Constitution Veterans Defend Is Under Attack From Within
December 6, 1999 - If the veterans we honor today could return to the America they saved, they would be horrified to see what has been done to the Constitution they died to protect. The one issue that would hurt the most would be that the flag under which they fought, which embodies their Constitution, has been turned to a rag; and to hear the elitist say that they died on the battlefields of America so their flag could be burned on the street corners of America.
The 1989 Supreme Court decision defining flag burning as speech should outrage every American, flag burners as well as those who love Old Glory. That decision defiled our sacred Constitution and we should all be upset whether or not we care one whit about the flag.
All our Veterans, America's nobility, once took an oath to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And every day millions of civilians take that same oath when they pledge allegiance to the flag. Although we take the oath and the pledge in the presence of Old Glory, it is the Constitution that is in our hearts.
In this century we have seen many foreign enemies to our Constitution, communists, fascists, dictators. Thanks to our veterans, they are now pretty much vanquished to the slime pit of history. There will always be foreign enemies to our Constitution, but none that we can't handle. The threat to our Constitution today is domestic. If it is ever destroyed it will be by us, as we commit suicide.
Today's enemies to our Constitution are not armed with guns and tanks. They don't wear camouflaged fatigues and bunker in the jungle. They wear black robes and expensive suits. Their bunkers are courtrooms, classroom, cloakrooms and newsrooms. Their missiles are law suits, legal dictates and media misinformation. Their casualties are parents, children, teachers and apathetic Americans struggling to do what is right and busy earning a living.
Those who assault our Constitution were trained on the playing fields of the elite and most have never seen a battlefield. Their battle cry is that toleration for offensive and evil conduct is essential to freedom, that pornography is protected speech but prayer is not. They are masters of psychological warfare. They know if they can change the language, they can change our minds. They rant and rave about civil liberties and never mention civil responsibilities. Their armor is a distorted First Amendment. Their target is the Constitution. They are determined to mold it to their ideals, never mind the ideals of the founding fathers who created it.
The enemy these elite fear most is an informed, alert, active populace. A victory for an amendment, which would return to the people the right to protect their flag, would be a devastating defeat. It would change the battlefield from courtrooms to living rooms and start a slippery slope, which could return to the people their Constitution.
Justice Hugo Black said: "Our Constitution was not written in the sands to be washed away by each successive wave of new judges blown in by each successive political wind". He also said:
"It passes my belief that any thing in the Federal Constitution bars& making the deliberate burning of the American flag an offense". The author of the First amendment, James Madison, denounced flag burning and so did Thomas Jefferson.
The flags we pledge to will wear out and be replaced, but our Constitution is ageless and must never be replaced. Abraham Lincoln said, "Don't interfere with any thing in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties".
The great patriots we honor on Veterans Day participated in the defeat of all the foreign enemies of our Constitution in this century. It is comforting to know that such warriors are joined in the battle to recapture Old Glory. They know it is not a battle over a colored cloth, it is an affirmation of their oath as soldiers, and pledge as civilians, to protect and defend the Constitution from all its enemies foreign and, tragically, domestic.
Patrick H. Brady is a retired U.S. Army Major General and Medal of Honor recipient for his actions as a helicopter medical evacuation pilot in Vietnam. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Citizens Flag Alliance.