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GOOOOOOOOD MORNING

AMERICA

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Some may recall my name as the military disc jockey portrayed in the film, Good Morning, Vietnam! Having had a film made about my military escapades has led to some rewarding experiences. For example, veterans come up to me, shake my hand, and thank me for helping them get through `Nam." I now fully realized how much Armed Forces Radio meant; it was an antidote to culture shock and homesickness. Looking back, I think we were successful because we gave our listeners what they wanted: a sound as much as possible like stations they listened to back home.

    Giving people what they want isn't just good radio; it's also the right way to run a country. Our nation is built on the bedrock principle that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. A corollary is that, when laws are out of touch with the people, those laws can and should be changed--from the most simple local regulations to the highest law of the land, our federal Constitution.

    In 1989, the Supreme Court found desecrating the American flag to be a form of expressive speech and, thus, protected by the First Amendment. Once the Supreme Court speaks on such a question, that's it! Period. As a matter of law, that IS what the First Amendment says.

    For over a century, though, almost all states had such laws and everyone thought it was legal. When the Supreme Court corrected that misimpression, Americans realized what the Constitution says is NOT what they THOUGHT it says, and it's NOT what they WANT it to say. Opinion polls repeatedly show more than eighty percent of Americans want to be able to protect their flag.

    Our Constitution is a great document but, although it's not just a "rough draft," it is less than flawless. The founding fathers provided that, when necessary to make their document conform to the overwhelming will of the people, it could be amended.

    After years in broadcast management and advertising, I became a lawyer. One of the things I learned in law school is that there's nothing wrong or undesirable or dishonorable or destructive about the amending the Constitution. Without amendments we would never even have HAD the Bill of Rights. Granted, the founders made it difficult to change their document, but they DID intend the amendment process to be USED when appropriate.

    I submit that flag protection IS an appropriate issue for an amendment; forty-nine states agree with me; that many states have passed resolutions urging Congress to do so.

    I always have been a strong, advocate of Constitutional rights including freedom of speech and freedom of media. But the First Amendment, as I understood it all my life, didn't protect flag desecration. Once the Supreme Court explained I was mistaken, I began to think we should change the Constitution. I found a vast majority of Americans agreed with me.

    Still, a few argue we should never change the Constitution. Even if I agreed, I would counter that the proposed flag amendment doesn't CHANGE the Constitution at all. Instead, it restores it to what we all THOUGHT it said from the beginning. In fact, until recently, the Supreme Court itself thought that's what it said. In 1907, in a case called Halter v. Nebraska, (and in five other cases before 1989) the Supreme Court upheld state power to regulate flag use.

    Others argue against a flag protection amendment by suggesting it will deprive us of our right to criticize our government. That argument, though, switches meanings in mid-syllogism. It fails to distinguish between criticizing the government (a right we all have and will continue to have under the proposed amendment) and criticizing the entire nation by desecrating it's most revered symbol. The American flag represents all of us and all the values we hold sacred. Flag desecration demeans all that is valuable and desirable for ourselves and for our progeny.

    Worrying that banning flag desecration would inhibit free speech reveals a misunderstanding of the flag's fundamental nature. Our flag is NOT just one of many political points of view. Rather, the flag is a symbol of our national unity. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't carry just a piece of cloth to symbolize his belief in racial equality; he carried the American flag. Marines did not raise a piece of cloth above Iowa Jima; they raised a symbol of our entire nation. In doing so, they declared the triumph of our way of life over totalitarianism and dictatorship.

    It is the will of the American people that we have a right to protect our flag and this can only be accomplished by passing a Constitutional amendment. Such an Amendment is now under consideration by the Senate. I urge the Senate to pass it and send it to the states for ratification.

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PHOTOS OF THE REAL ADRIAN CRONAUER

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Adrian Cronauer

American Patriot

Adrian & Jeanne Cronauer with your webmaster and his wife Pam in Washington, D.C.

Adrian with Senator and Mrs. Wayne Allard after being presented with the Home Of Heroes' American Patriot Award.

Click Here to Read Our Introduction to Adrian Cronauer

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In
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DECORATIONS 1862 - Present
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Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine



Silver Star

U.S. History and Information
The History Room | U.S. Flag HistoryHistory of the Flag |
How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
Arthur MacArthur's Flag | William Carney's Flag | FDR's Flag of Liberation]

FLAG DAY           STATE FLAGS
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Copyright 1999-2014 by HomeOfHeroes.com
     2115 West 13th Street - Pueblo, CO 81003

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Unless otherwise noted, all materials by C. Douglas Sterner

Home Page

Hall Of Heroes

MOH Community 

NEWS

Kidz Page

FEATURE STORIES
  Profiles In Courage | Wings of ValorThe Brotherhood of Soldiers At War | Go For Broke
 Pearl Harbor  | A Splendid Little War | Shinmiyangyo-Korea 1871 | Quick Links to MOH Stories

RECIPIENT WEB SITES
Barney Barnum  |  Jack Lucas  |  Mitch Paige  |  Wesley Fox  |  Sammy Davis
Roger Donlon
Peter Lemon  |  Drew Dix  |  Mike Novosel

Medal Of Honor Calendar  |  Books By MOH RecipientsSteve Ryan MOH Posters

What Does 
A Hero Look Like?

Click on Superman To Find out


FOOTNOTES
In
HISTORY

NEW
Looking for a Hero or trying to verify awards? We have posted the names of more than 120,000 recipients of the highest awards in a BRAND NEW FREE SECTION
DECORATIONS 1862 - Present
.

Military Medals & Awards 

Information and Images of ALL Military Medals
The Purple Heart 
How to Request Records/Medals Earned
  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

Honor Roll of America's Military Heroes


Brevet Medal


DSC 


Navy Cross 


Air Force Cross 

Distinguished Service Medals

Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine



Silver Star

U.S. History and Information
The History Room | U.S. Flag HistoryHistory of the Flag |
How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
Arthur MacArthur's Flag | William Carney's Flag | FDR's Flag of Liberation]

FLAG DAY           STATE FLAGS
American Presidents
U.S. Presidents | Inaugural Addresses

God & Country
ROOM

MY HERO Web Page Creator 
(Create a Tribute to the Hero in Your Own Life)

SEARCH
bn_search.jpg (3967 bytes)
OUR SITE

EDUCATIONAL

GAME ARCADE

OR
Quick Quiz

***
Electronic Post Cards
Talking Points 

Remembering 911
The Binch
Citizens Speak Out

BEYOND THE MEDAL

This 5 Disc DVD Education Program has been distributed to over 17,500 Public & Private High Schools and is now available to the public!


 

HomeOfHeroes.com now has more than 25,000 pages of US History for you to view.