Last week Barbara and I stopped by to see the Devil's Punchbowl on the way to Las Vegas, and while we were there I noted a display case near the visitor's center that contained an American flag -- and which, I assume, used to contain a gold-fringed flag. Evidently someone expressed concern over the "meaning" of a gold-fringed flag and wrote to his state assemblyman about it, and the assemblyman sent a response which is now posted inside the case.
I couldn't help but burst out laughing when I read the letter. The assemblyman farmed out the issue to a staff member, and apparently that staff member's "research" consisted of Googling on "gold-fringed flag" and copying down whatever she found, blissfully unaware that the information came straight from one of the web's many conspiracy loon sites. So, the assemblyman's official response informed his constitutent that:
a) Displaying a U.S. flag with gold fringe automatically converts any state or federal court into a military court.
b) Displaying a U.S. flag with gold fringe is not only an illegal "mutilation" of the flag, it also suspends the Constitution.
Now remember, this information was actually sent as an *official response* by a California state assemblyman (a response which said assemblyman hoped the recipient would find "enlightening and informative") to a constituent. It was so bizarre that I had Barbara take pictures of it to make sure I could document it:
Ahaha! Oh thank you for that laugh Snopes. Leave it to you to debunk the California government.
Yeah, so I guess that means that my school lunch rooms were displaying a mutilated flag and that we were under social anarchy. It also means that the school districts were employing criminals, because after all, who else but them would have allowed such a flag to be displayed.
Hmm, I wonder what some of the Boy Scout Troops would think if they knew that as well.
-------------------- Tom, we're flying a giant robot into space! "Safe" isn't the first word that springs to mind! - Colleen, Last Hope, Vol.2 Posts: 2710 | From: Meet me in St. Louis | Registered: Mar 2004
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J. Thaddeus Toad
The Red and the Green Stamps
This was the first result of a quick Google of one of the phrases in the response: http://xacho0.tripod.com/flags.htm The italicized portions on both the site and the letter are nearly identical. Here's another quote from that site:
quote: The bottom line is this. Do you really want to be free? Read the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. Consider the fact that the United States constitution does not apply, because of martial law. Would you rather fight for a free sovereign nation, or remain a slave under the rule of martial law? All of the information I have provided is easily verifiable, and I encourage you to research these things yourself. Once you have seen the facts, I think you will find it hard to refute my position.
One would think that things like that might tell the staff member that this was a less-than-reliable source..
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quote:What does the fringe on the flag represent? The gold trim is found on ceremonial flags, to be used indoors and for ceremonies only. They originally were used on military flags. The fringe has no specific significance, but is considered completely within the guidelines of proper flag etiquette. There is nothing in the flag code indicating that the fringe is for federal government flags only. The Internet contains many sites that claim that the fringe indicates martial law or that the Constitution does not apply in that area. These are entirely unfounded (usually citing Executive Order 10834 and inventing text that is not part of the order) and should be dismissed as urban legends.
-------------------- "Chuck E. Cheese called. They want their band back."