Third Party & Independents Archives

Protecting the Flag

The movement to grant the flag constitutional protection is picking up momentum in Washington, unlike the short-lived amendment that was proposed to outlaw gay marriage. In both cases critics contend there are more pressing issues to spend time on, but this is a fight on which supporters of flag protection are unwilling to waver.

According to USA TODAY the amendment is currently shy by one vote in the Senate:

WASHINGTON -- The Senate is one vote away from passing a constitutional amendment that would ban desecration of the U.S. flag, the closest that amendment supporters have been to passage.

The American Legion, which supports the amendment, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes it, both say there are 66 votes to pass it.

Whether advocates can find the 67th vote to send the flag amendment to the states for ratification remains unclear. A Senate vote is set for the week of June 26.

The House of Representatives last year approved the flag amendment 286-130. It was the seventh time it had done so since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law banning flag burning in 1989. The next year, the court ruled that the federal Flag Protection Act violated the First Amendment's free speech guarantee.

Four times in the Senate, the flag measure has failed to receive the two-thirds majority required of constitutional amendments. In 2000, the amendment came up four votes short with 63.

All 50 states have approved non-binding resolutions endorsing an amendment. "That is unprecedented and shouldn't be ignored," American Legion legislative director Steve Robertson says. "We will see if the senators are listening to their constituents or not."

Thirty-eight, or three-fourths, of the 50 states must ratify the measure to make it the 28th Amendment.

An amendment protecting the flag against desecration is not one I'm enthusiastic about, but if there's enough support for its passage then I see no harm done. Those who get off on burning the American flag will just have to find something else to do that is both offensive and protected by the First Amendment.

Posted by Scottie at June 14, 2006 8:46 PM
Comments
Comment #157853

Do not worship graven images.

Americans are supposed to know they follow ideals, not a flag. All of you that got upset about Arabs protesting the Danish cartoons of Muhammed should think about that.

Posted by: Max at June 14, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #157854

“For every problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. “


H. L. Mencken

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 14, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #157859

LOL , love Mencken..he’s my kind of cynic.

Posted by: gergle at June 14, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #157861

“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment”, the decision of the court read, “it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”

Posted by: Max at June 14, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #157862

You can be put in jail for burning a piece of cloth. Sounds medieval to me.

Posted by: bobo at June 14, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #157872

Do the state governments ratify an ammendment or do the people of each state vote on it?

Always wondered about that…

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #157886
Those who get off on burning the American flag will just have to find something else to do that is both offensive and protected by the First Amendment.

How is it offensive to burn the flag? Have you ever looked at the official flag etiquette, which says that a tattered or faded flag is to be disposed of by burning? How will you tell the difference between the people who are honorably burning a flag from those scoundrels who are desecrating it by burning it? You may be posting on “Third Party & Independents” but your illogic reeks of ultra-conservatism.

Posted by: joel_rifkin at June 14, 2006 9:52 PM
Comment #157888
Do the state governments ratify an ammendment or do the people of each state vote on it?

It is the vote of the registered voters of each state that matters for passage of a constitional amendment, not the state governments, although the state governments may have some say as to when the amendment goes on the ballot. I may be wrong but I believe that once 2/3rds of the states pass it (i.e. 34 states), it becomes part of the constitution.

Posted by: joel_rifkin at June 14, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #157892

How will you tell the difference between the people who are honorably burning a flag from those scoundrels who are desecrating it by burning it?

It’s pretty easy to tell the difference between someone burning the flag ceremonially and someone desecrating it.

Thanks for the info about the amendments. The last one went through before I was old enough to care.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #157893

The proper method for disposing of old flags is to burn them. The Boy Scouts of America, VFW’s and other volunteer groups will take your old flag and burn it for you. Will this become unconstituional as well? How will we dispose of our flags?

Posted by: Jerseyguy at June 14, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #157895

Article v, U.S. Constitution

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Posted by: traveller at June 14, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #157897

What about making them into pants, underwear, bumper stickers, shirts, etc? This is also against etiquette.

