On March 21, four people, including one from the Bad Attitude collective, demonstrated at the Federal Bldg. in downtown Detroit for the right to be anti-patriotic. In so doing, they burned a small american flag much to the outrage of passersby and security guards. The date of the protest coincided with a U.S. Supreme Court hearing of a criminal conviction of a demonstrator who also burned a flag as a political statement at the 1984 Dallas Republican Convention. Flags have also been in the news recently involving an exhibition in Chicago in which an art student placed a flag in front of his work so people would be forced to walk on it Veterans and other patriots demonstrated at the art school, and the U.S. Senate passed a law 97–0 making walking on a flag a federal crime.

We give full support to all acts of flag desecration and encourage others to commit similar provocations.

These incidents show how important flags are to those rule us. All flags are rags; they are symbols of the nation state which traps the human spirit within artificially established boundaries guarded by men with guns. Flags are part of the whole parcel of tricks rulers use to make us act in their interests rather than our own.

Flags cause people to lose their common sense. They make men willing to kill other men who wave a different flag; they cause people to hate those who live in a different nation state rather than hate those who rule us. Flags make people forget that the interest of rulers everywhere is to protect their own wealth and privilege and to expand the territory and people they control.

Flags make people love an abstraction called “my country” and forget that in real life we are ruled by a rich, selfish, swinish elite who think of us as dog meat for their industry and businesses and cannon-fodder for their wars.

The function of flags can best be seen from the oppressive institutions from which they are most frequently flown: government buildings, police stations, courthouses, schools and from a million places of business and commerce.

Consider the poor, deluded dopes who so love power that they fly flags from their homes. They have their tiny banners dwarfed by flags so enormous in size that rather than fluttering in the breeze, they undulate obscenely in front of meat packing plants and auto dealerships.

Only the U.S. has such a compulsive flag waving mania and no country since Nazi Germany actually insists on a pledge to the flag.

Free people have no need of flags; only the slaves of nation states do. Even the red flag of revolution is waved by police state bureaucrats and those who aspire to be. The black flag of anarchy could easily suffer the same fate.

Forget the symbols of revolution. Burn all flags! Be anarchy!

—reprinted from Bad Attitude, POB 11589, Detroit MI 48211