“We got a little more a patriotic seven years ago when we spent time in Egypt, China, and India. Because nothing can make you love the USA more than overseas travel.”
So begun a performance by magicians Penn Jillette and Teller. As they continue a monologue about the great freedoms America has to offer, they fold the American flag smaller and smaller. After wrapping it within a copy of the Bill of Rights. It looks like they set it on fire – and then watch what happens next.
It was no doubt a controversial trick — but hidden behind the smoke and mirrors lay a paramount lesson about Old Glory’s true meaning.
“Do we really burn a flag in that trick?” Penn asked in a column published Friday on CNN, referencing the ambiguous nature of the illusion. “Do we symbolically burn the flag? Or do we vanish the flag in a patriotic flash of fireworks?”
“It doesn’t matter at all,” Penn wrote in his column. “The flag burning trick is a celebration of American freedom any way you look at it.”
Because, as Penn highlighted, without the freedoms afforded to it by the Bill of Rights, the flag “means nothing” — but “with that freedom, with our Bill of Rights, it’s the greatest symbol on earth.”
“It’s magic,” he concludes.
What do you all think? Let us know in the comments and share this post on Facebook and Twitter!