Flag Burning...

Flag burning: what do you think?

It should remain a protected constitutional right.
9 votes
It isn't a constitutional right, and should be prohibited.
4 votes
Doesn't apply to me/don't care.
4 votes
Don't know.
0 votes
Other (please elaborate).
5 votes

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CLAMPchic

CLAMPchic

I'm just me

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I know this topic is particular to the USA, but I thought it would be interesting to hear different people's thoughts. Here's the situation, if you aren't familiar with it.

In 1989 and 1990, the Supreme Court ruled that "burning and other desecrations of the flag are protected as free speech by the First Amendment to the Constitution" (Kellman, Laurie. "Senate rejects flag-bruning ban by one vote").

Congress, in response to these rulings, has been attempting to formulate a bill that would allow them (Congress) the "power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States" (Kellman).

I'm not sure how easily our Congress system is understood, so I'll give a (very) brief rundown of it:

>The House of Representatives is the "lower half" of Congress; it's representatives is proportional with state population (i.e. larger states like California have more representatives than states with less people living in them like Wyoming or something).

>The Senate is the "upper half" of Congress, where it's representatives are equal, two per state no matter the size.

>In order to pass an amendment, two-thirds of the representatives have to affirm (or vote for) the proposition, and it must clear both sections of Congress in order to be put to the states for ratification; then 38 of those states would have to ratify it for it to become an amendment. (All this information, as well as a more in-depth description can be found at Wikipedia: US Congress; if you've got any questions, feel free to ask).

With that bit of information in mind, the Flag bill was passed by the House of Representatives last year, but it failed in today's Senate by one vote (it was one short of the two-thirds majority needed in order for the bill to pass). A similar vote was attempted in the year 2000, when it failed by four votes.


Anyway, I just wanted to know your opinions in the issue of burning flags: is it a protected right under the first amendment, freedom of speech? Or is it something that ought to be prohibited? Anyone can respond.

Since I'm curious as to what you all think, I'll leave my personal thoughts for later. Thanks for reading through this and for responding!

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  • Jun 28, 2006

tobiast88

tobiast88

No patience for fools.

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I think that it should remain a constitutional right. The bill is really a political ploy to pander to the social conservatives in an effort to save votes, and burning the flag - why should it be considered offensive? It means you strongly disagree with what the government is doing at the moment, and it isn't violent per se; unlike for example hate speech where there is clear intent to hurt. Flag burning is just an extreme political statement, and should remain legal.

"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, Litterature Nobel Prize winner.
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Mnemeth

Mnemeth

Rider of the Currents

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I don't particularly like the idea of someone burning our nations flag but on the other hand one of our rights is free speech and it is a form of free speech. As for most of what is going on int he House and Senate right now it is political BS on both sides. Both sides are trying to maintain or increase their support base through these proposals and pronouncements in preparation for elections.

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  • Jun 28, 2006

Yu-huang

Yu-huang

The Jade Emperor

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Quote by MnemethI don't particularly like the idea of someone burning our nations flag but on the other hand one of our rights is free speech and it is a form of free speech. As for most of what is going on int he House and Senate right now it is political BS on both sides. Both sides are trying to maintain or increase their support base through these proposals and pronouncements in preparation for elections.

I'm all for free speech but burning a flag for whatever reason is just an act of disrespect to the country in question.
One does not need to burn flags to make their point across.

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Shinsengumi89

Shinsengumi89

The Watcher of Movies

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Yes, i also agree with the two previous posts, but i also want to make something clear, this would be the first ammendment to the constitution to take away a right intead of giving one, it goes against the whole makeup of the constitution, which is to give rights, not take away.

Along with this, would it be okay to burn Frances flag, Englands, Japans, Irans, why should only our flag be protected, if your going to make a law like this you have to cover ever nations flag and not discriminate.l Otherwise its saying your flags worthless ours isn't.

Last the cornerstone of american society is the freedom of speech,

and might i remind you Kid Rock Wore a Flag at a Republican conventin, the same people who are now trying to stop the same act. they invited him and said it was patriotic to ware the flag but inoreder to do that he had to place a hole throught the middle. But the republicans said it was " patriotic" now they are saying it was wrong, they speak one thing but do another.


Do not allow the freedom of speech to be eroded no matter how much you do not like the form in which it comes.

Shinsengumi89

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  • Jun 28, 2006

Mnemeth

Mnemeth

Rider of the Currents

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Well if you take a look at how the flag is supposed to be treated (look up poper flag etiqutte) then you actually are not supposed to wear the flag (symbolic representations are OK) as clothing. This doesn't apply to items like patches which are identifiers but does apply to clothing on which the flag is shown (as a flag).

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  • Jun 28, 2006

Shinsengumi89

Shinsengumi89

The Watcher of Movies

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Well its convient they say its patriotic one moment and the next they say wearing the flag, and buring isnt.

