Marines Throw Fit About a Piece of Cloth

Here’s a Youtube video of two Marines chasing down a scooter and throwing a temper tantrum because the guy on the scooter was holding a flag upside down during a protest of police brutality in New Mexico. The guys with the flag are lucky they dropped it because there would almost certainly have been violence involved if they hadn’t. Because remember, a piece of colored cloth matters far more than the constitution they swore to uphold and they’re more than happy to be angry thugs in its defense. This is what uber-nationalism creates. Most appalling, one of the Marines screams “we serve our fucking country.” No you don’t. You serve a bizarre, warped idea of nationalism that you confuse with your country.

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  • Al Dente

    Yet another case of people who don’t recognize the First Amendment right to free speech includes that speech which they don’t like.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Perhaps I’m missing something, but isn’t flying the flag upside down the (very long-standing) distress signal?

    Seems to be totally appropriate for a protest of tyranny. Apparently these thugs don’t believe in America.

  • somnus

    #2, I was just about to say the same thing!

  • Michael Heath

    I’m with D.C.

  • tsig

    Shame the man with the flag didn’t have enough free speech (money) to buy those marines like Koch buys congresscritters.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    But what the video doesn’t show is that the guy with the flag is really an atheist philosophy professor!

  • Artor

    It’s sad to see that our marine corps produces violent, ignorant dumbfucks. Sad, but not at all surprising.

  • A Masked Avenger

    Armor, you realize that the military does so on purpose, right? That it spends millions to do so, and harnesses the accumulated expertise of more than two millennia in doing exactly that?

    And (extra credit question) that our culture is saturated with mechanism for starting the process with all of us from the youngest age? Such as the pledge of allegiance?

  • Mr Ed

    We have fetishized the flag as a symbol of freedom so important that it is appropriate to limit freedom to protect the symbol. We are also adopting the centurion mentality where members of the armed forces are super citizens who some how matter more than the shmucks who they protect.

  • caseloweraz

    I wonder what the guy did with the flag after he grabbed it, wadded it up and ran off with it in his right hand.

  • A Masked Avenger

    Darn autocorrect. Artor, not armor.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I wonder what the guy did with the flag after he grabbed it, wadded it up and ran off with it in his right hand.

    You make it sound as though he were in desperate need of toilet paper.

  • Modusoperandi


    Those two who “saved” it should be charged under the Flag Code, for failing to properly dispose of a flag that was in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display (as, in this case, after being touched by dirty hippies).

  • Artor

    Avenger, you’ll notice my last sentence says I’m not surprised at all. Yes, I’m familiar with what the military does to recruits, and yes, I did go to school in America. I’m painfully familiar with the propagandizing that goes on there too.

  • D. C. Sessions

    a flag that was in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display (as, in this case, after being touched by dirty hippies).

    Not to mention being thrown into the street and stomped on.

  • David C Brayton

    I too have been in the same position as that guy. I was getting ready to go for a bike ride and was wearing a stars and stripes jersey. It was red white and blue and had a few abstract stars and stripes on it. It certainly did not have an actual flag on it but it was patriotic in tone.

    There was a guy down the street installing carpet at my neighbor’s house. He took offense that I would actually wear the flag in such a disrespectful manner and he threatened to beat the hell out of me. He was dead serious.

    I took the jersey off and dropped it on the ground. He was satisfied, thankfully. But in retrospect, dropping the “flag” on the ground wasn’t the smartest thing to do.

    I split and joined my buddies for our ride. I should have called the police. My guess is that he was likely on parole and this assault would have probably been his third strike. But I didn’t.

  • Michael Brew

    Yeah, that pissed me right the Helheim off when I saw it a few days ago. To reiterate here, that’s an embarrassment to those of us who try to serve for the right reasons. Everyone I talked to in my unit thought it was wrong, and indeed I’m sure (though obviously I don’t speak in an official capacity) that at least Army regulations prohibit that kind of behavior, especially when presenting oneself as representing the Armed Forces. I’d love for these authoritarian type thugs to be kicked out, though they’re unfortunately useful idiots to certain members of the brass and politicians who just want pawns to throw at people we don’t like.

  • keresthanatos

    I too served my country….Those ignorant fucking jarheads are guilty of assault, battery, theft, and violation of civil rights. The Marine Corp JAG needs to be contacted by a civilian lawyer representing the people who were wronged. Press for a General Courts Martial hearing. Let them find out what respecting America is really about.

