Only in a deluded mind can a symbol assume greater importance than the reality. This is especially true when it comes to deluded minds and the American Flag. A symbol of freedom is more important to these folks than freedom. Their symbol of freedom requires protection but freedom does not.
Consider the pitiful case of Michelle Manhart, a U.S. military veteran who thinks she has the right to confiscate an American flag belonging to someone else if they are desecrating it. She thought it necessary to intervene in a University protest when she saw demonstrators walking on their own American flag.
First she demanded that University officials stop the protest. They declined. So she snatched the flag from the protesters and refused to give it back. "This belongs to actually the entire United States," Manhart yelled; "It's not yours."
Eventually, the police arrived but she still stubbornly refused to turn over the flag. She resisted the officers until she was finally overpowered and tackled to the ground. She was taken into custody but released after both the protesters and the police declined to press charges.
Later, on the TV talk shows, the deluded woman declared: "When it comes to the flag, it's our iconic symbol. It stands for everything that we are. It stands for the freedoms to allow those individuals to do what they want, protest or have an organization. So how are you even going to justify ruining or walking upon something that's giving you the right to do what you're doing?"
Obviously, this poor lady just doesn’t understand the meaning of freedom. Freedom in her deluded consciousness is totally eclipsed by the symbol of freedom. That symbol, she thinks, requires protection but the freedom of the protesters does not.
She believes that the symbol is what gives the protesters the right to protest – they don’t enjoy the right without the symbol – so they can’t justify desecrating the symbol. They don’t have the freedom to do that.
Manhart deserved 30 days in jail in my humble opinion, but I can understand why the cops and the protesters decided to give her a break. She could have got off anyway with an insanity plea.
She could have successfully pled the flag delusion defense.