In the spirit of “patriots” who want to criminalize flag-burning (thus missing the whole point of what the flag represents), I give you the small town of Pahrump, Nev.
The elected town board in the remote Mojave Desert community voted 3-2 on Tuesday to enact an ordinance making it illegal to fly a foreign nation’s flag by itself.
Flying another country’s flag, whether it is a British Union Jack or the flag of Mexico, is punishable by a $50 fine and 30 hours’ community service, unless it is flown below an American flag.
Let me tell you, all the folks up here in Minnesota that fly Swedish and Norwegian flags are going to be a tad upset.
The flag measure wasn’t the only piece of silly legislation to pass. Pahrump also made English the city’s official language, and outlawed town benefits to illegal immigrants — which cuts such immigrants off from…. nothing.
“We don’t have any” benefits, town manager David Richards says. “If we ever have any, they’ll be denied to illegal immigrants.”
So what sparked this muscular show of contempt for constitutional rights?
he ordinance’s sponsor, Michael Miraglia, a retired Illinois state worker, said the flag restriction was a reaction to nationwide demonstrations in May against a crackdown on illegal immigration. He said he didn’t like seeing protesters waving Mexican flags and demanding immigrants not go to work that day.
“In Pahrump, we had Mexican restaurants closed that day,” he complained. “Only one restaurant stayed open.”
I see his point. Perhaps the board’s next move should be to establish city-mandated hours of operation for all Mexican restaurants, to prevent such a thing from ever happening again.