Feb 5, 2004

Halftime Controversy 

No, not Janet. I'm over it. I'm talking about the K.I.D.

VFW Angry Over Kid Rock Poncho

Forget Janet Jackson: The Veterans of Foreign Wars is peeved at Kid Rock.

The VFW is upset that media outlets are ignoring the poncho Rock wore during the Super Bowl halftime show, which was made by cutting a slit in an American flag. Rock later tossed the flag into the crowd.

The VFW's commander in chief, Edward Banas Senior, says Rock's outfit was "in poor taste and extremely disrespectful." Banas lamented that the NFL, MTV and CBS have issued apologies for Justin Timberlake's ripping Janet Jackson's clothes but have said nothing about Rock.

I understand why they're upset. Kid Rock was wearing what appeared to be an American flag with a slit cut in it to make it into a poncho (or it may have been designed like that, I couldn't tell). The flag code is pretty clear on this:

"The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery."

Nobody's going to argue this. It's right there in black and white. But if we follow the code right down to the letter, I've been breaking the rules for years - I have a flag hung in my window, and that would (I guess) qualify it as "drapery."

As a matter of fact, I'd be willing to bet that MILLIONS of Americans break the flag code every year at their Fourth of July barbeques:

"The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard."

Don't tell me that you haven't at least once used paper plates or napkins with American flags on them. I know I have.

Let's be realistic about this - Kid Rock (while not necessarily being a great role model for the kids) seems like a good guy and is a proud American. He's played USO shows in Afghanistan and elsewhere and is a big supporter of the troops. It would appear that the USO stepped on their crank somewhat as far as where the funds for those shows came from, but that's not Rock's fault. He's just a guy who wants to bring you some entertainment and express his support for America at the same time.

Maybe he should have used the flag differently for his halftime gig. I know I cringed initially when I saw it. My first thought was, "That's not right. Somebody's gonna get pissed." That, of course, faded away 5 minutes later when another article of clothing (or lack thereof) made a bigger impression on the show.

But I appreciate what Rock was trying to show. The phrase often used in the Corps is "Good initiative - poor judgment." I will give him credit, though. When he took the flag off, his guitar player was johnny-on-the-spot behind him to snatch it up and make sure it never touched the ground.

Was good to see that the American Badass had some love for the American Flag.

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