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Source: (consider it) Thread: Flags and national anthems
mr cheesy
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Egypt is threatening to imprison people who disrespect the national flag and has a habit of arresting people who wave the wrong flag.

So here's the challenge for this thread: without mentioning the USA or Trump what do you think is the morality of "respecting the flag", should a national anthem be given special protection and what is legitimate protest in terms of flags and anthems?

Are there any good reasons for protection of these symbols or is it simply about different cultural norms and attitudes?

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arse

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Barnabas62
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Global trend lines (zeitgeist) at work. Something like this?

Tribalism -- nationalism --internationalism --counter-nationalism -- tribalism.

Not a straight line, of course, nor consistent in all parts of the world. But I guess there are always visceral human tendencies at work. Charity begins at home. Blood is thicker than water. Distrust of those who are different. And these trends can be used, at a national level, by governments of all types. So flags become a symbol to be exploited in favour of "us" rather than "them".

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Baptist Trainfan
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I think the important thing that politicians should realise (but often don't) is that it is possible to make a protest against the policies, programmes or injustices of a country while still retaining huge respect and love for that country. In fact such people would say that they were honouring, not dishonouring, the flag by their protest.

Having said that, some nations seem to venerate per setheir national symbols more than others, especially if there are few other common symbols of their identity.

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Barnabas62
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Love of country doesn't have to be connected to xenophobia, and not all patriots are scoundrels. But scoundrels certainly exploit love of country, and may in the process encourage xenophobic instincts where they exist.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Matrix
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I think Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego had it about right.

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Maybe that's all a family really is; a group of people who miss the same imaginary place. - Garden State

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Boogie

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If you are offended when someone sits down for the anthem and doesn't sing it you need to look at what your problem is imo.

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Boogie

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A Guardian comment -

quote:

There's something very telling about the fact that Trump had very little to say about American Nazis marching and waving Nazi flags in Charlottesville, but suddenly has a whole lot to say about flags when a couple of football players simply want to highlight racism.



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romanlion
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

Are there any good reasons for protection of these symbols or is it simply about different cultural norms and attitudes?

I once saw two grown (albeit quite drunk) men have a serious and violent go at each other over the honor of the gold Chevrolet bow-tie versus the blue Ford oval...absolute insanity.

To me the flag thing is something like that...

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"You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook" - Harry S. Truman

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simontoad
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The only good reason I can think of is that it ... nope, I can't think of a good reason.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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simontoad
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quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

Are there any good reasons for protection of these symbols or is it simply about different cultural norms and attitudes?

I once saw two grown (albeit quite drunk) men have a serious and violent go at each other over the honor of the gold Chevrolet bow-tie versus the blue Ford oval...absolute insanity.

To me the flag thing is something like that...

lol It's Ford v Holden in this country...

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RuthW

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quote:
without mentioning the USA or Trump
Why?
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
without mentioning the USA or Trump
Why?
Well, I thought it had potential for becoming a Pond War. And there are other threads to rage against the WH.

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arse

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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Love of one's country (the motherland, the fatherland, whatever you want to call it) and the noble sentiments it stands for is an honorable thing to do.

That does not mean that the "noble sentiments it stands for" are all noble, or all worthy of honor, in everyone's eyes. Some (one could say all) need examination; some could perhaps stand correction.

Refusing to respect the flag is tantamount to giving up on one's country, turning one's back on it, saying, "This is not my country."

However, showing respect for the flag (and, by extension, the country) in a way different from how it is shown by those with whose opinions you disagree, those whose opinions are, in your judgment, not worthy of respect and cry out for examination, is the complete opposite of refusal to respect.

Since time immemorial, bending the knee has been interpreted as a sign of greatest respect and admiration -- else what was St. Paul up to in Philippians 2:10?

Indeed, it could be argued (and I do argue) that to bend the knee to the flag and the National Anthem shows greater respect and greater love for one's country than that shown by those who stand robot-like for them without thought as to what they are standing for and whether or not those tenets are noble or honorable.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
Refusing to respect the flag is tantamount to giving up on one's country, turning one's back on it, saying, "This is not my country."

This must be a pond difference, because the only thing I can think to say in response is "no it bloody isn't".

I don't even have any reasons why it isn't. The union flag just doesn't hold that sort of position in our culture. And even if it ever did, this moment was when it ended.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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simontoad
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
Love of one's country (the motherland, the fatherland, whatever you want to call it) and the noble sentiments it stands for is an honorable thing to do.

That does not mean that the "noble sentiments it stands for" are all noble, or all worthy of honor, in everyone's eyes. Some (one could say all) need examination; some could perhaps stand correction.

Refusing to respect the flag is tantamount to giving up on one's country, turning one's back on it, saying, "This is not my country."

