Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Man Fired for Being Patriotic?

with 3 comments

Flag Pin

Well, the Drudge Report, that inestimable web site that keeps its finger firmly on the pulse of the conservative right has brought another important story to American’s attention:

Hotel Fires Man Who Wore US Flag Pin

Veterans Among Many Angered By Hotel’s Stance

There are so many things about this story that make me want to pound the walls and scream. That however would annoy the neighbours, scare my cats, and bruise my hands; so I’ll resort to ranting on my blog. That’s what it’s for.

Let’s start with the headlines. “Hotel Fires Man Who Wore US Flag Pin.” To call this deliberately misleading would be at best an understatement. He wasn’t fired for wearing a US flag pin, he was fired for refusing to comply with his employer’s dress code. Businesses have the legal entitlement to ask their employees to conform to a dress code, this is well established in US law. And when this man accepted his job he was no doubt informed of the dress code. So not only is the hotel on sound legal ground, the man who was fired deliberately chose to violate the terms he had agreed to when accepting the job.

The second part of the headline is even more misleading. And irrelevant. The hotel doesn’t have a “stance,” it has a dress code, like almost all businesses of its type, so what? And how the hell is this a veteran’s issue? The man is a veteran, but so what? His status as a veteran is again, irrelevant. He wasn’t fired because he was a veteran for God’s sake. Lastly, I’m a veteran, and I’m angered by his stance, not the hotel’s. How the hell does being a veteran give him the right to wear his flag pin anywhere he pleases? Is that really what our veteran’s fought for, special privileges that allow him to decide his own dress  code at work? Excuse me, but if he insists on wearing a flag pin at work, he needs to find anther job or work for himself. It’s a free country, deal with it.

Moving right along, the main thing that bothers me about this. What does wearing a flag pin have to do with patriotism? Wearing a flag pin doesn’t make one a patriot anymore than wearing a cross makes one a  Christian. Being a patriot is about doing what’s best for one’s country and one’s fellow Americans. It especially means going the extra mile to defend one’s country when it is attacked. (Which hasn’t happened since 1941 I might add.) It means defending the Constitution and the laws of the land. And yes, it means honouring genuine American heroes, and respecting them and all Americans. It doesn’t mean flag waving or demanding special privileges for oneself, at least not in my book.

So frankly, this guy might be a veteran, but he’s not much of a patriot. If he was a patriot he wouldn’t be so goddamned narcissistic about wearing his pin. Americans died defending his freedom, not defending his made-up right to wear a flag pin anywhere he pleases. By making a big deal about this non-issue and invoking the “patriot card,” he is disrespecting the true American heroes who fought defending his freedom. If his patriotism is so weak that he invokes it in this way, he should try doing something really patriotic like working in a  soup kitchen. I respect patriots who try to make America a better place by being good citizens. People can wear all the flag pins they wants, but if they aren’t working for a better America, they aren’t patriots.

Lastly, it’s appalling to me that this is any sort of news story at all. With all that’s going on in the country, both domestically and internationally, this is important? No, it’s not. But it is the sort of divisive idiotic distraction the media, left and right, use to keep people riled up and avoiding looking at the real issues facing this country. Thank you Drudge Report for doing your part to distract and divide Americans,  trivialize patriotism, and confuse it with  mindless flag waving.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, it’s central to illustrating the post, and its use here in no conceivable way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. I don’t know who to attribute it too, but I got it from this site.  I understand the comments and flame wars on the hotel flag pin story linked above are fascinating in a  “Gorillas in the Mist” sort of way.)


Written by unitedcats

October 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Why say “It especially means going the extra mile to defend one’s country when it is attacked. (Which hasn’t happened since 1941 I might add.) ”

    Had Japan treated the USA the way we treated Japan, we’d have been the ones attacking. In 1902 Japan and Britain signed a mutual defense treaty. The USA was very upset about this, and worked hard to get Great Britain to break the treaty. Instead it was renewed several times. Around 1906 Japan came close to going to war with the USA because in California we chose to segregate Japanese kids in public school. Had they attacked us, Great Britain would have had to support them against us. We finally got Britain to end the treaty in 1923. But not before the Sempill of 1921, which was to aid Japan developing its aeronaval forces. After this treaty ended Japan was distrustful of Britain and the USA.

    Also it was the United States back in 1854 which a cannon point forced Japan to sign a treaty to “open” Japan.

    Re the Sempill mission
    Japanese pilots were instructed in the use of biplane* torpedo bombers, and those planes were sold to the Japanese Navy. The plans of Britain newest aircraft carrier were over the objections of the Admiralty sold to Japan. This was a boon to Japan, and helped with the sinking of the battle cruiser Repulse, and the battleship HMS Prince of Wales off Malaya on 10 Dec 1941.

    btw biplane torpedo bombers were not obsolete in 1941. It was a biplane the Fairey Swordfish whose torpedo jammed the rudder of the Bismark.

    Wade O Kane

    October 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    • I am well aware of the perfidious role the US played in creating the situation that led to Japan and the USA gong to war, though some of the details you mentioned were unknown to me. That wasn’t why I mentioned it though, I was pointing out that this was the last time the USA as involved in a real war with other nation states. The implication being that calling 9/11 an “attack on the USA” and the subsequent “war on terror” being somehow equivalent to World War Two is bullshit. Thanks for commenting. — Doug


      October 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm

  2. The USA has not had a constitutionally valid ‘war’ since WW2. And now the Peace Prize winner Obama has murdered another country leader in a “kinetic action”… not a war mind you, in which congress was NOT EVEN CONSULTED.

    But Obama wears his US flag pin proudly, yet he does not walk the walk or heed the constitution. Sadly Flag pins are more likely worn by absolutists instead of true patriots. Steer clear of anyone wearing one is my advise.

    In a ‘at will’ employment, a person can be fired for almost any reason, and that includes wearing a flag pin.

    John Galt

    October 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

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