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  • Jun 28, 2006
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Okay, the First Amendment is being to liberally used for this. It protects the following right: Speech, Press, Assembly, and Religion. Which basically means that flag burning is not in this part of the constitution. Though, many people consider this an assembly, they are by definition...a little off...the right to peacefully assemble is a direct relation back to our colonial history in rememberence of several things the British had done to us (namely the people protesting the British Colonial/Imperial Injustices.). So, one can therefore look at this in a light that it is there to protect Protestors from their own government. (That's the reason why all those Anti-War protestors haven't been "taken care of."

It is not part of our constitutional rights, unless we are protesting some political injustice that has been done to us. (Knowing when to draw the line is crucial here. Otherwise it may border on Treason, a very nasty offense to a people. But, that depends on the political climate at the time. Now, you'd just be labeled as a Terrorist and couldn't do anything for the rest of your life. [Minus martyring yourself for whatever you feel is necessary.])

Though, there are instances where burning (aka retiring) an old worn flag is permitted as a ritual to honor that flag.

And, in my opinion, unless it is following the stated reason above; I'm all against it. It is an act of Treason to your fellow countrymen, the flag itself, the nation, and in this case, the Constitution of United States of America. And with our fighting men and women out there risking life and limb, I think this is a poor display that should be rewarded with the highest form of punishment in the land.

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The following is a letter I sent to the editor of our local paper.

Editor,

Let's all send Congress our heartfelt thanks for failing to pass an Amendment that would make it unlawful to burn the American flag. Certainly, in a land where illegal aliens can rally in the streets, proudly displaying the flag of their own nations, and flaunting their illegal status while authorities sit on their hands and do nothing to secure our borders, we want to send a clear message that we take no pride in the symbols of our nation.
If I were to go out in public and burn the flag of another nation in protest of the illegal immigration problems, I would be accused of racism and possibly even charged with a hate crime. Burning the flag of this nation, however, seems to be quite all right with our elected officials.
Opponents of the measure say that it conflicts with Freedom of Speech. But what are you saying when you burn the flag of a nation. Presumably, you are saying that you hate that nation. Well, if you hate America, no one said that you have to live here, and you're more than welcome to leave.
If you have a problem with the laws of the land, there are ways, legitimate, responsible ways to effect change. Burning the flag is expressing a desire to be separate from this great nation, not a willingness to participate in it.
Or perhaps you'd like to tell the Men and Women who serve in our nation's armed services that they risk their lives on a regular basis, that some of them have even died defending that flag and all it stands for, just so some spoiled ingrates can burn it to their heart's content.

  • Jun 28, 2006

eXDream2K5

eXDream2K5

the crazy band geek

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there is already a forum thread about this topic. please use the search feature in the forum before making new posts.

the original thread can be found at Burning the National Flag. Is it Acceptable?

here's a section from the thread I linked you to.

Quote by eXDream2K5

Quote by NeoNexusThe only time I feel that it is right to burn a flag is in the ceremony in which the flag is retired, after a long life of proper use. The stripes are cut into strips and the blue field is left in a square. The flag is then burned.

What you say is true; the flag is burned when it is retired.

When the flag is burned whole, it is a political demonstration against the United States.

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Haohmaru77

Haohmaru77

Stray Wanderer

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It offends patriotic people, the same as the burning or desecration of a cross offends christians; so it's different from freedom of speech; when there's respect, there's freedom; when respect is lost, freedom turns to libertinage.

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screamokid4evr

screamokid4evr

SCREAMOCHiCK...LOL

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its retarded its JUST a friggin flag! get over it!

  • Jun 28, 2006
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flag burning should be looked down upon by society like many things are, but not illegal. once its illegal, its taking away at what the flag stands for (at least in america).

  • Jun 28, 2006
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It isn't just a flag. It's a symbol of a nation. To burn a flag is to disrespect a nation, but the question must be 'what this nation did to deserve this kind of political act?' People burning some nation flag are trying to capture the attention of this nation (who knows the entire world) to wrong things this nation did, does or will do. Think about it, patriots.

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  • Jun 28, 2006
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If you come into my home and light objects near and dear to me ablaze, I'm not going to be interested in what you have to say. And what's more, the people lighting fires probably weren't interested in civil discourse either.

The Constitution guarantees a right to have a public redress of grievances, and that the people can peaceably assemble.
Setting a flag ablaze isn't peaceable. It's inflamatory, both literally and figuratively.

It's one thing is someone says, "I hate America." That is speech.
Burning a flag isn't speech, it's action. And we do have laws that limit what actions one can take against our nation. You can peaceably assemble and petition for a redress of greivances. You can even take the government to court to try and change things you don't like or to have a wrong righted.

But if you were to take up arms against the country, for example, you've crossed a line you're not allowed to cross. Your actions are making a statement, but it's not a statement that we allow by law.
Burning the flag is making the same statement. You are, in effigy, trying to hurt America.

  • Jun 28, 2006

jasaiyajin

jasaiyajin

-repeat-

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its all relative in the end... what does the flag represent and why does burning it have to be looked at from such a harsh law angle?

if someone is burning the flag, then they have beef with the country for some reason or another... it's not really doing anyone harm, but it should be logged and noted that such and such person is so and so.

