I will keep this as short as possible, because my opinion is no more important than any other opinion.
The flag of the United States is yours. You can do with it what you wish. I respect your right as an American to express your freedom of speech, as well as any other freedom our nation allows.
However, in my humble opinion, the flag isn’t just a national symbol of freedom. It’s the reason men laid down their lives in foreign lands. It’s a symbol of the fire that drove young men and women in times of despair and hopelessness that you and I will never understand.
Soldiers fell to the ground from bullet wounds received making sure that our flag never touched the ground. Widows received this flag because their husbands weren’t coming home.
These soldiers live in on the thoughts of those who endured their loss. The flag represents their sacrifice, made for all who continue living under the freedom that they so selflessly defended.
If you have problems with our current administration, voice and defend that opinion however you please. But when you burn our flag, you aren’t just voicing your opinion. You are desecrating the memory of someone who died for you. You turn your back on the families who sent sons to war, and received letters of sorrow in return.
By all means, exercise your freedom. Use the rights you are allowed by being an American. But, by God, acknowledge that we didn’t earn these freedoms. They were placed at our feet by bloody hands, with more humility and love than we could ever hope to be worth.
Please, think about these freedoms, and their price, before you act. Those who have fallen deserve that and so much more. I’d say more, but this is only my opinion.
Kyle Harris is a junior military science major from Jackson.