mark maynard’s official flag burning kits

I have this idea to manufacture and sell “Flag Burning Kits” on Ebay, but, before I do anything about it, I need to find out whether or not it’s illegal to send lighter fluid through the mail… Can one of you without a job please look into that for me?

And, here, because I’m too lazy to post anything original on the subject of the asinine constitutional amendment against flag desecration, is a clip from Think Progress:

The U.S. Congress is closer than ever to passing a constitutional amendment that would criminalize desecration of the U.S. flag. If successful, it will mark the first time in 214 years that the Bill of Rights has been restricted by a constitutional amendment, and will place the United States among a select group of nations that have banned flag desecration, including Cuba, China, Iran, and Iraq under Saddam Hussein. The amendment has already been approved by the necessary two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives, and last week it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a near-party line 11-7 vote. Now, aided by a handful of Democrats, the amendment has gathered 66 votes in favor, just one shy of passage. “Whether advocates can find the 67th vote to send the flag amendment to the states for ratification remains unclear.” The Senate vote is expected next week. Take a stand now by signing up with Veterans Defending the Bill of Rights.

Defacing a flag is an act that most Americans find offensive and outrageous. It is also “an act of protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” as established by the Supreme Court in Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), and reaffirmed in U.S. v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990). It takes no courage to stand for freedom of speech for the views with which we agree. Rather, favoring freedom of speech means favoring freedom of speech precisely for those views one finds offensive and outrageous. As Colin Powell has said of the First Amendment, affirming his opposition to a flag-burning amendment, “I would not amend that great shield of democracy to hammer a few miscreants. The flag will be flying proudly long after they have slunk away.”

And, if you’re a designer who’s got a few extra minutes on his or her hands, I’d also appreciate an image to accompany my Ebay auction… I’m thinking that it should linclude an American flag, a box of matches, a can of lighter fluid, and, maybe, a ski mask… What am I forgetting? Maybe a framed copy of the Bill of Rights to stand in front of when you light it up? Anything else?

Oh… and it’s probably also worth noting that while we’re occupying ourselves with criminally foolish nonesense like this, we’re losing the war on terror, the situation in Iraq is getting much worse (despite what we’re bring told), and the North Koreans are fueling a rocket that could potentially reach the coast of California.

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16 Comments

  1. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted June 20, 2006 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    And Connie Chung is singing!

    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/37775/

  2. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted June 20, 2006 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I’m issuing a press release this afternoon about my plans to par boil the flag.

  3. Dr Cherry
    Posted June 20, 2006 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I believe you can ship lighter fluid in small amounts.

    See section “US Postal Service regulations regarding shipping alcohol”:

    http://www.gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm

    I suggest sending them natural fiber flags so they don’t create any nasty chemicals when they’re burned.

    A side note: I believe the “proper” way to dispose of a tattered or soiled flag is to burn it. So say a flag in a person’s posession becomes soiled or tattered, the only proper thing to do is burn it.

  4. Dr Cherry
    Posted June 20, 2006 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh, you might want to throw an ACLU bust card on that list.

    http://www.aclu.org/racialjustice/racialprofiling/15865pub20040714.html

  5. msiono
    Posted June 20, 2006 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    The U.S. Flag Code states, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning”.

    and… Nonmailable and Restricted Articles and Substances Generally

    8.5 Harmful Matter

  6. Jack
    Posted June 20, 2006 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you could “pre-soak” the flags in a material that would help it burn faster.

    Scorpions mailed for medical research? Infernal machines? Who writes this stuff?

  7. ChelseaL
    Posted June 21, 2006 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t allowed to send helium balloons through the mail.

  8. Ted Glass
    Posted June 21, 2006 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    What about a copy of the Drew Barrymore film “Firestarter”? I may be mistaken, but I think it tells you how to combust things with your mind.

  9. Collin
    Posted June 21, 2006 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Well, crap. So much for the infernal machine I ordered from Hell. I knew I should have chosen FED-EX.

  10. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted June 28, 2006 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    The flag buring amendment thankfully failed to pass by one vote.

  11. mark
    Posted June 28, 2006 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    We should send letters thanking the Republicans who crossed their party and chose to do what was right instead of what was politically expedient.

  12. Jeffro
    Posted December 4, 2007 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Make sure you put your “Contact” address on the instructions shipped with the kit, in case we need further instructions, etc. The beauty of this kind of kit is that it can be used for more than one thing, like torching your friggin’ house and car, loser. I think that’s the Al Qaeda recruiter knocking at your door. Make sure you read the fine print on the application (especially the part that says: blah, blah, blah… We may insist that you strap on an explosive laden garment and allow us to remotely detonate it when we want to).

    …oh, I forgot, you live in a dumpster. Never mind.

  13. Steph's Dad
    Posted December 4, 2007 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Who would have thought someone named Jeffro would have such keen insight? I feel as though I’ve just been taught a very valuable lesson.

  14. egpenet
    Posted December 4, 2007 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    I’d recommend that the “kit” be a simple glass box containing six kitchen matches and a small strip of sandpaper. Instruction would be on a clear adhesive sticker on the bottom:

    MARK MAYNARD’S FLAG BURNING KIT

    FOR USE BY CITIZENS OF THE WORLD ONLY AT APPROPRIATE TIMES, SUCH AS: WHEN YOUR LEADERS LIE, WHEN THEY START AN UNJUST WAR, WHEN TAXES AREE RAISED, OR WHEN A FAMILY MEMBER DIES ON FOREIGN SOIL FOR NO GOOD REASON. OTHER GOOD REASONS MAY OCCUR AT GOD’S DISCRETION. YOU ARE FREE TO ACT ON YOUR OWN.

    INSTRUCTIONS: 1) Select flag of choice. 2) Break glass and retrieve contents. 3) Strike match against rough surface (provided). 4) Hold flame to flag of choice. 5) If first match does not ignite upon striking, repeat step 3, as directed. Repeat, as necessary, until conflagration occurs to your delight.

    …. just a suggestion.

    Oh … MADE IN CHINA

  15. Olaf
    Posted February 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    You would have made a fortune abroad.

  16. Patriot
    Posted May 29, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Damn. I would have loved to have ordered one in time for Memorial Day. I can’t imagine a better way to commemorate the reauthorization of the Patriot Act.

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