Feel good legislation is good for votes. Don't analyze it, or you'll lose the high. It's a lot easier than solving any serious problems.
It has the added advantage of clogging the law books, and giving the state the power to bust the head of someone it doesn't like for saluting the flag when they're not a vet. Of course, it'll never be used. Trust us (so why is it a statute then?). Unless we need to trump up some charges on someone (oh, that's it).
I guess that's that freedom we're always at war for. To tell people how they're allowed to honor, if they choose to, a symbolic representation of something. A guideline is one thing, but this is not that; it's the force of law, enforced through aggression, should the state so choose. We're careless with how we use state force.
I don't even know what the flag represents: the history of the country, the government (yuck), the people, the military, ... I think everyone just picks what they want it to stand for, and honor it for that, which is probably a good thing.
When a government takes over a people’s economic life it becomes absolute, and when it has become absolute it destroys the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning of the people it governs.
- Maxwell Anderson