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Free Speech or Flag Protection? There Can’t Be Both.

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The first and only time I had ever heard of someone burning the flag when I came across an article on Regory Lee Johnson. In 1984, he showed up at the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas and burned an American flag in order to show his knowledge of the policies of Reagan administration. At the time, he was convicted of flag desecration, but the Supreme Court overturned that decision by ruling that burning a flag was “expressive conduct within protection of the first Amendment” (Pledging allegiance). The issue of flag desecration is one that been around for a while. 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. In Dianne Feinstein’s article, “Flag Amendment: Flag Needs Protection,” she composed an argument as to why the flag needs protection from desecration. Feinstein’s main point of her article is that the Constitution needs to be amended to protect the flag from desecration. Though Dianne Feinstein gives a compelling argument as to why the flag needs protection, her reasons are dubious and should be dismissed... ... middle of paper ... ...stein suggests and advocates for, then that would be a violation of our first amendment. That in itself is unconstitutional and cannot be done. It is important to understand this because if a constitutional amendment is passed, our free speech would be restricted. So, if after reading this, you feel as if your first amendment is in danger of being violated, then contact Diane Feinstein. Tell her how you do not agree with her advocating of the Flag Protection Amendment. Make your voice be heard, and if she does not change her position, then do not vote for her at the upcoming election. Let her know that you do not agree with her stance on flag desecration. Or, if you are still unsure about whether or not your first amendment is being violated, I urge you to do the research on it, and determine for yourself whether or not our first amendment is being violated.
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