I burnt the US flag several times in 1990. Mostly during the Gulf War
But we (me and my friends in the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade
) also held a flag burning on June 10th, 1990
(I think) on the steps of the Art Institute
We did this on the day after the US Supreme Court
decided flag burning was free speech
So there we were me, Jethro
(what a brother know), Kevin
and , well I don't remember who else, but there couldn't have been more than a dozen of us.
We were in turn surrounded by a ring of Chicago Cops
who were in turn surrounded by a ring
and other assorted media types.
We got down to business burning two or three flags we had ripped off the night before (cloth ones burn better than nylon or plastic ones). The jounalist got down to business taking pictures and getting sound bites and the cops just stood around pissed off that they couldn't bust us for burning the flag.
After that we went out to Java
Jive for espresso. From there I called my Mom
, who said, "where are you?"
I responded, "At Java Jive" She said, "I saw you on TV burning the flag. Don't come home." I said, "ok," and returned to my java. This was 7
days after graduating High School
and I was pretty damn psyched
to get the hell out of the house.
The upshot of the story is that this act of flagrant flag burning got me one of my 15 minutes of fame
. Yep, Newsweek
was at that flag burning and they put Jethro
(what a brother know), Juliette
and I into their swell magazine. We shared an article with some rapper
who sang nasty songs about nasty sex
. I don't remember his name.
If you want to check it out (the photo) go to the local library
and find the issue of Newsweek with Madonna
and Dick Tracy
on the cover from June 1990. Then go to the flag burning article... I'm the kid holding the flaming flag wearing a kafiya
and a Bob Marley t-shirt