Surrendering the Colors

By Ken Hamblin
Volume 6, Number 4 (Summer 1996)
Issue theme: "The battle for official English"

It's no secret that I can be pretty hard nosed when it comes to defending the symbolism of the red, white and blue.

I have written on numerous occasions that I am in full support of a constitutional amendment to protect this nation's flag from the whims of the disgruntled malcontents who would discard not only the symbols of America, but the very fundamental principles for which they stand.

From the first shot that sparked the American Revolution, fired off the bridge at Concord, Massachusetts, in 1775 to the flag-draped coffin that carried the broken body of Army Sgt. Donald Dugan, our nation's first casualty in Bosnia, back to his family and friends, the colors of our nation have been present to illustrate the concept of justice and freedom for which Americans of every social and economic caste have gallantly given their lives.

Freedom isn't cheap; it isn't free. An endless column of names carved into this nation's war memorials stands as testimony to that fact.

Ken Hamblin is a columnist syndicated by the New York Times and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, "The Black Avenger." I do not believe that it is possible to keep the flame of our liberty burning bright when the symbol of our unity and strength, Old Glory, is reduced to the status of a floor mat or a rage to be burned and trampled in the dirt in the name of free speech.

I believe eventually such disrespect for the symbol weakens our strength as a sovereign and free republic.

It erodes the very principles upon which our nation is built.

A prime example of that erosion is embodied in the wishes of Mabel Teng, a San Francisco supervisor who currently is lobbying for a law that would make it possible for noncitizens of the United States who have immigrated here legally to vote in school board elections.

By the logic of supervisor Teng, as recounted in a recent edition of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Legally registered aliens living in the United States [I wonder how many coincidentally happen to reside in the supervisor's district] work and pay taxes and just because they have not passed the legal requirements for citizenship, we (lawful citizens of the U.S.) should not disenfranchise them.

Disenfranchise them? When did they earn the right to be enfranchised?

Disagree with me if you will, but I think this is the kind of disjointed left-wing political rhetoric that comes from trashing, denouncing and reducing the traditions and the symbols of our nation - such symbols as the flag - to nothing more than a red, white and blue rag.

Clearly such disrespect has inspired politicians like Teng to conclude that we are a nation of people who have matured to passively accept the public denunciation of our heritage and our national symbols, so we must be ready for the sanctity of our citizenship to be snatched away.

"the right to vote [given to] legal immigrants is an obvious next step for an indulgent San Francisco politician."

With tens of thousands of illegals slipping across our southern border every year and openly demanding to be fed, clothed, housed, educated and medically comforted, I guess we should realize that the right to vote for legal immigrants is an obvious next step for an indulgent San Francisco poli-tician.

Why not? After all, I'll bet the illegals in her district already are garnering all of the benefits of the legal immigrants.

To justify her proposition, Teng uses New York as an example of a state where noncitizens who have legally immigrated to the U.S. have been given the power of the vote in school board elections.

Well, I say no. Two wrongs do not make a right. I mean, why bother to become a citizen of the U.S. and live up to your civic duties when you can demand and get all the benefits without any of the headaches?

Headaches like sending your son or daughter to far away places such as Iraq and Bosnia when the government calls.

I think bold and shameless demands like Teng's are just one more reason why Mr. and Mrs. America ought to hang their heads in shame to weep over the pathetic job we have done when it comes to maintaining the legacy of this great nation.

Proposals like the one from Teng can't help but give me pause to wonder where and when did we misplace our national pride? Could it be we lost it on the day we surrendered the colors?