Like a lot of you, I really enjoyed SummerSlam. Heck, I thought it was one of the best pay-per-views in years, right up there with Money in the Bank 2011. We had Bray Wyatt returning to top form, Stephanie McMahon cementing her place as the Cersei Lannister of WWE, and The Assassination of John Cena by the
Coward Conqueror Brock Lesnar. Unfortunately, some people on social media have been pointing fingers at a certain low point. You may remember that, during the Rusev-Jack Swagger flag match, an American flag was dropped to the canvas. This drew the ire of some people on Twitter, with reactions ranging from the predictable “omg so disrespectful” and “f*ck you WWE” to the genuinely hilarious “I’m telling Obama on y’all.”
I’m not sure how strict statutes concerning the national flag are in other countries, but here in America, it is admittedly a pretty big deal. For the official ruling on the field, we turn to Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8 of the United States Code:
(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
Merchandise? What, like ugly John Cena shirts?
Contrary to popular belief, you are NOT supposed to burn an American flag after it touches the ground, because then you’re just burning an American flag and that’s a whole new can of worms. Also, my extensive research of the United States Code (by which I mean “20 minutes of skimming Wikipedia”) tells me that failure to comply with the flag code cannot legally be punished or policed, because that would be a violation of the First Amendment. So if your dander is up about this, I regret to inform you that it’s kind of a non-issue. Accidents happen, especially when Rusev is trying to kick you in the face.
Remember, this isn’t WWE’s first incident with flag etiquette. Shawn Michaels had a little too much fun with the Canadian flag back in his DX days (“Nobody nose Canada like I nose Canada”), and Chris Jericho actually got suspended for 30 days in 2012 for kicking a Brazilian flag out of the ring at a Sao Paolo live event, which you can see here:
It’s a shame, because Brazil probably could have used him in that World Cup match against Germany.