Everything you ever wanted to know about Flaming is over at Andrew Heenan's Guide to Flaming. Well, almost everything.
But to prove that Flaming and FlameWars are nothing new, here's the 17th century's equivalent of a Blog entry. A Pamphlet, written during that <sarcasm>delightful</sarcasm> period of European History called the "Thirty Years War".
The pamphlet below is entirely typical of the standard of theological and political debate of the time. One difference : in those days theology and politics were intertwined, and both were blood sports. Within 10 years of the pamphlet being written, a Civil War tore the country, a King was beheaded, a series of Talibaneque Republican regimes were installed, then were replaced by a less extreme Military Dictatorship.
While in Europe, things were really bad.
Hat Tip to Goldsmith, in a comment over at Tim Blair's place.
More Pamphlets of the period are available online and in dead tree editions.