In my opinion, do not oppress the people's right to burn a flag, encourage it. Would you rather know who is a hater of what, rather than be kept in the dark? Find out more from the fellow WHY specifically there is a need to burn a flag, if possible. Thus, it makes sense to find out, analyze, contemplate, form an opinion, share and deliberate it... isn't that sound?

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  • Jun 29, 2006

crsg

crsg

Artemis

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I voted that it doesn't really have anything to do with me, since I'm not American and neither have I ever been to America. But, assuming I was an American then I don't think that burning a flag should be prohibited. There's a big difference between someone burning their own flag and someone going around burning flags and being a public, dangerous idiot. If someone's burning their own flag, I think people should be asking themselves why.

Shinsengumi89

Shinsengumi89

The Watcher of Movies

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This matter was alredy Decided by the Highest court in the Nation, the Supreme Court, i agree with it's decison fully( not that i think burning a flag will get you anywhere).

Wait don't tattered flags get burned, i went to the American Legion once and the Veterans burned a Tattered American Flag. So i guess we should AResset our Veterans now.

merged: 06-29-2006 ~ 09:02am
Also i know people get really passionate about this but........................................(...) It's just a flag, thats it nothing more, its not a human life, i don't see people getting upset about the
starving Pakistanis.

Again It's Just a flag, not a person, and not the constitution of the United States.

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  • Jun 29, 2006
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Quote by Shinsengumi89
Also i know people get really passionate about this but........................................(...) It's just a flag, thats it nothing more, its not a human life, i don't see people getting upset about the
starving Pakistanis.

Again It's Just a flag, not a person, and not the constitution of the United States.


No. It's not just a flag. It's a symbol of the values that this nation is supposed to stand for. It is a representation of this country. It is hope for quite a few people. And it is something that our men and women in the Armed Forces have fought long and hard to protect.

I look at the posts on this thread, and I look elsewhere on this site, and I see quite clearly that the people who have no respect for our flag, who don't cherish and want to preserve it are the same ones who disdain traditional values and customs. It comes as no surprise.

Well, in my eyes, if you allow someone to burn a flag, you might as well be burning it yourself, and that makes you THOUROUGHLY unAmerican in my eyes.

  • Jun 29, 2006

Shinsengumi89

Shinsengumi89

The Watcher of Movies

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Your right its a symbol, just a symbol, not a person,, not the constitution.

And i trully don't care if you think i'm " Un
American" bweb, I was born in America, i was raised to respect, the diffrent people and ideas in america, and i was taught to respect people, and the freedom i was given in this country. I belive in the Freedom of Speech, no matter what you say or do the congress and the Judicary has defeated your postion, you didin't get two thirds of the vote in the Senate and on most gallup poles your poition is not the favored one, so does that make you unamerican. No, it just makes you in the minorty.

merged: 06-29-2006 ~ 09:43am
But i do consider you a Citzen of this Nation, or " American" as you would say. So lets try to agree to disagree. I hold no grudge because you, can belive what you want to, that is Part of Freedom of Speech.

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  • Jun 29, 2006

zeroenna57

zeroenna57

The Ultimate Eye/ Jew

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i seriously think its rediculous that theres a law making it illegal i personally dont like ppl burning flags but thats my opinion but the USA says its citizens have a right to express themselves i mean think about it if this law were passed the US govt could impose even bigger laws and take away our freedoms as Americans

i would also like to use a funny quote from the Daily Show "Ed Helms: What if there was a baby on fire and the only possible way you could put him out was an American flag that was laying next to you?"
Senator: "..."

"Always do the right thing. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest" -Mark Twain
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  • Jun 29, 2006

Yu-huang

Yu-huang

The Jade Emperor

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"No. It's not just a flag. It's a symbol of the values that this nation is supposed to stand for. It is a representation of this country." - bweb

A flag is something precious, something that represents the country in question. A symbol.
However, a flag is a mere tool to represent the nation, not the nation itself.

"I look at the posts on this thread, and I look elsewhere on this site, and I see quite clearly that the people who have no respect for our flag, who don't cherish and want to preserve it are the ones who disdain traditional values and customs. It comes as no surprise." - bweb

Traditional values and customs are nice. But times changes, and as such so must customs and some values to adapt to the new age. Living in the past will trap you and close you mind to new possibilities.

"Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." -George Orwell

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I think it's fine to value one's flag and wish that others show the same respect, but making flag burning illegal seems a waste of time.
There has got to be other more important issues that a government should devote attention to.
I also think about the effort required to enforce this ban (taking flag burners to court in particular)
and I can't see how this ban would make much of a difference to justify its need.
This amendment would've been impractical at the very least. :\

  • Jun 29, 2006
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is common to burn american flags in many places in the world because are against USA and his terrorist goberment. is a way to say NO WAR! and another things.

  • Jul 13, 2006

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