  • caseloweraz

    D. C. Sessions: You make it sound as though he were in desperate need of toilet paper.

    My intent was only to point out that this was not the way someone protesting perceived disrespect to the flag of the United States ought to be treating that flag. The rules are explicit.

  • david73

    This quote seems pertinent:

    One of the great attractions of patriotism – it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what’s more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous.

    Aldous Huxley.

  • democommie

    Until those two gutless fucks out themselves I’m going to put them down as local bullies who are pretending that they’re jarheads. The asshole with the flag is almost certainly not on active duty, not with that haircut. The other asshole appears to have a beard.

    I can’t speak for what it’s like in Albuquerque but the troops in this area, whether reservists, National Guard or Regular force wear their hair very short, no facial hair unless they’re on leave and even then most are pretty clean cut. When I was in, 1968–1972, I always grew a beard when I was on leave and wore my hair as long as possible (I was reprimanded for “grooming” at least a half-dozen times). These days, the military being somewhat worshipped (that will change as soon as we stop laying waste in Afghanistan, imo) they WANT people to know that they’re serving.

    Oh, the other thing. I’ve not met a real soldier–in any branch–who talked like either one of those morons when addressing civilians. It seems to be an article of faith with most military people who I’m around that whether they feel it or not, they act as if they respect me.

    I’ll go with them being poseurs until I hear that they’ve been brought up on charges. It IS, afaia, illegal for any military personnel to do what those two clowns did–in, or out, of uniform and it’s punishable under the UCMJ as well as New Mexico state laws. Assault is assault.

  • dogmeat

    Armor, you realize that the military does so on purpose, right?

    I would contend that this is a rather simplistic argument that is rather insulting to the millions who served in the armed forces and are equally appalled by this behavior.

    In many ways serving in the military is like drinking alcohol, it enhances your existing character traits. If you started out as a nationalistic asshole, it’ll make you an even bigger one, but if you started out dedicated to the principles that the country stands for you’re more likely to leave the service valuing them even more. The Marines in this video were likely asshats to begin with, jingoistic nationalists who would likely have acted the same way about speech they didn’t like before they joined the military. Instead they would have screamed that they were going to join the military or some family member had served, or some other excuse to silence speech they didn’t like.

    I see it every year with my seniors. They don’t seem to understand that the purpose of the 1st amendment is to protect speech people don’t like. One of my small contributions to society is to try to drive home that very critical point. It usually isn’t necessary to protect popular speech; you have the right to disagree, to express that disagreement, but not to silence.

  • steve84

    There is nothing more insane and embarrassing than the American flag fetish and worship. Normal people don’t literally treat a piece of cloth as a living thing.

  • iariese

    Ator wrote, “that our marine corps produces violent, ignorant dumbfucks.” I am sorry that you, Artor, are an ignorant dumbfuck.

    Does the Corps produce violent Marines? Of course they do. It’s the fucking job of Marines, on the field of battle, to be violent. And they are very, very good at it. A military does not win unless their members, in a fight, use extreme violence.

    Are enlisted Marines ignorant? Most of the young men and women who enlist are those C and D students you sat next to in high school. They are not bad kids, just not interested in school – as a general rule. So, no, the typical enlisted Marine is not a rocket scientist (just as Artor has demonstrated that he/she/it is not).

    Are they dumbfucks? No, not nearly as much as Artor is.

    dogmeat & democommie have it pretty much right.

  • Area Man

    We are also adopting the centurion mentality where members of the armed forces are super citizens who some how matter more than the shmucks who they protect.

    Yeah, this. And it seriously needs to stop. Military worship has reached almost comical proportions. I can’t go to a sporting event anymore without them pausing things at least twice to “honor” some member(s) of the military. It’s not that they don’t deserve to be honored, but between Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and dedicated Military Appreciation Days, does every other game need to be a venue for reminding us how great they are? If these were guys who got wounded or won medals, it would be one thing. But they’re not not. They’re basically everyday service members who did their job and got good pay and benefits, so I’m not sure why they deserve to be treated as any more heroic than a local teacher or sanitation worker.

  • dan4

    @24: Artor once wrote a post here indicating that the only reason he wouldn’t rape Victoria Jackson is because her voice is annoying (seriousy)…so when he calls people “ignorant dumbfucks,” he obviously means it as a compliment, not an insult.

  • atheistblog

    We all served, never thought I have 2 dicks and never had any urge to show mine like this.

    Those are not marines, those are two dick heads.

    ” I am an American Soldier. I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States ”

    So, thinking I have 2 dicks is not how I serve the people of the United States.

  • Marcus Ranum

    After we’re done demolishing religion, it’ll be nationalism next.

