flag deteriorates, you might want to think about disposing it in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. There's a lot of organizations that take tattered flags and retire them.

As your flag deteriorates, you might want to think about disposing it in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. There’s a lot of organizations that take tattered flags and retire them.

However, if it’s made from polyester or nylon, it’s best if you have it recycled due to hazardous gases being produced while it’s being burned.

Nevertheless, if you find a damaged flag say from an era prior to 1912, you might want to have preserved in a museum immediately.

When to Salute the Flag

Unless you're a member of the band playing the National Anthem or recitation of the "Pledge of Allegiance," it's always customary to salute the flag. Servicemen do the military salute while civilians place their right hands on their hearts.

Unless you’re a member of the band playing the National Anthem or recitation of the “Pledge of Allegiance,” it’s always customary to salute the flag. Servicemen do the military salute while civilians place their right hands on their hearts.

All should face the flag, stand at attention and salute on these occasions:

1. When the flag is passing in a parade or review
2. During the ceremony of hoisting and lowering
3. While the national anthem is played
4. During the Pledge of Allegiance

During these occasions, those in uniform should render military style. Civilians should place the right hand over their heart. Men wearing hats should remove them and old it on their left shoulders during the salute.

Prohibited Uses of the Flag

Sure we may remember Janet Jackson exposing her boob at the Super Bowl in 2004. But I also remember seeing Kid Rock wearing an American flag and clutching his crotch in one of the most disrespectful ways to treat the Stars and Stripes.

Sure we may remember Janet Jackson exposing her boob at the Super Bowl in 2004. But I also remember seeing Kid Rock wearing an American flag and clutching his crotch in one of the most disrespectful ways to treat the Stars and Stripes.

Don’t dip the flag into any person or thing (except if it’s a customary ship salute).

Now this soldier has his flag upside down to say our nation is in distress over the killing of innocents in the Middle East, which is fine. However, the writing on the flag is actually more disrespectful.

Now this soldier has his flag upside down to say our nation is in distress over the killing of innocents in the Middle East, which is fine. However, the writing on the flag is actually more disrespectful.

Don’t display the flag with the union side down except as a distress signal.

It's always a tradition in pro football games to display the American flag on the field. However, it's also a violation of the US Flag Code done in the name of patriotism. Then again, it looks good for the cameras.

It’s always a tradition in pro football games to display the American flag on the field. However, it’s also a violation of the US Flag Code done in the name of patriotism. Then again, it looks good for the cameras.

Don’t carry the flag horizontally or flat, but always aloft and free.

For God's sake, this is a patriotic national symbol, not a boat cover. Show a little respect for our country, you asshole!

For God’s sake, this is a patriotic national symbol, not a boat cover. Show a little respect for our country, you asshole!

Don’t display it on a float, automobile, train or a boat except from a staff.

Apparently somebody at the Homes and Gardens channel thought an American flag would make the perfect patriotic table spread. What it really is unpatriotic disrespect.

Apparently somebody at the Homes and Gardens channel thought an American flag would make the perfect patriotic table spread. What it really is unpatriotic disrespect.

Don’t place anything on it.

Sure this may be a heartwarming photo of patriotic cuteness. But the US flag code states you shouldn't let it touch the ground or put anything on it. Babies included.

Sure this may be a heartwarming photo of patriotic cuteness. But the US flag code states you shouldn’t let it touch the ground or put anything on it. Babies included.

Don’t use it as a ceiling covering.

Now while I see nothing wrong with honoring 9/11 victims, writing their names on this flag of honor is kind of disrespectful to the American flag according to the code. No disrespect, please.

Now while I see nothing wrong with honoring 9/11 victims, writing their names on this flag of honor is kind of disrespectful to the American flag according to the code. No disrespect, please.

Don’t place any word, design, insignia, number, letter, mark, picture, or drawing on it (meaning you don’t write anything on it or use it for any design).

For a Vice Presidential candidate known for her extremely hateful conservative comments and love for traditional American values, Sarah Palin sure doesn't have any qualms about desecrating the American flag with her autograph.

For a Vice Presidential candidate known for her extremely hateful conservative comments and love for traditional American values, Sarah Palin sure doesn’t have any qualms about desecrating a sacred national symbol with her autograph.

Don’t use it as a receptacle for carrying or delivering anything.

Sure this may seem like the kind of patriotic photo op that might leave some Americans in stitches. But the Flag code specifically states that the stars and stripes shouldn't be used as a receptacle for anything.