However, showing respect for the flag (and, by extension, the country) in a way different from how it is shown by those with whose opinions you disagree, those whose opinions are, in your judgment, not worthy of respect and cry out for examination, is the complete opposite of refusal to respect.

Since time immemorial, bending the knee has been interpreted as a sign of greatest respect and admiration -- else what was St. Paul up to in Philippians 2:10?

Indeed, it could be argued (and I do argue) that to bend the knee to the flag and the National Anthem shows greater respect and greater love for one's country than that shown by those who stand robot-like for them without thought as to what they are standing for and whether or not those tenets are noble or honorable.

I get that point of view. There are many in Australia who share it, including me. But I don't think it's a
good reason. I think it's a traditional reason. I think people who hold this view ought to be very leery of those who wear the flag as a cape, or put the image of a flag on places where it shouldn't be - like a hat, or a t-shirt, or on a pair of trousers, shorts or underwear. Honestly, I'd say wearing an image of the flag should be right out. People who drape a flag around themselves should be executed on sight in a very painful manner.

Going a bit silly now. Refuse to edit. Stopping typing instead.

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simontoad
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Marvin, I have watched Midsummer Murders on a number of occasions and I think you are understating the level of flag-waving nationalism in the United Kingdom. Plus: Brexit, Boris Johnstone, Benny Hill.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Simntoad: I'm not sure. I suspect that there's quite often a bit of "tongue in cheek" as well as pride when it comes to waving the Union flag, although this will vary across Britain.

I also suspect that there's a slightly different between the use of the Welsh and Scottish flags, the Ulster flag, and the England one.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Marvin, I have watched Midsummer Murders on a number of occasions and I think you are understating the level of flag-waving nationalism in the United Kingdom. Plus: Brexit, Boris Johnstone, Benny Hill.

Sure, people wave the flag a lot at nationalistic gatherings. But I strongly doubt that any of them would be at all bothered by someone showing disrespect for it. In US terms (apparently), people do it all the time.

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Gramps49
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Considering the Caribbean has been devastated along with the Keys and a whole state in an unnamed country; considering another city in the same country is still trying to recover from a storm; considering Mexico is still digging out from an Earthquake; considering the threat of war is increasing in the Pacific--the list can go on. I could care less that people are taking a knee or staying in the tunnel until after the National Anthem is played and the flag leaves the field.

BTW in the unnamed country, before 2009 football teams would stay off the field until after the anthem had been sung and the flag left the field. It changed in 2009 when the Department of Defense offered to pay several million dollars to the NFL if the players came out and stood for the anthem.

Technically, there is no official rule in the NFL for players to respect the flag.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Marvin, I have watched Midsummer Murders on a number of occasions and I think you are understating the level of flag-waving nationalism in the United Kingdom. Plus: Brexit, Boris Johnstone, Benny Hill.

I think Brits are actually quite cagey about flags and flag-waving - the general attitude seems to be that there is a "time and a place" for waving a flag (such as during a sports tournament or during a visit from the Queen) but gratuitous use of flags at other times is frowned upon.

Partly I think this is because there are uncomfortable associations with British flags and various far-right and fascist organisations (which is odd, when you think about it) and partly I think because there is an inbuilt anti-establishment feeling in many communities.

"We'll support the national sports teams if we damn well want to, but nobody tells me to salute a flag" seems like quite a common feeling.

Partly I think it is also because there are many communities for whom the British flag never really had any strong attachment - because it represented a hated establishment - and partly I think the nationalism many young people instinctively felt before WW1 was severely dented by that war.

I think there is a sense of national pride, but I don't think Brits generally have as much invested in the flag itself as others seem to.

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arse

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Sure, people wave the flag a lot at nationalistic gatherings. But I strongly doubt that any of them would be at all bothered by someone showing disrespect for it. In US terms (apparently), people do it all the time.

The flag's a symbol, not a magic blanket.

Consider this: When the gospel book leaves the sanctuary in procession so that the gospel can be proclaimed in the middle of our Sunday service, we stand, we face the book, we sing, and we show reverence to the symbol. But the reverence is for the thing that is symbolized, not because it's a magic book.

I have several copies of that same text on bookshelves in my house; I don't bow at my bookshelves or walk around the house facing them.

So flag clothes, flag underwear, flag napkins and carrier bags, flag condoms are all fine - no disrespect is intended. Someone purposely desecrating the flag and intending to be offensive is different. And yes, I find the use of the union flag by Nazis and racists to be offensive, but it's a small sin alongside the offense caused by their racist Nazi opinions.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:

BTW in the unnamed country, before 2009 football teams would stay off the field until after the anthem had been sung and the flag left the field. It changed in 2009 when the Department of Defense offered to pay several million dollars to the NFL if the players came out and stood for the anthem.

