Desecration of the Flag Should be Prohibited

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Desecration of the Flag Should be Prohibited

Is it necessary to allow all forms of protest to protect the right of citizens to express grievances against their government? It is not a violation of free speech to outlaw burning of the flag because it is not speech. It will not lead to the limiting of other avenues of protest, of which many are more expressive of specific problems. All attempts to protect the flag short of a Constitutional amendment have failed in the end. A change to the constitution to prohibit the desecration of the U.S. flag is a necessary step to protect one of our most sacred national symbols.

Several methods to protect the flag have been tried over many years. Between the late 1800's and into the early 1900's many of the states passed laws protecting the flag. There were numerous prosecutions for flag desecration during the Vietnam era and afterwards, until 1984 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled these laws unconstitutional. The controversy peaked in 1989 and 1990 when a federal law to prohibit flag desecration was passed and subsequently struck down by the Supreme Court.

The first amendment guarantees its citizens the right of speaking freely, but is the act of burning a flag "speech"? It is an inflammatory action that should not be protected by a clause meant to insure that citizens would not be suppressed in their efforts express unhappiness with the government or its actions. Limiting a person's right to free expression is not a radical new idea either; speaking or writing false stat...

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...ot believe the founding fathers have imagined that citizens of this country would want burn their own flag.

In conclusion, the right of free speech never meant persons could do anything they please, regardless of its effects, and when that effect is to undermine the integrity and heritage of our great country we must act. The inflammatory act of burning our flag does not accomplish anything except the alienation and devaluation of the rest of us. It is an attack by a citizen on their own country, an act of domestic terrorism. Protecting the flag is not an abridgment of free speech, but rather an action to honor our most recognized national symbol. We must act to restore out flag to the position of respect that it deserves as an emblem of our nation.
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