[ by Charles Cameron — always on the watch for the symbolic ]
First, let’s admit that the cattle-rancher archetype has immense popular appeal. Here’s the header from the Bundy Ranch website:
That’s pretty hard to beat, no?
As ever, I’m concerned to keep track of the symbolic side of things, the emotional tugs, the flags, rituals, and stratagems which gather morale to a cause — in this case, the standoff at the Bundy Ranch.
Again in this photo we see cowboys, and this time one of them is carrying the American flag held high…
What other flags were in evidence?
I’m pretty sure I can see the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps flags here, along with the US flag —
There’s another flag, just above the Corps flag in the photo above, that I couldn’t identify — a flag which was also captured in this Guardian shot –
I didn’t recognize it, but our blog-friend and frequent commentator Grurray did… And here’s where things get really interesting, and I learn what I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t decided to look into this matter of the flags at the Bundy Ranch showdown.
It’s a Latter-day Saints banner known as the Title of Liberty, and it dervives from a passage in the Book of Mormon, Alma 46 verses 12-13 and 36-37, wherein Captain Moroni…
rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it — In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children — and he fastened it upon the end of a pole … and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren …
it came to pass also, that he caused the title of liberty to be hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land, which was possessed by the Nephites; and thus Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites. And they began to have peace again in the land…
Here it is, raised for an event in Washington DC:
And here it is, catalogued for sale as a 3′ x 5′ flag:
Finally, there’s the Gadsden flag:
— flown here at the Bundy Ranch protest alonside the US flag:
That’s it for flags, for me, at least for now… It has been an interesting ride.
I mentioned stratagems, though. Here’s one that strikes me as less than chivalrous — but which, if push had come to shoot, would have made quite a media splash. The stratagem? Simple — put women in the front line…
Sheriff Richard Mack explains his idea:
Mack goes into further detail in an interview with Ben Swann. You can read excerpts here, or view the entire interview on YouTube here — the relevant passage begibs around the 4.39 mark.
I am not by any stretch a lawyer — but isn’t that veering pretty close to the old “human shield” idea we so despised in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Thanks again to Grurray — with sharp eyes & knowledge to match!