Posted by: Max at June 14, 2006 10:28 PM
Comment #157901

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

Groucho Marx

Posted by: Rocky at June 14, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #157904

The American flag is more than a piece of cloth; it is our National Standard, the symbol of our ideals.
Brave men have literally died for that piece of cloth, to preserve your right to express contempt for all they hold sacred.
When some pussy desecrates our flag, he desecrates the memory of the people who made his liberty possible.
When a flag is burned ceremoniously it is symbolically cremated and laid to rest with full honors.

www.niceflag.com/flagdisp.html

The American flag is a sacred icon to millions of Americans. Battle hardened veterans are often brought to tears at the sight of it.

If you wish to express hatred of America there are many ways you can do it and I and many other people who have fought for your freedom will stand there and watch, taking no action. If you desecrate our flag, however, you will quickly wish you had never been born.

Posted by: traveller at June 14, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #157905

Well at least they are working on the important stuff now, instead of the silly things like a balanced budget or the energy problem or… well just about anything.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 14, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #157907

Traveller,

Brave men have literally died for that piece of cloth, to preserve your right to express contempt for all they hold sacred.

Yes. This is what makes our nation great. Let’s not let politicians take away the rights our soldiers have fought and died for. Our soldiers fought for the ideals, not the symbol. The flag, for me, also stands for the right to burn it. Somehow for me, this has always symbolized that we really mean it when we say people have freedom of speech.

Posted by: Max at June 14, 2006 11:01 PM
Comment #157909

This is the full text of the amendment:

The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

The amendment itelf doesn’t outlaw burning the flag or anything else.
It gives congress the power to make a law prohibiting the desecration of the flag. Big difference.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #157910

Our soldiers fought for the ideals, not the symbol.

True, but keep in mind that most soldiers disagree with your position on the issue…

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #157921

“Our soldiers fought for the ideals, not the symbol.”

Soldiers have died protecting that symbol.

Free speech is the right to disagree. Desecrating the flag falls under the category of fighting words.

Posted by: traveller at June 14, 2006 11:43 PM
Comment #157923

j2t2,
I consider protecting the flag very important, and long overdue.
We can work on more than one thing at a time.

Posted by: traveller at June 14, 2006 11:51 PM
Comment #157924

traveller,

“True, but keep in mind that most soldiers disagree with your position on the issue”

No offence meant pal, but soldiers don’t run the country.

Posted by: Rocky at June 14, 2006 11:57 PM
Comment #157925

Traveller,
The only reason it is important now is because it is election time? If we really wanted things to happen in DC we would hold elections every year. Look at em pandering.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 14, 2006 11:58 PM
Comment #157933

Kinda funny.

Protect the Flag today…

Reduce Veteran’s Benefits tomorrow…

Posted by: Aldous at June 15, 2006 12:23 AM
Comment #157939

joel

How will you tell the difference between the people who are honorably burning a flag from those scoundrels who are desecrating it by burning it?

If the person burning it throws it in the street after setting it on fire, it a good bet that the asshole is desecrating it. Most folks that burn old flags don’t make a public show of it like the assholes that desecrate it.

I’m for the amendment. And it’s long over due.
For now you may have the right to burn the flag thanks to our activist judges. But I have the right to kick your ass off the face of this earth if I see ya doing it. And will do it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 15, 2006 12:32 AM
Comment #157943

Ron,
Only activist judge Ive seen was the group that pushed W down our throats 5 years ago.
I agree that people should not abuse the flag but an amendment to the Constitution on a free speech issue is overboard. Give this crew in DC an amendment and by the time it makes it thru the mess we wont have any rights left.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 15, 2006 12:40 AM
Comment #157945

Ron Brown:

“But I have the right to kick your ass off the face of this earth if I see ya doing it. And will do it.”

And then you can sit in jail and gloat about your self-destructive sanctimoniousness.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 15, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #157946

Then you will be up close and personel with those activist judges.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 15, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #157960

Our military men and women fight and die for what the flag stands for. It is a symbol, and not a religious symbol to be worshipped. That it invokes emotion does not turn it into what is being fought for. This is a red herring. Just another distraction from what is currently pressing and important.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 15, 2006 3:40 AM
Comment #157968

During times when politicians cannot support and defend their policies, they have no choice politically but, to support and defend the symbols of what the policies should have been.

