Walking on the American Flag is NOT Art!

This is from my good friend Dr. Bill Smith at ARRA News Service – Walking on the American Flag is Art, please click the link, read the story, watch the video, get involved, don’t just sit back and take this kind of crap…

Bill Smith, Editor, Update on Story – Below is the video of the disgraceful flag desecration project. Watch a heroic veteran take a stand. As a veteran – I was moved to tears. I located and interviewed the veteran. He is Charlie Bennett, Dist 4 Commander, Maine American Legion. He is Vietnam veteran having served (1967-1979). For 11 1/2 months, he was on the Cambodian border with the 4th Infantry Division, U.S. Army. Bennett is a proud supporter of protecting the American Flag. He shared that he did not mind the criticism by campus officials and was proud to take a stand, but that he almost cried when the police indicated they were going to arrest him. He had always faithfully served his country and was hurt to think he would be arrested for protecting the American Flag. Commander Bennett has received numerous phone calls by people encouraging him to continue and has been called by the local news. He welcomes interviews and can be reached at 207-778-2340. As of this post, Charlie Bennett is returning to the front lines (the university) today but this time with his own “parade flag” and a sign that says ” You won’t walk on this flag!” We hope that many students and other veterans will stand with him. Charlie our prayers are with you!

Please pass this video and info on to others and contact the Univ. of Maine Farmington and express your outrage! The two of the persons in the video supporting the flag desecration project are are University leaders: the University’s President, Theodora Kalikow (the old “witch” who is seen telling Bennett that the project of walking on the flag is defending free speech) and the University’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Allen Berger (the liberal educator who is seen telling Bennett that he (Bennett) didn’t fight for a piece of cloth). If Don’t expect agreement, but take time to express your Free Speech to Theodora Kalikow (kalikow@maine.edu or 207-778-7256) and Allen Berger (aberger@maine.edu or 207-778-7276.

Much More Here:
Walking on the American Flag is Art

I am posting this in support and I hope MANY others will as well, let these asshats KNOW that there are REAL Americans out here, and we RESPECT the flag and what it stands for, and let them know, we’re mad as hell and we’re NOT going to take it any more!!

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22 Responses to Walking on the American Flag is NOT Art!

  1. Kate says:

    Posted on this yesterday, and linked to Stop the ACLU, where I found the story. I hope that little……student….. I’m a lady, so I can’t really say what I’m thinking, or feeling! Some people don’t deserve the freedoms of those who fought and died for that “symbol”! I would encourage any alumni from Yale to protest in the most viable way. NO DONATIONS!

  2. TexasFred says:

    I don’t link to or even read Stop the ACLU any more…

    I asked them for help, on 2 different occasions and I got ZIP!!

    But I got requests for help and support FROM them almost daily…

    Screw ‘em, this blog stuff is a 2 way street, and I didn’t need their link that bad…

  3. jo says:

    Swiped and trackbacked and thank you.

  4. BobF says:

    A fellow Blogger wrote the president of the school about this disgraceful display and here’s his reply.

    “From: Theo Kalikow To: Subject: Re: Please End the UMF American Flag Desecration Display Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 12:57:20 -0400 The display was taken down last night. It had permission to be installed for 24 hours only, and was taken down at the artist’s initiative considerably before that time. That being said, our American First Amendment protections include the right to free speech and artistic expression, even speech that is repugnant and unpleasant and offensive. UMF, as a teaching and learning institution, has an obligation to foster debate and disagreement about difficult subjects — this is an essential part of our democracy. Thanks for your expression of your point of view. Sincerely, Theodora J. Kalikow, President. “

  5. RTaylor says:

    Thanks for sharing this with our blogs – have it and the graphic up on ATAW. This burns my…………. I can’t even type straight…..

  6. David Hill says:

    It is actions like this from people who are teaching our children that create a society where life has no value. It is a wonder that there are not more School takeovers and killings when respect and dignity are not being taught and in some places, practiced. The Freedom of Speech our Founding Fathers’ gave their lives for was never intended to insult for the sake of insulting. Patrick Henry must be spinning in his grave.