Technically, there is no official rule in the NFL for players to respect the flag.

I used to regularly attend Ice Hockey games - a fairly minor sport in the UK with crowds of a about 5 thousand. During the National Anthem, probably 30% didn't stand and maybe 50% didn't sing.

I've never been to a big Premiership football match so I've no idea whether they'd even have the national anthem played there.

I suspect that people who may well sing enthusiastically the national anthem at an International Rugby Union or Football match wouldn't sing at a minor sports event. Time-and-place thing again; many Brits don't really see the need to respect the symbols of Britishness at a sport nobody much else is interested in and which is largely played by players from outside of the UK.

When I was young I used to watch a lot of club Rugby Union and I don't remember them playing the national anthem at all.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

So flag clothes, flag underwear, flag napkins and carrier bags, flag condoms are all fine - no disrespect is intended. Someone purposely desecrating the flag and intending to be offensive is different. And yes, I find the use of the union flag by Nazis and racists to be offensive, but it's a small sin alongside the offense caused by their racist Nazi opinions.

That's interesting and sparked a thought I hadn't considered before: some countries revere their flag in a way that many Brits revere the red poppy as a symbol.

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arse

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leo
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Dissent is a form of love for one's country - otherwise you wouldn't bother.

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Boogie

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To be honest I see no need to love my country. My neighbour, yes. Country? Why?

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Dissent is a form of love for one's country - otherwise you wouldn't bother.

Not necessarily. Your country has the power to screw you over in all kinds of ways, because you live in it. Dissent doesn't have to mean that you love your country - just that you want it to stop harming you or people like you. Or people that you like.
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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I've never been to a big Premiership football match so I've no idea whether they'd even have the national anthem played there.

Nope. The only non-international football matches the anthem is sung before are the Cup Finals. Most other sports don't sing it before any non-international matches at all, to the best of my knowledge.

Then again, we don't do pledges of allegiance before school either. And even if we did, plenty of people wouldn't.

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Baptist Trainfan
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We used to have the National Anthem (or some of it) at the end of cinema shows. People raced for the exit as the credits rolled so they could avoid it (and get to the front of the bus queue). Generally those who remained, whether at their seats or in the aisles, did stand more-or-less respectfully.

And the BBC used to play the Anthem before closing down for the night.

It's still plated at the Last Night of the Proms and everyone joins in - verse 2, too!

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leo
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I used to stay seated in the cinema - if you left early, you missed the credits, which can be interesting.

My dad used to stand to attention in the living room at the end of the evening's telly.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I think the important thing that politicians should realise (but often don't) is that it is possible to make a protest against the policies, programmes or injustices of a country while still retaining huge respect and love for that country.

They do realise this when it is protesting causes they support.

I protest with honour for my beloved country
You protest in disrespect to our country
They protest with hate to the country which supports them.

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If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Gramps49
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When I was in the military and would go to cinema on base, the national anthem would play at the beginning of the show(s). Everyone, including spouses and children, would jump to attention until after it was finished.
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leo
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A Patriotism for Today: Love of Country in Dialogue with the Witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer — Keith Clements. shows how dissent can by a form of loyalty to and love of country

[ 26. September 2017, 16:47: Message edited by: leo ]

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Gramps49
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If a certain country, that remains unnamed, would play a professional from across the border, usually the national anthem of the visiting team will be played first, followed by the national anthem of the host team. Or is it visa versa?

Of course, I am only talking about North America.

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chris stiles
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I find it somewhat hard to comprehend that kneeling in front of a flag is considered more disrespectful than flying the flag of an actual separatist movement that triggered a civil war and killed hundreds of thousands.
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Polly Plummer
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Leo, my Dad also stood to attention while the national anthem was played at close of play on the TV. We were never quite sure whether he had his tongue in his cheek.
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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

Are there any good reasons for protection of these symbols

Well, there is a long-established offence of behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace, and I imagine that if I took a stack of Union Jacks to certain neighbourhoods in Belfast and set fire to them - or the Irish tricolour in certain other neighbourhoods likewise - then I would be liable to have my collar felt.

I appreciate that is some distance from the scenarios envisaged in this thread though.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
I find it somewhat hard to comprehend that kneeling in front of a flag is considered more disrespectful than flying the flag of an actual separatist movement that triggered a civil war and killed hundreds of thousands.

It's why they're doing it that's causing the real offence. See, the people waving separatist flags are doing so because they don't like black people, but the people kneeling during the anthem are doing it because they do like black people.

Clearly, one of those stances is beyond the pale for ol' Littlefingers and his supporters.

