Monday, December 31, 2007

Flag follies

Today the flag ban I wrote about earlier this year went into effect here in Minnesota. It is now officially illegal to buy an American flag made in a foreign country.

For the irony-challenged (like, say, the legislators who passed this piece of stupidity), that means you are now *not* free to buy our revered symbol of freedom from the vendor of your choice.

Puts a whole new -- indeed, Orwellian -- spin on "freedom isn't free", doesn't it?

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

But is it illegal to sell one? Or is this just another law that is really makes everyone a lawbreaker like the "no phosphorus in fertilizer" law. If I remember correctly, its illegal to use fertilizer with phosphorus on your lawn, but stores can still sell it.

And we pay these people to think about such weighty matters?

Volvodriver

1/01/2008 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I just packed away all my Christmas ornaments that were "made in China"----I must say I find this attempt at making things right again as a breath of fresh air. I doubt it can...or will....be enforced though. I wouldn't wast a lot of time or money on it.....

JP5

1/01/2008 9:17 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Hey, I have no problem with people arguing that we should buy American-made flags rather than foreign-made ones.

But I have a *big* problem with criminalizing the process.

1/02/2008 8:19 AM  
Anonymous caracarn said...

Wow, this has to be one of the most bizarre chapters in the ridiculous era of flag legislation.
And JP5, I guess you don't mind this example of government intruding on people's lives and economy in some attempt at legislating morality? You call yourself a conservative?

1/02/2008 10:16 AM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

But is it illegal to sell one?

My bad. It's not illegal to buy or possess one, just illegal to sell one. Violations are punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and 90 days in jail.

1/02/2008 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caracan said...."And JP5, I guess you don't mind this example of government intruding on people's lives and economy in some attempt at legislating morality? You call yourself a conservative?"


I don't think it's a case of "legislating morality." I think it's a recognition of the absurdity of a foreign country making our countries flags that fly over our courthouses.

Would you be as upset if the federal gov't ---or a state government, for that matter, banned toys from China and said it was because so many of them are not made to our standards and have been proven dangerous?

In other words, how far does your anti "government instrusion" philosophy go? Does it make some exceptions?

JP5

1/03/2008 10:41 AM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

I don't think it's a case of "legislating morality." I think it's a recognition of the absurdity of a foreign country making our countries flags that fly over our courthouses.

And so now "absurdity" -- which, of course, is in the eye of the beholder -- is a legitimate reason to outlaw something?

Never mind that most government agencies have rules that require them to buy American-made flags. If "flying over our courthouses" was your concern, you could simply require that such flags be American-made. That still does not justify *forcing* Mr. and Mrs. Aqui to do so with the flag they want to fly on their house.

Banning dangerous toys is one thing; they're *dangerous.* Banning flags based solely on a "buy American" polemic is both excessively intrusive and untenably protectionist, tradewise.

Advocate a "buy American" strategy? Sure. Require it by criminalizing the alternative? Absolutely not.

1/03/2008 11:11 AM  

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