    If they hate this country so much that they could disgrace it in this manner, I think they should give up their citizenship and get the Hell out of My Country. My Country is PROUD, JUST, and UNDER GOD. Not under whatever deity the Liberals have created for themselves this month.

    David
    Make-A-Statement.org  

  7. TexasFred says:

    from: TexasFred
    to: kalikow@maine.edu
    date Apr 17, 2008 6:37 PM
    subject Walking on the American Flag is NOT Art!
    mailed-by texasfred.com

    Saying “Our American First Amendment protections include the right to free speech and artistic expression, even speech that is repugnant and unpleasant and offensive” may give some asshat a ‘right’ to express himself like a fool but that doesn’t make it less offensive or socially correct…

    Many have fought and died so this cretin could show his total disrespect for the flag of our nation, you would think that some would exhibit the tact, decorum and RESPECT to not use this mockery in a pitiful attempt that was specifically designed with the express intent to offend and shock the American public…

    And then to have the BALLS to call it ART as a form of justification as they hide behind a thin veil of constitutional freedom??

    Shameful, totally shameful!


    http://TexasFred.net

  8. Jackie Smith says:

    Apparently 911 had no meaning to these people or if it did it was short lived. Does something bigger than that have to happen to this country before these idiots will have respect? It disgusts me.
    What happened to good old fashioned Patriotism?????

  9. Debbie says:

    Obviously Democrat, Liberal with too much time, money and American-hatred on their hands.

  10. GM Roper says:

    Get it up in a few… thanks for the tip Fred.

  11. Kate says:

    I can understand your frustration. No offense taken. :)

    That’s the email address of the moron…aka old fart who was defending the trash’s so called art? I think he was the dean or something?

  12. Old Soldier says:

    I saw this on another blog today, and got so pissed off, I had to leave work and go walk. People like these do not even deserve any comment. If they were in Texas the hospital is where there new home would be. I am a retired Vet and have lost friends fighting for our flag, and it is not just a piece of cloth, it is what america is all about. Problem is to many alledged Americans taday are forgetting this. Better start remembering or we may be flying another flag over the White House someday. I am still to pissed off to say anymore, because I will say to much.

  13. Carl says:

    And to think we’re being told not to question their patriotism…

    TO HECK WID DAT!

    We need to question the patriotism of every idiot like that as well as the loony-left, Code Pink, etc.

  14. BobF says:

    When a military member swears an Oath of Enlistment there is always an American Flag present; a requirement. When military members hear the National Anthem being played, they will always stand at attention and face the American Flag if it’s present; if outdoors they will salute. When the American Flag passes in review, military personnel will always stand and salute the Flag. When a military member dies in service to his country, an American Flag will cover their casket. At the funeral of a deceased member, that flag will be presented to his/her next of kin. The flag will be folded with the utmost precision and cradled like a new born child until presentation is made. When a hero or great American dies, it’s the flag that’s flown at half staff to signify a nation in mourning.

    Throughout history, men have literally sacrificed their lives to keep the American Flag raised during battles. The Flag Bearer was a position of honor and entrusted only to the best and bravest of soldiers.

    Medal of Honor recipient, Private Joseph E. Brandle:

    During the Civil War, the job of color bearer was one of the most hazardous as well as important duties in the Army. Soldiers looked to the flag for direction and inspiration in battle and the bearer was usually out in front, drawing heavy enemy fire while holding the flag high. On Nov. 16, 1863, regimental color bearer Pvt. Joseph E. Brandle, from the 17th Michigan Infantry, participated in a battle near Lenoire, Tenn. “…Having been twice wounded and the sight of one eye destroyed, he still held to the colors until ordered to the rear by his regimental commander.”
    http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/smith/medal/index.html

    What these people fail to realize is that the American Flag is the symbol of our nation. That flag represents all that our men and women fight for. It’s the visible representative of the Constitution of the United States and therefore leads our troops into battle, brings them home when they have fallen in battle, and is present when we lay them to rest.

    To some people the American Flag is nothing but a brightly colored dish rag. To others it represents all their nation stands for and those who fought and died defending the Constitution while looking to the Flag.

