It does not make any sense to burn a well know symbol of freedom and then say that it is your right to burn it. Also, it is extremely disrespectful to burn an American flag unless it is ripped or damaged, not as a result of some ridiculous symbolism act. The bottom line about respecting the American flag is to remember what it stands for and to be mindful of what it took to receive the high honor it holds today.
They also state that the government cannot stop flag burning as a form of protest if it does not destroy public and/or the property of others. Another argument involved with this case was,” Should flag burning as symbolic speech be prohibited as an exceptio... ... middle of paper ... ...ar issue came about in the case the United States versus Eichman. In 1989 (as a result to Johnson’s case) the United States passed the Flag Protection Act. This act made it a crime to burn the American flag unless it was properly disposed of due to damage. The Supreme Court ruled this case exactly the same because it resulted in the same issue that freedom of speech cannot be allowed based on the circumstance but should exist in all viewpoints from every aspect.
Jonson should have not gone to court in the first place because what he had done was protected under the first amendment, the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly. In the first amendment it states that there should be no law against the freedoms of speech. Protesting is one form of speech, also is the burning of the flag. Johnson was expressing himself as he was burning the flag. However, there is a limit though.
To censor television and motion pictures because of one faction's set of morals is earily similar to book burning. Censorship of media messages is an explicit violation of our constitutionally protected right to expression, and as such, should not be looked to as a solution for modern-day violence in society. The First Amendment states; "Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." (Jefferson, US Constitution). We are an enlightened population well-versed in the understanding of our constitutionally protected natural rights.
Prohibition of Flag Desecration is Unconstitutional When people fix their eyes upon the fifty white stars and thirteen red and white stripes, they perceive not only a nation’s flag, but a symbol that represents freedom and unity. America, the country of opportunity and liberty, is built on a democracy regulated by the Bill of Rights. If this flag represents the land of the free, then why does Congress continue to disregard the First Amendment and attempt to pry a right out of American citizens’ hands? After Texas v. Johnson in 1989, when the Supreme Court opposed the new flag burning amendment, the state statutes banning flag desecration also were struck down. Since then, Congress has tried to pass The Flag Desecration Amendment in 1990, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2003.
There are two sides to the debate: one being that the flag should be protected by law, and one being that it should not because it restricts free speech. There have been times when Congress has tried to pass laws protecting the flag, but Supreme Court as struck those laws down by deeming them as “violating the constitutional guarantee of free speech, and hence unconstitutional” (Wall, 1995). However, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling of the laws being unconstitutional, there are many advocates that are still trying to pass flag protection laws by amending the Constitution to allow it. This cannot be done. The constitution should not be amended to protect the flag because it would be a violation to our first amendment: our right to free speech.
Americans should not be forced to sacrifice what our country is proud of, including democracy and freedom of expression. In the case of the University of California San Diego (UCSD) administration banning the link to the terrorist website, the USA Patriot Act was interpreted incorrectly. Their decision to ban the hyperlink was a violation of freedom of speech. A link to a website should not be seen as communications equipment. Americans, obviously, have a right to be concerned about terrorists.
Those who support the no-flag burning amendment argue that the United States flag is a special case. Because it would undermine the constitution and set a dangerous precedent that will make it easier for others enact restrictive amendments to the Bill of Rights, a flag desecrating amendment should not be passed. The words of the First Amendment state, "Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech." (Brief 1) Flag burning, a form of symbolic speech, is therefore protected by the constitution. An amendment revoking this right would be unconstitutional.
The other form of unprotected freedom of expression is the activities that cause harm to the national flag. It is considered illegal to cause any form of defacing of the national flag. However, in a case; United States v. Eichmann, 496 U.S. 310 (1990) the Supreme Court struck down efforts to denounce burning of a flag citing ambiguity in the constitution on the forms of expression (Lieberman, 1999, p.
Illegalization of Flag Burning Violates the First Constitutional Amendment When making flag burning illegal you have to wonder what our lawmakers were thinking. It was clearly not about the First Amendment in which American’s right to free speech is protected. Desecrating a flag is guaranteed in our Bill of Rights, however unpatriotic that may be. It is impossible to draw the line of where desecration begins. What about those that let our sacred symbol touch the ground, a clear violation of respect, do we punish them too?