Burning The American Flag Essay

Flag Desecration

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Flag Desecration Flag desecration is not American. People who burn the American flag lack respect for themselves, America, and the many people who have died to preserve American freedom. The people who desecrate the American flag have no right to call themselves Americans. They are unpatriotic, two faced, cowards, and worse of all un-American (communist). To be patriotic a person must love and defend his own country against all foreign and domestic threats. These unpatriotic people are two faced. They live in America with all its freedoms, and yet desecrate the most important symbol which holds America together: the flag. The way flag burners go about desecrating the American flag shows that they are not true Americans. Flag burners commit a morally unjust and hateful crime by desecrating the American flag. They are the first to hid behind the first amendment (Freedom of Speech). For people to say they have the right to burn the American flag, sighting their first amendment rights, they have some kind of warped sense of expression. If people continue to desecrate the American flag, it will lose its significance and value. From 1968 to 1989, politicians and true red blooded Americans understood how important it was to respect the American flag. Congress passed a law in which it prohibited desecration of the American flag in 1968. According to the law, it was illegal to cast contempt, either by word or act upon the American flag ((Federal law, 18 USC Sec. 700 States, 1968); Sec. 2(a). The law states that whoever knowingly casts contempt upon any flag of the United States by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling upon it shall be fined, not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both, Sec. 2(b). The term "flag of the United States" as used in this section, shall include any flag, standard colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, standards, colors, or ensign of the United States of America". In simple form, the law says that the American flag is to be revered and not abused in an act demeaned as unprofessional. The law was very strict and to the point.

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Flag Desecration         American Flag         First Amendment Rights         American Freedom         Freedom Of Speech         Contempt        




For twenty-one years the federal law stood uncontested. This was until the Supreme Court case of Texas vs. Johnson in 1989, when the courts deemed the federal law was unconstitutional. (Texas v. Johnson) Texas v. Johnson was when a group of protesters in Texas burned the American flag. The people involved were protesting the Ronald Reagan administration which was exploiting third world countries (Texas v. Johnson). Gregory Lee Johnson was the individual placed under arrest for desecrating the American flag (Law Enforcement Database). A person can engage in a heated debate in politics and clearly make a logical point without disrespecting America’s fallen veterans or the United States’ flag. I learned to respect the American flag through my own experiences fighting in the US Navy in another country. Fighting or traveling in other countries helps you to realize how important the flag is. In addition, "that the United States flag is the only flag which flies over a planetary body besides Earth." These morons do not realize that there is more to the American flag besides "the red, white, and blue"; it is a symbol of America’s achievements over the last two hundred and twenty three years. From the American Revolution of 1776 to current bombings of Kosovo, there has been many different battles fought by America. Some of these battles cost several thousand people their lives. America has been leading the space race in exploration of the Earth’s moon to Mars and beyond. America has so many different accomplishments which were achieved at great cost. This is why we should be proud and hold the American flag up high. No other symbol crosses the political, cultural, and ideological patch work that makes up this great nation and binds us as a whole. Since 1776, the American flag has been carried high in the air when going into battle. The flag symbolizes the unity of the colony states against the British Government. America has a cultural diversity from a side range of immigrants. The ideological beliefs from religion to common dreams help keep America whole. "America, Land of the Free" or "America the Melting Pot" are phrases I have heard through-out my life that describes the United States. As a melting pot, America has many different kinds of people. I believe that our Founding Fathers foresaw America to be a diverse country when they were making the laws that would govern this land. I do not think that the Founding Fathers could have imagined the disrespect that people have shown to this country by desecrating the flag. I am positively certain that our Founding Fathers would have never fought so hard to obtain the freedoms that they did if they knew how people would mistreat America today. People who burn the American flag should be banned from the United States of America, until they learn to respect their fellow peers, America, and themselves. Once flag burners realize that desecrating the American flag is morally wrong and very disrespectful, they will be able to understand that the constitution was not written for only them. It was intended to protect the rights and views of all Americans.

Word Count: 923



The Flag-burning Amendment


The Flag-burning Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. The change would enable the United States Congress to outlaw the physical desecration of United States flag. The concept of flag burning elicit heated debate over protecting free speech, protecting liberty and safeguarding national symbol represented by the national flag. The change would have great significance, both politically and constitutionally. Due to various reasons, America should not add an Amendment to the Constitution to prohibit the burning of the American Flag.

The purpose of U.S government, as suggested by the Founding Fathers, is to defend the rights of individuals. The rights are truths that are “undeniable and sacred.” These rights are also “inherent and inalienable.” The rights are captured in the Bill of Rights section. All the rights seek to ensure that innocent people are not forced against their will. Amendment that bans flag burning does not protect any right. Flag does not have any right. Consequently, the Amendment of Flag-burning should not be allowed to override the freedom of expression. Proposed flag burning amendment in not only in conflict with the ideals of freedoms but also unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court has appreciated the fact that the 1st Amendment in the U.S constitution protects some form of symbolic speech. Flag burning is a form of symbolic speech. A person who privately owns a flag should be allowed to burn it, especially if the action is a kind of protest. So long as the burning of the flag does not infringe other rights or destroy property, the government cannot forbid this action without violating speech rights. In a landmark case, the court ruled that Flag burning constitute symbolic expression stipulated in the First Amendment.

Liberty is a concrete concept. People that have the liberty possess the ability to do what they wish. However, such people are not allowed to infringe other people’s rights. The American Flag is a symbol of liberty. In fact, the flag is a symbol of people’s right to burn it if they see that fit. Therefore, any law that prohibits flag burning contradicts the symbol of the flag.

In conclusion, the America should not add an Amendment to the Constitution to prohibit the burning of the US flag. The ban will upset the freedom of expression. In addition, the amendment will be contrary to the liberty concept.

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