Did you get yours?
They’re illegal in the District of Columbia so don’t go driving past the White House — you could be fined $100 or locked up for 30 days.
The President’s election campaign “store” apparently got the word this past weekend. As of early Monday morning (Sept 24, 2012), clicking the “Add To Cart” button for this item elicits a very low level “Internal Server Error” suggesting they’re scrambling to make it go away.
I will presume that the direct link which you can try here — https://store.barackobama.com/obama-2012-store-collections/artists-for-obama/our-stripes-flag-print.html — will stop working probably by the time you read this. [Instant Update: Yep, the direct link stopped working as I was editing this post!]
(Fear not, the graphic above shan’t be going away — I snapped a JPG and saved my own little copy — er, uh, does that mean I violated their copyright? Hmmm. You better look quick because, if they put me on notice like someone put them on notice, I suppose the JPG above may have to disappear, too.)
Regardless, here’s the gospel concerning modification of the flag for advertising.
According to the United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 3 (link below), desecration of the flag for the purpose of advertising is illegal, but only in the District of Columbia. That’s Federal turf so it doesn’t apply to the rest of the country. Regardless, I guess someone with half a brain in the President’s support group figured out it probably wasn’t “PC” to flaunt something that carries so much symbolism of sacrifice, honor and what I can only refer to as Americanism.
If you have an inkling of what it has taken to create and preserve this country, you will feel — not know with your head but feel with your heart — what that word means.
And I must admit, I’m surprised Barack Obama’s supporters caved. It’s not like them to be Americans and lovers of The Flag.
Or do they just want to win the election before going back to their old ways?
For the hard core like me that want to “see the source”, if you search for “advertising purposes” (second instance thereof) at this full text link (http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/04C1.txt), you will find the relevant section.
But if you don’t want to bother raking off the dross, here’s a slight abbreviated version, partially extracted from the ore:
Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America; or shall expose … to public view …; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell … or give away or have in possession for sale … … shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court. … The words “flag, standard, colors, or ensign”, as used herein, shall include … any picture or representation … … by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.