A reader writes:
Do you really not get why the Republican Base could be livid at Monica Lewinsky using the flag for a prop at one photo shoot and yet not be distressed even a little bit when Sarah Palin literally wraps herself in one for another? For them, it has to do with "respecting" the flag and what it stands for. While Lewinsky was (in their eyes) showing disrespect at best and contempt at worst for both the flag and those that revere it, Palin wrapping herself in it is literally displaying almost fetishistic worship. That's why to them the fact that she may have made an inadvertent faux pas because she did not understand all of the arcane rules about how the flag is to be handled is not only not a big deal, it's actually sort of charming.
Remember that these people see the flag as a symbol not just of America but of their particular ideology. It's the difference between a Jew using an Israeli Flag as a tent and an Arab using an Israeli Flag as a floor mat. That's how the far right sees the difference between, say, Palin and Michelle Obama.