If only voters could see this shell game for what it is.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 15, 2006 5:29 AM
Comment #157977

OurLadyOfTheTruth is no longer permitted to comment here for violating our Critique the Message, Not the Messenger policy.

Posted by: WatchBlog Managing Editor at June 15, 2006 6:29 AM
Comment #157988

There are few, if any recorded flag burning incidents in recent memory. But I can assure you of one thing: if it becomes part of our Constitution, there will be more and more flag burning incidents that you ever imagined. Like prohibition, people will flaunt the law because they know it is stupid. And the supports of the amendment will feel even more helpless to stop these incidents. Remember: you read it here first.

Posted by: Steve K at June 15, 2006 7:35 AM
Comment #157997

Too bad most USA flag burners worldwide are not under US laws. But, hey, who care, better protect a symbol than the ideal behind…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 15, 2006 8:25 AM
Comment #158013

Making flag burning illegal is worse than flag burning itself.

This is just another huge time-waster.

Congress loves to waste time on such $#!+

Congress does not give a damn about truly important issues, because they side-step all important issues, and choose to dwell on much less important issues.

Congress is FOR SALE.
Our congress is full of cheaters.
Haven’t you noticed ?
Incumbent politicians only care about fillin’ their own pockets.
Incumbent politicians are beholden to their big money donors. Not you. They ignore you every year, and you keep re-electing them, which is why they are corrupt.

Polls show most Americans feel congress is more corrupt than the average American, but those same voters keep re-electing those very same irresponsible incumbent politicians. Hence, we are screwing ourselves. We are the problem. Congress won’t reform itself. Only voters can change it now.

From here on out, for a long, long time, I’m voting out irresponsible incumbents, until some new incumbents start proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are responsible and honest, instead of fiscally and morally bankrupt.

Stop Repeat Offenders.
Don’t Re-elect them!

Posted by: d.a.n at June 15, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #158015

I keep wondering why congress is not talking about the things (esp the dems who need to rally together as a group around SOMETHING they can all agree on) that voters really care about. NO ONE is talking about the environment. No one has said, “what difference does it make if global warming can be proved or not. We can all agree that our polluting the earth is causing more sickness, childhood asthma, childhood neurological issues, adult lung disorders and breathing problems (I NEVER saw people with breathing masks on their faces out in public like I do today), mercury poisoning which includes intrauterine poisoning and pre-natal problems during pregnancy, alerts on where we can go fishing or what fish or shell fish we can eat, mad cow disease. Let’s get off fossil fuels becausae it is the right thing to do. Lets stop polluting because it is better for our health and that of our children.”

Even with doubts that the ignorant few still have about global warming hang on to, why isn’t anyone saying that is irrelevant and we need to stop polluting and take care of the earth so we can breath better, so our kids can breath without breathing masks on, so our ERs are not so full of asthma and allergy patients? why isn’t anyone standing up to those issues that are really impt, instead of distracting us from the really impt stuff with fluff about the flag?

how about the incredibally huge deficit we have that our kids and grandkids will have to pay? and the fact that with the war and money to the rich through tax breaks and the repeal of the death tax for the very very very very wealthy few, that we have no more money to pay for health care or education or programs that affect us all and our quality of life? cannot anyone stand up to the oil companies and big business and say “if brazil can do it, so can we!” (get off the mideast oil addiction that gives cheney and his friends thier billion dollar incomes). and how about universal health care or health care that is not in crisis? (see the recent studies just coming out about the ERs in crisis and doctors who would not go to some hospitals becuase they are aware that they are so over booked, over worked and understaffed, that mistakes and poor care is inevitable.

why are we letting congress and the administration keep distracting us from the really impt issues and WHEN will there be someone who will stand up and say “NO MORE!”

Posted by: judye at June 15, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #158020

judye,
You are absolutely correct.
Pollution may become the most serious issue we face.
But, we can’t solve anything with the congress we have and the voters that keep re-electing them.
We need a fundamental change first.
Congress won’t reform itself.
Only the voters can do it now, but will they ?
It could be that voters are quite simply not smart enough to do so.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 15, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #158027

Hmmm….doesn’t sound that scary to me. If our electorates are voting the will of their constituency then the outcome of a national vote will be approximatly 35 votes short of passing. It only passed by a 68% majority in the House. It will have to pass almost unanimouslty in the Senate to echo the 75% support needed from the states.

