Desecration of the Flag is an American Freedom

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Desecration of the Flag is an American Freedom

The American Flag is truly a versatile emblem. The flag’s stars, stripes, and colors represent valor, purity and vigilance—they represent bloodshed, hard work, and mostly, the infallible freedoms known as rights. Paradoxically, those same stitches that compose the flag and bind our freedom contain the right to desecrate and utterly disrespect it. How beautiful: a country that regards freedom so highly that it protects even the most offensive actions of expression; what magnificent grace. The Bill of Rights—left untouched by meddling hands for almost 200 years—secures that grace; the freedoms that allegedly make America different from other countries. It is most certainly not a coincidence that the freedom of expression is the first inalienable right our forefathers chose to protect in the constitution.

Unfortunately, our First Amendment is not able to protect itself.

It seems as if certain politicians are preoccupied with other issues, such as the necessity of civilians owning assault rifles and exaggerating the size of American flags in classrooms. Now, amongst all other stresses and responsibilities of our government, the United States Senate has somehow miraculously found the time and prerogative to groan about whether or not certain freedoms of expression should be legal. During war and economic crisis, politicians believe it necessary to put the very rights of American citizens in question. How ironic is it that the people we place in enough confidence to elect leaders we cannot place in enough confidence to enact civil rights.

In Texas v. Johnson (1989), The Supreme Court ruled flag desecration symbolic of free speech, and thus protected by the First Amendment. The proposed amendment to overturn this decision has failed to get the two-thirds majority needed for passage four times since 1989. Why, then, the Senate is fixated with altering the Supreme Court’s concrete decision is baffling.

Stereotypically, it is a conservative idiosyncrasy to be preoccupied with superficial respect but deny necessary principles of unmodified freedom.
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