What should our attitude be towards the phenomenon of flag burning that we have been witnessing in recent months?
Up till now American Jews were too busy to think about patriotism. But we must realize that today flag burning has become one of the symbols of the vandals who want to break down all the principles of morality and a way of demonstrating disloyalty to the country.
We have to appreciate America. America is a very big bracha. What we have here is a luxury. There is so much freedom and so much opportunity to make a living. America is like a big ice cream cake. And therefore, when a person is given a very big birthday cake, or let’s say a very big yontif cake with lots of ice cream and a lot of toppings and he’s putting his face into the cake and eating and he’s getting smeared with ice cream. And then he says, “Uch, what a bother this is. What a mess!” He’s complaining! So Hakodosh Boruch Hu says to him, “What more could I do for you, my friend? I tried.” America is such a big cake of happiness and you should appreciate what Hakodosh Boruch Hu is giving you.
And therefore we have to be very displeased with those people who go as low as to burn the American flag. The flag is a symbol of all the privileges that Hakodosh Boruch Hu is giving us in this country. And therefore it’s not a bad idea – even if you never did it before – to hang out a flag on the Fourth of July, l’hachis ha’rishaim. It’s not a goyishe thing. No! Do it l’hachis to show them that, yes, we do appreciate what Hashem gave us.
TAPE # 790 (July 1990)