Powerline refers us to the story of former Cubs outfielder Rick Monday, who famounsly rescued the American flag from a couple of flag burners.
After seeing the thugs douse the flag with lighter fluid, Monday reacted:
He reached them about the time they got the second match lit and were about to torch the flag. "There's a picture that I think won a Pulitzer Prize and it showed me reaching down and grabbing the flag," he said.Again - I think grabbing or extinguishing burning flags is a form of performance art, protected by the First Amendment.
He was not alone in trying to protect it. Tommy Lasorda, the Dodgers third base coach at the time, ran onto the field and, as Monday laughingly recalled, was "yelling every expletive in the world." This was the same Lasorda who had tried to sign Monday to a Dodgers contract while he was still in high school in the pre-draft days.
Monday got the flag and handed it to Doug Rau, a Dodgers pitcher. That was the last Monday saw of it until a month later. The Dodgers came to Wrigley Field and Al Campanis, a Dodgers executive, presented the flag to Monday. "It's displayed very proudly in my home," he said.
UPDATE: Cap'n Ed remembers something I'd forgotten in the intervening 29 years, proving there is a purpose to following the Dodgers:
Watching Monday rescue the flag from two lunatics who tried to hijack a baseball game for their protest, which would have provided the perfect nadir of American morale at that time, the crowd did something no one expected. Lasorda recalled in his book that starting softly, the crowd started singing "God Bless America", completely unprompted, until all of the tens of thousands of Dodger fans had joined together to sing it. It was one of the few unscripted and spontaneous patriotic displays in our Bicentennial, and one of the most moving at any time.Posted by Mitch at June 26, 2005 03:45 PM | TrackBack