The Star-Spangled Banner survived the rocket’s red glare and bombs bursting in air – only to face a modern-day threat – silly town ordinances and petty bureaucrats.
I’m not sure if it’s an epidemic of anti-American nincompoopery sweeping across the fruited plain or if it’s a general lack of common sense. Maybe it’s both. I’ll let you be the judge of that.
In Lexington, South Carolina Marine veteran Bob Michaelis was told to remove a patriotic display from his mattress company.
Mr. Michaelis lined the front of his store with American flags – to honor our troops.
“We got 10 flags up,” he told television station WIS. “I thought maybe it was about time we return the patriotism in America. There’s not enough of it. It seems to be lost.”
But instead of congratulating Bob’s patriotism, the town fathers dispatched the law. He was informed that the flags violated an ordinance.
“The town of Lexington says they got to come down because there’s an ordinance in place,” he said.
The town administrator told WIS they did not issue Bob a citation nor did they tell him to take down the flags.
So why did they dispatch the chief of police to visit Bob’s store? Did they need new bedding for the local jail?
Town Administrator Britt Poole told WIS they just wanted to have a “conversation.”
Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall posted a message on Facebook defending their actions. He said the ordinance had been on the books since 1999 and was enacted over a “negative situation involving the Confederate flag.”
“It is never our intent to interfere with a business but we have a duty to protect our community and we do that with great pride. We have members of our community that have fought, and died for our freedom to display this great symbol of our United States of America,” the mayor wrote.
Regardless, Old Glory remains unfurled outside Bob’s mattress store.
Meanwhile, residents in Newport Beach, California are battling City Hall over their Independence Day decorations.
The locals there stretched red, white and blue triangular flags from home to home to express their American pride.
“It adds a festive touch to the island,” resident Sharon Lambert told the LA Times.
Code enforcement officers disagreed and fired of letters explaining the decorations violated a city ordinance.
The letter warned that residents had one day to remove the decorations or “further enforcement actions may be taken,” the LA reported.
So far residents have decided to ignore the warnings – even if it means getting a fine.
The most egregious example of this anti-patriotic sentiment can be found in the pages of The New York Daily News.
Columnist Gersh Kuntzman penned an ugly diatribe titled, “Major League Baseball must permanently retire ‘God Bless America,’ a song that offends everyone.”
Yes, good readers. The New York Daily News wants us to stop asking the Almighty to bless our great nation during the seventh inning stretch.
“The song still embodies great things about America, but also our worst things: self-righteousness, forced piety, earnest self-reverence, foam,” he wrote.
Mr. Kuntzman probably takes umbrage with Mother’s Day and apple pie, too.
“Part of my outrage stems from ponderous Mussolini-esque introduction of the song, when fans are asked to rise, remove their caps and place them over their hearts,” he scribbled.
So not only does this guy find “God Bless America” offensive, he also seems to think it’s a symbol of fascism.
“So this July 4, join me at the Church of Baseball by not rising and not doffing your cap for a song that is not the national anthem of a nation that is not uniquely blessed by some deity that doesn’t exist anyway,” he wrote.
So he despises God and Country?
That kind of thinking ought to get him a permanent spot on the prayer list down at the local First Baptist Church.
It’s really no surprise the Daily News employs liberal loons like Mr. Kuntzman. They detest all of us gun-toting, Bible-clingers.
But that’s what makes our country great. We have the freedom to say or write whatever we want – thanks to founding documents that were flavored by the Judeo-Christian beliefs of our Founding Fathers.
So on Independence Day, you’ll find the Starnes family at a Southern ball park, waving Old Glory and belting out Irving Berlin’s finest tune.
May God bless America -- in spite of petty bureaucrats and the New York Daily News.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values." Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.