CINCINNATI (TDB) -- At the moment, some folks are frostier than the snowman in the accompanying photo. Has the Cincinnati Tea Party disrespected the American flag? The picture comes from its blog. By law and custom, a U.S. flag is not supposed to be used as an ornament, nor displayed in inclement weather. And the stars are on the wrong side. Obviously, nothing intentional. Probably irrational exuberance. But the rules are encoded in federal law at Title 36 of the U.S. Code, Chapter 10, Sections 174, 175 and 176. The rules say: "The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise . . . The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free."
The Cincinnati Tea Party claims its foundation is anchored in patriotism. Certainly respect for the flag should be a priority for an organization that claims other citizens with differing political viewpoints are dedicated to the destruction of our nation, or ignorant about about the meaning of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Many of those non-Tea Party citizens have served in the military under the American flag. They pledged their lives. Imagine if the snowman with the flag as a cape scene were in front of a Democratic or Republican headquarters. There would be howling. (H/T to Jim Schifrin at the Whistleblower, who spotted this first. He suggests they violated the spirit if not the law.)