  • Marcus Ranum

    It’s not that they don’t deserve to be honored,

    Actually, they don’t. It’s dishonorable to give away even an iota of your moral agency, especially if it involves preparing to do violence against other human beings.

  • Richard Bartholomew

    For some reason the Pentecostals at Charisma News decided to highlight this video, under the clickbait headline “You Won’t Believe How 2 Military Men Dealt With Protester Holding US Flag Upside Down”. It doesn’t seem to have gone down very well with the core readership.

  • U Frood

    Doesn’t all these demands for respect for a physical object elevate it to the level of an idol? Don’t the most influential religions in this country have some pretty big condemnations in their holy books?

  • dogmeat

    Military worship has reached almost comical proportions.

    I agree. I’ve had a number of people here in AZ thank me for “my service” in the military. Why? I was a technician doing a job. I didn’t go to Syria, didn’t go to Libya, didn’t go to Panama, and didn’t go to the Persian Gulf. Really, what did I do? I had a job that involved a uniform. I was away from my family a lot, but I have friends and family who are for their non-military jobs and I don’t recall ever seeing anyone thank them for their “service.” What if I had been sent into combat? How do you know I did anything that I should be thanked for? Simply because I wore a uniform at one point in my life doesn’t determine my value as a contributor towards the greater good. What bothers me at the same time is some of those who thank me for my military service deride my service as an educator. Seriously? My time in uniform, during which I didn’t do anything special or unusual, is something to be valued and cherished, but my time in the classroom, in which I worked with thousands of kids to help them better understand our rights and liberties is something worthy of derision?

    Wonder if it was like this in Rome? What are the odds that the invasions of the Goths, etc., were Roman right-wing scare mongering of the immigrant “other?” ;o)

  • democommie

    “It doesn’t seem to have gone down very well with the core readership.”

    So, I rushed right over to that thread, silly democommie that I am, thinking:

    “AhAAAAAAAAAAAH, at long last, they DO have shame! They have shame and they are going to decry the behavior of those two assholes!”

    Sutherland sez:

    “Not only is it profane – there sort of isn’t any Christian point to the article. The flag is not a Christian flag it is simply the American flag. As Christians we have to respect authority, but the scooter rider probably wasn’t a Christian so it doesn’t count.

    There is no point for this article really – “two non-christian’s swear at another non-christian” is hardly newsworthy.”

    and hobbit opines:

    “The flag is not the Cross. What is our priority?”

    Boy do I have egg on my face!

    But, hey, there is a silver lining in that brainsuck of a website:

    I like this:

    ““Pastor Bob will be focusing his full attention on his personal relationship with God and with his family. The governing board of the church is providing counselors and ministers who will help guide him through the process of full repentance, cleansing and restoration,” the statement reads.”

    If Pastor Bob has to fall on his own crucifix it must have been a “moral failing” involving millions of dollaz, many female “sheep”* or ONE male hooker in a hotsheet motel.

    * I looked at that after typing it and thought that it might be a bit confusing but then realized that whether it was his parishoners or ewes, he’d be sinnin’ in the eyes of the LORD!


    Yeah, it get that whenever I tell people that I’m a vet (sometimes I have to, for various reasons–at other times it just comes up in a conversation). I try to just be gracious and not grab them and shake them ’til they rattle their peabrain loose. I was not in combat, I enlisted to AVOID combat and I’m very happy that I never had to make the decision to kill or be killed. I’m happy with my VA benefits, y’all can save the praise for people who deserve it.

  • freehand

    The military has learned a lot in the last 30 years about producing effectively violent warriors. That is, they should be violent, but only under specific circumstances. They should be disciplined at all times. But the process is deployed by imperfect people, and everybody comes into the service with baggage, some of it significant. The result is the occasional violent asshole.


    See “On Combat” or “On Killing” by David Grossman for an overview of these issues.

  • Georgia Sam

    One characteristic of tribalistic, superstitious worldviews is that they conflate symbols with the things they symbolize. Witness, for example, the extreme reverence that many religious people lavish on pictures, relics, and other symbols of their deities and saints. It’s essentially the same with self-styled super-patriots and the flag.

    Re: #7. Having been in the military myself, I can testify that many of them were already violent, ignorant dumbfucks before they enlisted.

  • democommie


    I always got the feeling that a lot of those guys enlisted BECAUSE they were violent, ignorant dumbfucks. It was funny sometimes to see them struggle with having NOT to be assholes most of the time, on pain of punishment or a dishonorable discharge. Some of them actually became really, really good people–I try to not think about the others.