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chris stiles
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.. and of course there are similar situations that are much closer in comparison:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/09/24/colin-kaepernick-vs-tim-tebow-a-tale-of-two-christianities-on -its-knees/

Posts: 3737 | From: Berkshire | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
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# 14322

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I used to be fairly patriotic in a non-demonstrative way, but the realisation on the morning of 24th June 2016 that the country I thought I belonged to no longer existed, has thrown that particular switch into the OFF position.

I don't go much for gestures. I wouldn't burn a flag. I would still stand for the national anthem in personal respect for Her Majesty. But it would make me angry and rather disgusted now to see displays of patriotism like the Last Night of the Proms - so I avoid that sort of thing now.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
But it would make me angry and rather disgusted now to see displays of patriotism like the Last Night of the Proms - so I avoid that sort of thing now.

I believe that this year's Last Night of the Proms had many EU flags in evidence; to the expressed disgust of Nigel Farage who thought expressions of European cultural identity had no place in a festival with many international orchestras playing music chiefly by Germans and Austrians.

[ 26. September 2017, 21:20: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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simontoad
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# 18096

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Last Night of the Proms looks brilliant from the Southern Hemisphere. My wife likes to watch it and she is a filthy leftie of the worst sort.

I want to repeat over and over again that wearing the flag or a representation of it, but especially the flag itself, is a horrible thing to do, like burning it or wiping your nose on an image of it. The main reason I want to do this is to stick it up the ultra-nationalists and the boorish flag-as-cape crowd who went around beating up anyone brown one hot and horrible afternoon at Cronulla. Please join me in expressing this opinion repeatedly so that it may catch hold in a decade or so.

If any Australians want to help me find a way to stop the Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi chant please join me in the Alan Border Walks On Water facebook group. He does. I've seen it.

Finally, at AFL games they only play the national anthem during finals matches, and many a time have I stood in the loungeroom for the national anthem at the start of the Grand Final no matter how pissed and stoned I may have been by 2:30 in the afternoon. I have also sung the first line of the anthem very loudly and then just mumbled and hummed for the rest of the number.

[ 26. September 2017, 23:48: Message edited by: simontoad ]

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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mousethief

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# 953

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I'm not sure any country has an idolatry of their flag that matches that in the US. How many other nations' national anthems are love songs to their flag? Or make their schoolchildren recite a quasi-religious bit of brainwashing every day that expresses loyalty to a piece of cloth? Requires that the flag-obsequious national anthem be played before any sporting event that has more spectators than athletes? There's a very unhealthy flag worship in this country.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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{tangent}

leo--

quote:
Originally posted by leo:
I used to stay seated in the cinema - if you left early, you missed the credits, which can be interesting.

Yes. Sometimes, there are even additional scenes with new plot points. I stay 'til the film is *completely* over.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
without mentioning the USA or Trump
Why?
Well, I thought it had potential for becoming a Pond War.
Yup.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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bib
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# 13074

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I must admit to feeling perturbed when some people in Australia decided to publicly burn the flag as some sort of racial protest. That seems more disrespectful than not standing during the anthem.

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"My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring"

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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bib--

Burning the American flag is very controversial, too. Court cases, etc. I'm not sure of the current status, but I think the Supremes said it's legal to burn it.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Gee D
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# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I'm not sure any country has an idolatry of their flag that matches that in the US. How many other nations' national anthems are love songs to their flag? Or make their schoolchildren recite a quasi-religious bit of brainwashing every day that expresses loyalty to a piece of cloth? Requires that the flag-obsequious national anthem be played before any sporting event that has more spectators than athletes? There's a very unhealthy flag worship in this country.

You're probably right about the position of the US in relation to the flag. It can't be purely because it's a republic as the veneration given in the US is not shown in any other republic of which I'm aware.

That said, when I started school we would recite each morning: "I honour my God, I serve my King, I salute my flag", at which we would salute. A suitable change in 1952 of course.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Pigwidgeon

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# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
bib--

Burning the American flag is very controversial, too. Court cases, etc. I'm not sure of the current status, but I think the Supremes said it's legal to burn it.

It has to be legal to burn it -- I believe it's considered the only proper method of disposal. So the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) can do so, but BLM supporters can't?

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
So the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) can do so, but BLM supporters can't?

SCOTUS has quite explicitly protected flag burning as a form of free speech. (Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989)) for anyone that wants the details.

(It is quite obvious, however, that burning a flag to dispose of it when it reaches the end of its useful life is not the same act as burning a flag as a protest.)

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Pigwidgeon--

When it's burned as appropriate disposal, that's out of respect. When it's burned in protest, it's deemed as (and likely is) disrespect.

Here's the US part of the Wikipedia "Flag desecration" article. The page also has info on many other countries' flag laws and traditions. Given the thread topic, might be worth comparing.

There's also a "Flag Protocol" article, though less developed.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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