Sure this may seem like the kind of patriotic photo op that might leave some Americans in stitches. But the Flag code specifically states that the stars and stripes shouldn’t be used as a receptacle for anything.

Don’t use it as a cover for a statue or monument.

Sure using an American flag for advertising violates the US flag code. But name a company that doesn't do this around the 4th of July. Seriously, every car dealership and beer distributor does this all the time.

Sure using an American flag for advertising violates the US flag code. But name a company that doesn’t do this around the 4th of July. Seriously, every car dealership and beer distributor does this all the time.

Don’t use it for advertising or put an advertising sign attached to the staff or halyard.

Yes, the 4th of July is a time for patriotic party supplies. But this is possibly very disrespectful to the Stars and Stripes as the Flag Code demonstrates. You might want to go with Captain America instead.

Yes, the 4th of July is a time for patriotic party supplies. But this is possibly very disrespectful to the Stars and Stripes as the Flag Code demonstrates. You might want to go with Captain America instead.

Don’t impress, print, paint, or embroider it on articles boxes, napkins, or anything designed for temporary use and discard as well as stuff like handkerchiefs and cushions.

Okay, now I know Americans love their pets and like to use them in patriotic photo ops. However, it's best you don't put an American flag where it can incur soiling and damage such as in a dog's mouth.

Okay, now I know Americans love their pets and like to use them in patriotic photo ops. However, it’s best you don’t put an American flag where it can incur soiling and damage such as in a dog’s mouth.

Don’t fasten, store, display, or use it in a manner that could leave it easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

Sure this may be a sexy patriotic photo op. But it basically goes against the US flag code to wear an American flag so it's basically desecration.

Sure this may be a sexy patriotic photo op. But it basically goes against the US flag code to wear an American flag so it’s basically desecration.

Don’t use it as part of a costume or athletic uniform except if it’s a flag patch on the uniform of military personnel, firefighters, police officers, astronauts, and members of patriotic organizations (and only as designated by that organization). However, if you should wear a flag lapel, it should be pinned near the heart.

Hmm, Mrs. Palin, I know you love America and you want to take a photo to show it. But you know you're disrespecting the US flag by basically draping it on a chair. And she's among the same people who attack Obama for not wearing a lapel pin.

Hmm, Mrs. Palin, I know you love America and you want to take a photo to show it. But you know you’re disrespecting the US flag by basically draping it on a chair. And she’s among the same people who attack Obama for not wearing a lapel pin.

Don’t use it as drapery, bedding, apparel, or decoration of any sort (save a casket during funerals for servicemen, first responders, and high public officials as long as it’s taken off and ceremonially folded). If you want patriotic decoration and drapery for a speaker’s desk, go with a patriotic bunting instead with the blue above and white in the middle.

Want a patriotic decoration you can use for a podium or platform but don't want to desecrate the American flag? Use this bunting, goddammit! You can find them at any craft store.

Want a patriotic decoration you can use for a podium or platform but don’t want to desecrate the American flag? Use this bunting, goddammit! You can find them at any craft store.

Don’t festoon, draw back, up, bunched up, or in folds, but always allowed to fall free.

When it comes to flag desecration, this is perhaps the only way to disrespect the stars and strips that will get people wanting to put you in jail.

When it comes to flag desecration, this is perhaps the only way to disrespect the stars and stripes that will get people wanting to put you in jail.

As of now, there are no penalties for desecrating an American Flag though there have been suggestions with one law from 1968 saying that it could lead to a $1,000 fine or a year’s imprisonment. Nevertheless, as you’ve seen in the media, many Americans frequently violate these rules in the US Flag Code even though it’s usually those who burn the flag at protest rallies who usually receive the most criticism and calls for prosecution. Advertisers, athletic owners, and clothing designers, not so much but you see the flag’s image desecrated like this all the time in these ways. And sometimes having the flag used in this way is seen as promoting patriotism (even though the people who do this either don’t realize what they’re doing or really don’t care). And here the political spectrum doesn’t matter since shows of flag desecration are basically an American tradition at this point, even when played not to be. Even the US government does this as well since flags are a frequent image on postage stamps. Thus, to call anyone unpatriotic for disrespecting the flag is just stupid since it’s something we basically all do at one time or another.

Even the US government isn't above disrespecting the American flag in which it issues postage stamps in its likeness. However, as Americans, we tend to allow this.

Even the US government isn’t above disrespecting the American flag in which it issues postage stamps in its likeness. However, as Americans, we tend to allow this.

For more:

USFlag.org: http://www.usflag.org/uscode36.html

FAQ on the flag: http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/faq.htm