  15. GUYK says:

    It does piss me off and give me the urge to see if my uppercut and left cross still works on dumb shits. But, I devoted over 22 years of my life to protect the right for a dumb shit to express himself. I would much rather see this sumbitch have the right to desecrate the flag then to see freedom of speech curtailed…but I do wish duals were legal..it would stop a lot of the misuse of the freedom of speech.

  16. TexasFred says:

    Guy, you should know as well as I do, people like that wouldn’t have the GUTS to stand and fight, just like some Canadian ASSHOLE up in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada that wanted to take me to task over MY views of the Palestinian infestation in Israel, he thinks they have a right to live like anyone else, but I’d bet ya dollars to donuts that the SOB hasn’t got the BALLS to make a stand and cover his ground…

    People like this are a waste of good oxygen, they are a pimple on the ass of humanity, maybe we need to pop a few more of em…

    They have a right to ‘expression’?? Well by GOD, we have a right to express out outrage, maybe the blood splatters will fall in some fancy little faggy artistic pattern and they’ll appreciate it even more…

  17. William Hensinger says:

    It’s time to stop this nonsense of treating our national emblem, the American Flag, as if it were the enemy by our own citizens. The people who do it advance hatred and terrorism against our own country. Deport them and let them try this somewhere else.
    William Hensinger Vietnam Vet.

  18. Thank you TexasFred for posting this story and referencing our post at ARRA News Service. I was really moved by a moved by a number of comments on your site on our story. I was also please to see that many cross posted the story and/or got involved and let the University officials know their opinion on this issue.

    As retired military who lost too many friends and comrades who had their caskets draped with our flag and then presented to their surviving spouse or family member in solemn appreciation of their ultimate sacrifice for their county, I resented this affront to our flag greatly. I was most honored at my retirement when a flag flown over the Capitol in honor of my retirement was presented to me. I could go on with a long line of lineage and association in my family with the flag of the United States, but it would run pages.

    I cross posted many of the comments shared on your site along with a link back to your story so that our readers may view them.

    To all who served and to all those who honor our countries flag, I say God Bless you. To those who dare to tread on our flag: How thankless you have been in respecting others and our country. I wish you the best in securing a one-way ticket to Iran or any number of countries where you may enjoy your remaining short days of arrogance.

  19. I sent this letter to the President of UMF today:

    Dear President Kalikow:

    It was a great deal of distress that I learned of the student project last week at UMF that involved desecration of the American flag. Equally disturbing was the response that you and your staff made in defense of the project. I feel that the University has personally insulted me and my beliefs.

    The American flag is the symbol of our nation, not just a “piece of cloth” as Vice President for Academic Affairs Allen Berger was quoted as saying. When I see it flying free in the wind my pulse quickens. No matter where I am in the world on my travels, the flag reminds me of all that is good about our country. It is a visible representation of the Constitution and represents all that our men and women fight for. It leads our troops in battle, brings them home when they have fallen, and is the dominant symbol when we lay them to rest. Desecration of the flag, as happened last week at UMF, is a direct insult to me and all the other Americans who hold the American flag dear.

    The United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, §8 Respect for the flag states: “No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America… (b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise; and (c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.” The Flag Code is a guide to insure proper respect for the flag, and was clearly not followed with Tuesday’s “art project”. What happened on Tuesday was desecration of the American flag.

    I understand that the project was part of a class assignment from Kate Randall, the instructor for The Cultural Relationship of Art and the Personal Politic class at UMF. One of Randall’s students, Susan Crane, developed a project involving the American flag. The project was approved and carried out on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at the UMF student center, and involved placing the flags in a pattern on the floor “to see if people would choose to avoid them or would walk on them” (quote from the Daily Bulldog) as part of her project.

