Essay On Flag Desecration

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What is the value of nationality? And how important is a flag to that nationality? For some people the flag is extremely valuable to nationality and unity, for that reason many people have opposed flag desecration in recent history. Flag desecration is when a person or group of persons mistreat or burn a flag for various reasons. The most frequent being in protest of the government and their political or foreign decisions.

Many people are very offended by burning America’s “national symbol” and view the act as “un-patriotic” and extremely disrespectfu8l towards the nation, its history and heritage. Many Americans believed that flag burning and desecration should be criminalized. However, other citizens believe that flag desecration is protected under the constitution and should be legal.
It is argued that because flag burning can be viewed as expressive or symbolic speech, it falls under the First Amendment’s freedom of speech, and therefore cannot be criminalized.
While both arguments have valid points the decision has come down to the Supreme Court of the United States which has ruled on flag desecration cases and kept a prevailing opinion.

On January 30, 1970 in Leominster, Massachusetts two police officers approached Valarie Goguen, a Massachusetts man, and questioned him for wearing a small American Flag sewn on to the seat of his pants. Goguen who was with a group of people, was not demonstrating or protesting.There was no protest at the time being conducted by other individuals. The next day the officers arrested Goguen for violating a Massachusetts state statute decreeing that it was illegal to “publicly mutilate, trample upon, deface or treat contemptuously of the flag of the United States”. Goguen was convict...

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...the First Amendment, and people have the right to execute this right. This coincides with the three Supreme Court decisions. In Goguen v. Smith due process allowed Goguen to exercise his ability to wear a flag. In Texas v. Johnson the Court had to make a difficult decision between the nation’s symbol, and a citizen’s right to protest government. And finally in United States v. Eichman the Texas v. Johnson was reaffirmed, and the people’s rights secured.
This ruling can and will stand. This is because to rule any differently will violate the constitution and suppress free speech. Without the right to express one’s political views like this America would be no different than other countries who oppress their citizens, forbidding them to speak against the government. For this reason it is critical that acts such as flag desecration is allowed under the constitution.
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