Lost in the wrestling match over an American flag at a Georgia college is the response of administrators.  By now you’re familiar with the story of Air Force veteran Michelle Manhart’s arrest at Valdosta State University.  Last week she approached some students trampling an American flag and seized it for proper disposal.  As she was leaving campus police arrested her and returned the flag back to the desecrators.  You can see more of the story here.

As I was reading some of the coverage earlier this week I noticed a campus spokesman said it was unfortunate the flag was desecrated but the campus couldn’t interfere with the First Amendment right to exercise freedom of  speech.  Trampling, urinating upon and burning the flag are legal according to a long ago Supreme Court decision.  Legal and right aren’t synonymous.  Many of us believe abortion is plainly homicide.  It’s also legal.

An old veteran of personal acquaintance always flew the flag, Courtesy, Bill Colley

The university is walking a tightrope here because the flag represents all that is good about America to a portion of the population while others have an extremist view and see the flag as a symbol of evil.  I’m in the former camp and have been there since I was a young reporter and went to a reunion of Iwo Jima survivors.  To hear these men share their stories and suddenly watch tears stream down old wrinkled faces offers a perspective no pampered snot-nosed college kid will likely ever know.  They won’t know because when it comes to an education at war there are others willing to ensure the rest of us can lead fat and happy lives.  Just two years ago at a flag day ceremony I found myself next to a 93 year old Marine who had fought at Iwo Jima.  When he was introduced he rose unsteadily and spoke of lost friends and his memories of watching the flag flying over the island.  For a great many the flag stands for sacrifice, those who laid down their lives for a noble cause and especially hope.

The day an old Marine shared his old memories, Courtesy, Bill Colley

Valdosta State administrators are likely concerned about legislative funding.  It’s why they condemned the disrespect before promising it would continue.  Without government oversight and the need for your tax dollars I can almost guarantee the academic machinery would publicly applaud the disgusting display of anti-Americanism, which is ladled in huge scoops daily to students by dope smoking, hemp-clothing wearing, and granola chomping professors.

So I’m going to pitch another exercise in academic freedom.  Remember Terry Jones?  He’s the man who pastored a Florida church where he set fire to a Koran.  Official Washington, mainstream media and academia were apoplectic.  Jones was harangued for weeks in advance as his telephone rang with threats and warnings his action would cost American lives on foreign battlefields (in other words, an enemy already hell bent on killing all Americans would now be riddling our corpses with extra holes).

Jones went ahead and torched the Muslim text.  The memory is somewhat distant now.  Even for Islamo-fascists.

Listen, a bonfire of Korans on a college campus could get you cuffed, dragged away and charged with arson.  Instead tearing out the pages and strewing them along the sidewalks at Valdosta State won’t burn anyone.  Save for ISIS members already partial to human barbecue.

I’ll wager the reaction of the administration at the campus would be vastly different if the Koran were used as toilet paper versus the American flag.  It would be called harmful and hurtful and students would face sensitivity training (fancy words for reeducation camps) before expulsion.  Blacklisted, they would find admission to other schools nearly impossible and job prospects would be desperate.  In other words their chances for success at life would be equal to any liberal arts graduate but with a major difference.  The expelled students wouldn’t have nearly as much debt and a strong dose of the real world.