In Virginia, 90-year-old Medal of Honor recipient Col. Van T. Barfoot is being denied his right of free expression. Ridiculously so.
The decorated World War II veteran erected a flagpole on his front lawn in September, and has since devotedly raised the flag at sunrise and retired it at sunset.
His neighborhood homeowner association wants him to take the flagpole down because it doesn't conform with association rules of what can and cannot be displayed on individual properties. The flagpole doesn't fit the neighborhood's aesthetic guidelines.
Barfoot could, without interference from anyone, stand outside his home and burn the flag, but he can't proudly fly the flag.
The association is clear about its objection: "It's not about the American flag. This is about a flagpole," according to a statement issued by the association.
Barfoot would be permitted to hang the flag from a pole mounted on his porch, but he prefers the 21-foot flagpole in the center of his front lawn to bring prominence and attention to the flag he loves.
The neighborhood association established the flag guidelines, which means it has every authority to amend them. Barfoot is not asking a lot here. He's asking for a little respect to fly a flag he bravely defended overseas, and for which Americans later honored him with multiple medals and other decorations.
Barfoot has until Friday to remove the pole, or face a lawsuit.
While fighting in Italy, this man stood up to three German tanks with a bazooka and is credited with stopping the attack, and then helped two seriously wounded Americans to safety. And his neighbors now have the gall to force him to remove a flagpole?
This 90-year-old former soldier deserves better than that. Much better.
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Yale University Press has published a book by Professor Jytte Klausen, titled "The Cartoons That Shook the World." Yale officials removed, according to the National Coalition Against Censorship, "every image of the prophet Mohammed cartoon from the book, against the author's wishes."
Klausen wrote about the 2005 violence that followed the Danish publication of the so-called Mohammed cartoon, a cartoon that was widely seen and still readily available online with just a couple of keystrokes.
In yanking the images, Yale officials explained there were generic fears of violence, despite not being able to point to a single actual threat of violence in making its decision.
This decision, by one of the country's most respected institutions, flies in the face of the threshold set by the U.S. Supreme Court for appropriate censorship: a clear and present danger of violence.
Without that, what Yale has done is simple kneel to terrorism home and abroad.
The First Amendment was enacted to protect us through free expression. Yale, an institution that has greatly benefited from First Amendment protections over time, has absolutely no justification for undermining that protection.