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Magicians Seem to Burn American Flag But Their Reason Is 100% Patriotic

“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.

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