On 8/23/22, John Schmitz aired “smalltalk,” my segment of about 3 minutes on his podcast “Mouthwash.” I try to relate my talk to John’s topic. On 8/23 the guest, artist Theodore Winters, had painted an Indiana diner in an American flag motif after an officer was killed. 1/5
You can look up the work on-line. Since the mural involves free expression & the flag, I spoke of burning the flag as protest. Mr Winters was chagrined because, he said, the flag represents all of us & therefore is not “political.” Sorry, but Mr Winters’s distinction is w/o merit. “Political”: 2/5
“Of, relating to or involving... conduct of government.” Black’s Law Dict., 2014 ed, p. 1345. The Constitution protects political > any other speech. In Texas v Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), the Court held burning the flag is distinctively political: "[i]f there is a bedrock principle 3/5
underlying” the 1st Amendment, it’s that Gov’t can’t ban expression of an idea simply because society“finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” Mr Winters claims the flag represents us all (as compared, he notes, to LGBTQ and BLM flags) so it can’t be touched. Sorry: 4/5
no such legal distinction exists. In the 1960s, some ppl sd Love it or leave it. Those who say “change it or lose it” need to assert ourselves. I’m Mark Small: pro-choice, pro-separation of church & State, GOP nominee for Indiana House Distr 86. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it. 5/5
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