    As a taxpayer and a veteran, I would have to give Randall a failing grade for either a poorly thought-out class assignment to her students or poor mentoring of student ideas, or both. If media accounts are accurate the project apparently involved little art and less science. I’m not sure what it intended to test, nor what conclusions could be drawn from such a small experiment. There was, however, a great deal of disrespect for the strongly held feelings of a huge number of citizens who revere the American flag

    When you responded to criticism that the art project was desecration of the American flag you were quoted as saying: “…our American First Amendment protection includes the right to free speech and artistic expression, even speech that is repugnant and unpleasant and offensive. UMF, as a teaching and learning institution, has an obligation to foster debate and disagreement about different subjects — this is an essential part of our democracy…”

    I believe you are missing the point with your statement. It is not a question of whether you are allowed to do something as a First Amendment right, but if you should do it as a responsible citizen of our democracy. Randall and UMF have contravened the University’s own mission statement in encouraging and approving this project, and I am disappointed in the comments you have made in defense of the project as purely a First Amendment issue.

    You and I agree that the Freedom of Speech that our Constitution protects is an important right, integral to our free society. However, just as important to maintaining a free society is the obligation inherent on every citizen to show respect and dignity for the values that make our democracy work. If life has no value, if each of us has no obligation to anyone other than ourselves, then our free society as a whole suffers and will ultimately fail. That obligation is especially true for institutes of higher learning such as UMF to present a living example of the importance of respect and dignity to their students. This is an inherent element of preparing students as responsible citizens.

    UMF’s mission statement calls for preparing students to be (among other things) responsible citizens. According to the US Department of Education Partnerships in Character Education Project Program being a responsible citizen involves several values including “…honoring the democratic ideals on which the country is based…, respecting and obeying its laws and honoring its flag and other symbols [emphasis added]. It also involves accepting the responsibilities of good citizenship, such as keeping informed about national issues, voting, volunteering and serving the country in times of war.”

    It is not just myself and other veterans who believe that the American flag is special In one of the dissents to the narrow 5-4 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Texas v. Johnson (491 U.S. 397 (1989)), Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote “The American flag, then, throughout more than 200 years of our history, has come to be the visible symbol embodying our Nation…The flag is not simply another “idea” or “point of view” competing for recognition in the marketplace of ideas. Millions and millions of Americans regard it with an almost mystical reverence regardless of what sort of social, political, or philosophical beliefs they may have…”

    Justice John Paul Stevens, another of the dissenting justices in Texas v. Johnson wrote that the flag “is more than a proud symbol of the courage, the determination, and the gifts of nature that transformed 13 fledgling Colonies into a world power. It is a symbol of freedom, of equal opportunity, of religious tolerance, and of good will for other peoples who share our aspirations. The value of the flag as a symbol cannot be measured…” Stevens then said that desecration of the American flag “…involves disagreeable conduct that, in my opinion, diminished the value of an important national asset…”

    As instructors and mentors of our youth, the taxpayers of Maine expect you to be sensitive to the need to show respect and dignity for the values that make our democracy work in everything you do. We expect you to use common sense in molding our youth, so that they will be enlightened, educated, sensitive and productive members of our democracy when they graduate. We don’t ask you to love our American flag, but we do expect that you will show respect and dignity for those of us that do.

    Remember the words of United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes when he wrote: “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic…” (Schenck v. United States, 1919). It is too easy to hide behind the “Freedom of speech” defense when you should be using common sense, respect and dignity to guide your actions.

    I would sincerely hope that the sincere dissent by veteran Charles Bennett on Tuesday would be taken to heart. In the future the University should show respect and dignity for him and others who hold the American flag dear to their hearts as you carry out the University’s mission of preparing students for a better life as responsible citizens.

  20. AngryAMERICAN says:

    TexasFred and others-

    I too wrote our Dr. Theodora Kalikow a nice
    letter.

    I will have to copy and paste my letter and
    her response.

    I am very angry that these PROFESSORS,
    TEACHERS and ADMINISTRATORS feel that
    a students “art project” is more important
    than the FEELINGS of AMERICA.

    Do they really think this assignment wouldn’t
    enrage the public. I am not a veteran. I do
    however put our AMERICAN flag on a flagpole
    each day at work. I am outraged that such a
    “replica” display or our AMERICAN flag was
    allowed to touch the floors of their UNIVERSITY
    and then tell a veteran of the Marines….too bad
    if you touch the flag replica we will have you
    ARRESTED.

    Someone needs to give the administrators a
    good boot in the ass….as the song goes….

    Angry American

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