Semiotics of freedom

A question for you. What is the difference between these two things?

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Give up? The first establishes the freedoms that Americans enjoy and must protect at all costs. The second is a symbol of that freedom. OK, so another question. Which is more important to you? Which would you be more likely to put your life on the line for? Seems to me an easy choice.

Whenever the issue of flag desecration comes up I can’t help but think of early religions that came to value physical depictions of a god more than belief in the deity itself. Aren’t we past this, people?