A friend suggested I just paint something nice over that monster flag on the corner. I have to admit I’m tempted. But it’s not worth going to jail for.
Mural Arts gets to put up the flag without going through the neighborhood approval process because they are in league with the city government and if the government does it, then it can’t be a crime, by some sort of city definition. But if I do it, then I’m defacing private property.
So, I asked myself, what could I do with that flag that would both honor the flag and honor my beliefs. There has to be a way to make something good out of this gigantic piece of clip art. This park is 16 feet wide and about 35 feet long. The flag is painted on the house at the back of the park. The flag is about 30 feet long, and nearly the full height of the 3 story house.
But there is space under the flag. Right now it is painted light blue. On the right side are some plaques honoring local veterans. On the front right side of the park is a mock tombstone for a neighbor who died in Vietnam. The left side of the wall below the flag is blank.
My thought is that the flag represents the Constitution. And the Constitution defends freedom of speech and the right to redress grievances. I have asked the Mural Arts folks to put up a bulletin board so neighbors can put up banners and posters about things they care about, without damaging the paint.
I want to post one that says Free Chelsea Manning.
So far, I have no response from Mural Arts.
Yes, I am aware that the small group of men who commandeered that flag project will be angry if it becomes a free speech zone. Patriotism doesn’t mean Constitution to them. I’m not sure what it means to them. But whatever it means, it results in wars every generation so that men can do some sort of male-bonding about war.
They are free to make posters and banners, too.