| "Bart-Mangled Banner"
| Episode Information
| Episode number:
| Season number:
|| S15 E21
| Production code:
| Original airdate:
|| May 16, 2004
| Couch gag:
|| The couch is replaced by a giant microwave. Someone puts a tray inside and presses a button. The Simpsons rise from the tray as it cooks
|| Al Jean
| Written by:
|| John Frink
| Directed by:
|| Steven Dean Moore
"Bart-Mangled Banner" is the twenty-first episode of season 15 of The Simpsons and the three-hundred and thirty-fourth episode overall. It originally aired on May 16, 2004. The episode was written by John Frink and directed by Steven Dean Moore.
- "When Bart accidentally 'moons' the American flag at a school function and Homer says he hates America on national TV, the Simpsons are labeled as unpatriotic and are arrested for high treason. They then embark on a cross-country mission to the nation's capital to prove they love America."
Homer and Marge take the kids to get their shots. Just before Dr. Hibbert is about to inject Bart, he escapes. After a chase through town, and many unsuccessful inoculation attempts, Hibbert finally outsmarts Bart. The shot, however, causes Bart's earholes to swell shut, making him temporarily deaf. Hibbert also tricks Homer into signing a malpractice waiver.
While at the Springfield Elementary School donkey basketball game, Bart taunts a donkey with a carrot, unaware that the school is reciting the National Anthem. After he places the carrot in his shorts, the donkey takes it and rips off Bart's shorts (just like his famous line "Eat my shorts") thus exposing his bare buttocks. While Bart is bent over to keep his privates covered with his shirt, the US flag is put up behind him and a photo is taken, which results in the crowd assuming that Bart is mooning the US flag. Shortly afterwards, the Springfield Shopper takes the story and completely turns it around, making it seem as if Bart had deliberately mooned the flag. He and his family soon are hated by all of Springfield. Homer and Marge tried to clear up this misunderstanding, knowing that it was an accident, but everybody refuses to listen, mistrusting Bart and his family.
The Simpsons are later asked to appear on the talk show Head Butt with Nash Castor and tell their side of the story. However, Nash asks, instead, "What part of America do you hate most?" (an example of the fallacy of many questions). Marge says that, if leading questions such as that are the only forms of discussion in America, then she does hate America. She also said that she is well-liked in Springfield, prompting the host to say that Springfield hates America. The US then turns their back on Springfield, so Mayor Quimby frantically decides to change the name of Springfield to "Libertyville." Everything in town is quickly patriotized; the traffic light colors are changed to red, white, and blue, and everything costs $17.76. While at church, Lisa speaks her opinion about patriotism, and the Simpsons are taken into custody, in violation of the "Government Knows Best Act".
The Simpsons are taken to the "Ronald Reagan Reeducation Center", which houses Michael Moore, the Dixie Chicks, Elmo (who accidentally went to the wrong fundraiser), and Bill Clinton. The Simpsons escape the prison but realize the re-education center is actually Alcatraz Prison. While swimming to land, they are picked up by a French freighter and brought to France. They are well-adjusted, but still miss the U.S., mainly because it is where all their stuff is. They move back to the U.S. dressed as 19th-century immigrants from Europe.