April 26, 2006

What, No Apple Pie?


Am I overthinking this?

Today, Michelle Malkin posted this image on her website followed by the simple phrase:  “Does this image bring back memories?”  She then noted how, thirty years to the day, outfielder Rick Monday secured his place in baseball history by snatched away this flag “in order to prevent the punks from burning it.”

The WAPO article Malkin linked to is a commemorative piece.  The write-up provides ample background about Monday (who is described as performing “his own Patriot Act”), but provides little context regarding the incident itself.  More background is provided by Captain’s Quarters, however.  In the fourth inning of a game between the Dodgers and the Cubs in L.A., two guys ran onto the field and attempted to set fire to the American flag.  It was at this point Monday interceded.

According to The Captain, this event — which took place a year after the end of the Vietnam War — preceded America’s high profile Bicentennial celebration by just a few months.  CQ continues:

With the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence coming up, the country had started a celebration of the event that overloaded on red, white, and blue. The nation tried to put on a coat of faux patriotism it didn’t really feel, and the entire effort felt commercialized and hypocritical. With Independence Day two months away, many already had had enough of the celebration.

Sure, this image is a symbol of pride, especially for conservative bloggers (who have had little else to cheer for lately).  Also, it more than qualifies as an anniversary moment.  However, I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a larger (and more surreptitious) agenda involved, as well.

With anti-war sentiment in the country growing by the day, could the praise of this image represent still one more way for wingnuts to equate discontent over American foreign policy with a lack of patriotism?

Or am I’m just reaching?

(image; James Roark/Los Angeles Herald Examiner/A.P. Los Angeles.  April 25, 1976.  Via Morris County New Jersey DailyRecord.com)

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Michael Shaw
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