Man Fired for Being Patriotic?
Well, the Drudge Report, that inestimable web site that keeps its finger firmly on the pulse of the conservative right has brought another important story to American’s attention:
Hotel Fires Man Who Wore US Flag Pin
Veterans Among Many Angered By Hotel’s Stance
There are so many things about this story that make me want to pound the walls and scream. That however would annoy the neighbours, scare my cats, and bruise my hands; so I’ll resort to ranting on my blog. That’s what it’s for.
Let’s start with the headlines. “Hotel Fires Man Who Wore US Flag Pin.” To call this deliberately misleading would be at best an understatement. He wasn’t fired for wearing a US flag pin, he was fired for refusing to comply with his employer’s dress code. Businesses have the legal entitlement to ask their employees to conform to a dress code, this is well established in US law. And when this man accepted his job he was no doubt informed of the dress code. So not only is the hotel on sound legal ground, the man who was fired deliberately chose to violate the terms he had agreed to when accepting the job.
The second part of the headline is even more misleading. And irrelevant. The hotel doesn’t have a “stance,” it has a dress code, like almost all businesses of its type, so what? And how the hell is this a veteran’s issue? The man is a veteran, but so what? His status as a veteran is again, irrelevant. He wasn’t fired because he was a veteran for God’s sake. Lastly, I’m a veteran, and I’m angered by his stance, not the hotel’s. How the hell does being a veteran give him the right to wear his flag pin anywhere he pleases? Is that really what our veteran’s fought for, special privileges that allow him to decide his own dress code at work? Excuse me, but if he insists on wearing a flag pin at work, he needs to find anther job or work for himself. It’s a free country, deal with it.
Moving right along, the main thing that bothers me about this. What does wearing a flag pin have to do with patriotism? Wearing a flag pin doesn’t make one a patriot anymore than wearing a cross makes one a Christian. Being a patriot is about doing what’s best for one’s country and one’s fellow Americans. It especially means going the extra mile to defend one’s country when it is attacked. (Which hasn’t happened since 1941 I might add.) It means defending the Constitution and the laws of the land. And yes, it means honouring genuine American heroes, and respecting them and all Americans. It doesn’t mean flag waving or demanding special privileges for oneself, at least not in my book.
So frankly, this guy might be a veteran, but he’s not much of a patriot. If he was a patriot he wouldn’t be so goddamned narcissistic about wearing his pin. Americans died defending his freedom, not defending his made-up right to wear a flag pin anywhere he pleases. By making a big deal about this non-issue and invoking the “patriot card,” he is disrespecting the true American heroes who fought defending his freedom. If his patriotism is so weak that he invokes it in this way, he should try doing something really patriotic like working in a soup kitchen. I respect patriots who try to make America a better place by being good citizens. People can wear all the flag pins they wants, but if they aren’t working for a better America, they aren’t patriots.
Lastly, it’s appalling to me that this is any sort of news story at all. With all that’s going on in the country, both domestically and internationally, this is important? No, it’s not. But it is the sort of divisive idiotic distraction the media, left and right, use to keep people riled up and avoiding looking at the real issues facing this country. Thank you Drudge Report for doing your part to distract and divide Americans, trivialize patriotism, and confuse it with mindless flag waving.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, it’s central to illustrating the post, and its use here in no conceivable way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. I don’t know who to attribute it too, but I got it from this site. I understand the comments and flame wars on the hotel flag pin story linked above are fascinating in a “Gorillas in the Mist” sort of way.)