WHY IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL (again) TO BURN THE AMERICAN FLAG
by SL’s Rant (Stephanie Land)
Burning the American flag is not “speech”, it is an “act”! It is not “symbolic speech. Symbolic speech may be expressing emotion- crying, screaming, cheering, waving, scowling, etc.. But starting a fire is in no way, shape or form – “speech or expression”!
Our great flag figuratively represents our “UNITED STATES”. As citizens and legalized immigrants we “PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE to the FLAG of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God…”
Each of the stripes represents the 13 original colonies, each star, a state. When a person burns the American flag, they are figuratively burning down & destroying, our country!!
It is a destructive act against this country’s primary symbol of freedom and patriotism that the men & women in our military have historically looked too with pride, giving them the additional courage and motivation to stand and defend our homeland (and others), and all it stands for as outlined in our constitution and associated documents, when things are the most dire (e.g. The Iwo Jima Memorial).
Patriotism is a country’s greatest weapon! Those who wish to destroy our country know this very well.
Remove patriotism and you no longer have a military willing to defend the country. With no military to defend it, you soon have no country.
That’s been the effect since the law was passed, in 1989, making it legal to burn the flag.
For 213 years it was ILLEGAL to burn the American flag (for the reasons I stated)! It’s been legal for the past 30 years and look what’s happened to our country since then! People have not only lost respect for our country, they have lost respect for each other. When the flag is respected, citizens are proud to be Americans and they respect fellow Americans.
If a person’s reason for burning the flag is that it’s their freedom of expression then they are idiots, because they are burning the symbol that represents their freedom of expression!
By burning the flag, the “symbolic expression” being voiced is a protest AGAINST our freedoms, against our rights! That’s idiotic!
If there is an issue to protest or something can be done to make our country better, address THAT issue directly -not symbolically with acts of hatred! Hatred never results in anything positive.
Laws prohibiting the desecration of the flag were only RECENTLY struck down by the US Supreme Court in 1989! Since that time patriotism in our country has also been “struck down”.
On June 21, 1989, a deeply divided United States Supreme Court upheld the rights of protesters to burn the American flag in a landmark First Amendment decision.
In the controversial Texas v. Johnson case, the Court voted 5-4 in favor of Gregory Lee Johnson, the protester who had burned the flag. Johnson’s actions, the majority argued, were symbolic speech, political in nature, and could be expressed even at the expense of our national symbol and to the affront of those who disagreed with him.
Since then, there have been 7 attempts to amend the United States Constitution to prevent the desecration of the flag, but those attempts and others, like legislation then-Senator Hillary Clinton co-sponsored in 2006, have failed.
As Mackenzie Celum said:
“I consider flag-burning to not only be an ineffective way to express disagreement, but toxic as well. More than that, I believe it to be a hate crime. Yes, it makes an obvious statement, but at the heart of it, all it truly exhibits is hatred for our country. I would even go so far as to question if flag-burning ought to be judged as treason. Furthermore, this act could be considered a form of violence, as it encourages a “mob mentality.” Could this easily lead to even more violent actions? I would argue that yes, it easily could. This quickly sparks a chain reaction of chaos that cannot easily be contained.”
Our troops sacrifice their lives to defend our rights. There is no greater action of disrespect and disregard towards them and the institution of our military than to burn the epitome of those rights.
“Reverence for the flag is ingrained in every schoolchild who has quailed at the thought of letting it touch the ground, in every citizen moved by pictures of it being raised at Iwo Jima or planted on the moon, in every veteran who has ever heard taps played at the end of a Memorial Day parade, in every gold-star mother who treasures a neatly folded emblem of her family’s supreme sacrifice.”
— TIME’s Walter Isaacson
It’s wrong that the above is no longer true for some well-meaning, but mis-guided people.
I’ll end here with a link to an article that describes the meaning of the American flag.