Internet Quotes: Molly Ivins on Flag Burning

“I prefer a man who will burn the flag and then wrap himself in the Constitution to a man who will burn the Constitution and then wrap himself in the flag.”

This quotation, attributed to the late, great journalist Molly Ivins, has been making the rounds of the internet lately, in the wake of Donald Trump’s tweet about outlawing the burning of the U.S. flag. The quotation has all the hallmarks of greatness, it’s pithy and clever, and it uses a classic rhetorical device, antimetabole (repeating words in reverse order, another example of this device is “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”). Unfortunately, the quote doesn’t come from Ivins, at least not originally.

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