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Residents Fight Back as Virginia County Proposes Measure That Would Treat the American Flag Like a Regular 'Piece of Cloth'

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Never let the flag touch the ground. Never burn the flag. Never deface the flag.

These are some of many rules outlined in 18 U.S. Code § 700, rules of respect instilled in many of us as children.

But a recent zoning amendment proposed by Fairfax County, Virginia, strips the flag of its value we recognize as Americans, labeling the Stars and Stripes as nothing more significant than any other piece of cloth.

The Washington Examiner reported on March 3 that the proposed ordinance would regulate flag height, distance between flags and distance between flags and streets.

The ordinance also defies American flag etiquette, which entails that the flag must hold the highest position when displayed alongside other flags.

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Over time, it seems we have lost much respect for the integral values instilled in us, values that have long preserved and honored our flag’s significance.

However, the American flag still has many defenders ready to fight for it.

And these people will not accept this regulation without a fight.

According to Great Falls Connection, the Great Falls Citizens Association objected to Fairfax County’s proposal, describing the zoning ordinance as “overly restrictive.”

Do you think we should fight to preserve the American flag's significance?

The volunteer organization, dedicated to supporting and advocating for solutions to problems faced by the community, adopted a resolution opposing the ordinance last month.

The members of this group, among many other Americans, recognize the flag as much more than what the resolution referred to as a “piece of cloth” implied by the proposal.

This “piece of cloth” symbolizes everything that identity politics, divisive discourse, polarizing policy and whataboutism seek to destroy.

It symbolizes what unites us: the Lockean values of life, liberty and property; the cause of freedom, a striking red, white and blue memorial for our heroes who stormed Omaha Beach, who endured freezing cold temperatures at Valley Forge, who fought to restore a divided union.

It symbolizes that all who live under its jurisdiction, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, political beliefs or background may have multiple differences but are still beholden to the dreams set into motion at the time of our founding.

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It reminds us that, all of these minuscule differences aside, we are Americans first and all else comes second.

Even around the world, our flag represents a symbol of hope, justice and freedom.

For those who came from harsh backgrounds, settled here and realized they were at last safe, the flag represents much more than a simple “piece of cloth.” It signifies a fresh and hopeful start, a new home.

The people of Fairfax County pushed back against this insulting ordinance, fighting for a worthy cause. These people are standing up for the American flag.

For the sake of our forefathers and for the sake of generations to come, we should stand up for it too.

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Taylor Penley was a political commentator for The Western Journal. She holds a BA in English with minors in rhetoric/writing and global studies from Dalton State College.
Taylor Penley was a political commentator for The Western Journal. She holds a BA in English with minors in rhetoric/writing and global studies from Dalton State College.




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