June 22, 2013


Guest Columnist

CHICKASHA — The flag should be honored no matter what

Tiffany Martinez

There is nothing I love more than family and country. In my eyes, they are virtually the same thing.

My family is protected as it is my country, the place I call home, and my country is loved as it is my family, what I hold most dear.

These are what I cherish most in life. I would fight for them. I would die for them — because together, they compose the reasons my life is worth living.

While I can’t dictate the values of others, I will make it perfectly clear it is wrong to disrespect the place in which you reside.

Defaming the American flag is of the highest degree of disrespect. While some may claim damaging our country’s flag is just, citing freedom of expression, I equate this action to biting the hand that feeds you.

The red, white and blue is a symbol of America — it’s principals, culture, efforts, victories, losses, beauty and resilience. It connotes pride, freedom and rejuvenation, as well as honor and reverence for the heroes who have died bearing the emblem.

Of all the ways to exercise freedom of expression, resorting to defaming a flag that represents all Americans is not only wrong, it’s lazy. Delivering a speech, presenting data or writing letters are much more effective ways to address issues with the government.

The freedoms and powers we are allotted in this country should never be taken for granted, nor should they be abused. The star-spangled banner should always wave high, honored for all it represents and revered as representing the land of the free and home of the brave.

A cost of freedom is allowing people to do and say things that may make your blood boil

James Bright

The First Amendment is a fragile thing.

It faces a good deal of abuse and is regularly corrupted in order to justify the malicious means of many Americans.

However, it is this vulnerability that allows the entirety of the Bill of Rights to work.

We recently celebrated flag day. Personally, I love the American flag and enjoy a good deal of pride in regards to my nationality. With this pride comes the realization that others in this country do not share the same sentiment.

Last week a video surfaced of musician Lil Wayne stomping on an American flag while filming a music video.

I in no way advocate his actions, but I do condone them.

We live in a society that requires its populous to know, in order to be free we must extend those same freedoms to people who would use them in ways that enrage us.

It's a slippery slope for sure. Burning the American flag sparked a supreme court case, Westboro Baptist Church utilizes this freedom to promote a message of intolerance angering most and as a people, many of us scream why will no one step in and stop them?

This is the cost of true freedom though. Time, place and manner restriction can be used in order the curtail some abuses of free speech, but they need to be used sparingly.

Like everything, freedom is a double edged sword. The same rights that give power to monsters like those at Westboro Baptist, allowed for the heroic work of people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The issue cannot be tilted to benefit one side of the coin. Freedom is impartial and its abuse without interference is only evidence that said freedom is real.

I'll end this piece with the greatest evidence I have to justify the existence of true freedom.

Shortly after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, Westboro Baptist showed up to picket the funerals of those lost. The Klu Klux Klan also made the trip to Connecticut, so they could keep the members of Westboro from getting too close to the funerals.

This is the essence of true freedom, and perfectly exemplifies its beauty, which is why it cannot be tampered with or altered.