Posted by: DOC at June 15, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #158033
It gives congress the power to make a law prohibiting the desecration of the flag. Big difference.

OK, great. Now define “desecration”. You’ll get a different definition from each person you ask. Many, if not most, people who are sanctimonious enough to be drawn into this silly debate will define desecration to include burning. And you know some cop somewhere will go by the letter of the law and drag someone in for burning a tattered, faded flag.

Posted by: joel_rifkin at June 15, 2006 11:22 AM
Comment #158037

I feel certain that even with the passing of the flag burning prohibition, the accepted ways of “retiring” a flag will continue. (VFW, Boy Scouts, etc.).

I am on the side of those who oppose indiscriminate burning of the flag and favor the amendment to ban it’s desecration. I just feel a lot better when I see the flag flying and/or unfurled than I do when I see someone destroying one just to exercise his right to do so and incite others.

Posted by: steve smith at June 15, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #158047

Wow… is this what we’ve come to. Do 66 Senators (and countless voters) really think that our country is so weak that it will crumble if someone burns a flag??

I hate to see desecration of the Flag. But I have enough faith in my Country, and in those who fight to defend Her, to know that She can survive a few flag-burnings. For every protester burning a flag, there are thousands flying it proudly. Flag-burners are no threat to my Country. She’s much stronger than they are.

My Country doesn’t need a flag-burning amendment. It just needs more people to fly the colors like they’re meant to be flown, and more people to ignore the flag-burners. Don’t raise up a vote… just raise up a Flag. Don’t set a law… set an example.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at June 15, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #158049

Ron,
Only activist judge Ive seen was the group that pushed W down our throats 5 years ago.
I agree that people should not abuse the flag but an amendment to the Constitution on a free speech issue is overboard. Give this crew in DC an amendment and by the time it makes it thru the mess we wont have any rights left.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 15, 2006 12:40 AM


Where have you been for the last 60 years? All we had on the courts are activist judges.
Or are the only activist judges the one you dissagree with?
I find it interesting that the only time Liberals worry about someones ‘free speach’ is when the person is doing or saying somthing that either is harmful or could be harmful to the US.


And then you can sit in jail and gloat about your self-destructive sanctimoniousness.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 15, 2006 12:45 AM

Only if there’s enough of the asshole left to call the cops.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 15, 2006 12:02 PM
Comment #158066

Question for all you flag burning amendment supporters - Why is this an issue? Why is this neccessary?

DO we have a national problem of flag burning? If we did, then maybe we should address he discontent instead of banning speech.

This is nothing more than election year pandering and why you put up with it when we have more dire issues is beyond me.

Why do conervatives want to use the constitution to take away peoples rights? Whether it is gay marriage or flag burning. Answer; Conservatives want you to conform to their values. They want to define morality and patriotism in their image and then institutionalize it.

Posted by: jerseyguy at June 15, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #158076

jerseyguy,

well said.

Like I mentioned before. Putting this in the Constitution will only cause it to happen more.

You know what the conservatives will say: flag burning is “disrespectful.” Perhaps. But banning it is certainly disrespectful of people’s right to speak out.

Posted by: Steve K at June 15, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #158079

Ron

How does the court’s ruling on the issue of flag burning constitute activism? Burning the flag is a means of non-violent, potentially meaningful expression. It is an offense and an affront to many people, but how is it activism to narrowly construe it as a form of protected expression?

TheTraveller

Does flag burning constitute “fighting words” in every imaginable context? What if a person burns a flag in a closed backyard among like-minded friends, without cameras or any other public exposure? I don’t see the burner inciting violence in that case. The “fighting words” doctrine is tailored narrowly to permit bans on speech that is clearly non-expressive and serves only to incite violence. It is in fact tailored so narrowly that the courts have been averse to invoking it for decades.

Posted by: Xan at June 15, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #158087

Scottie
Lets see,I can burn
The Constitution
Bill of Rights
Pictures of Politicians
State Flags
Local Flags
Unmatched collections of stars and stipes.
Any old or damaged flag.
So,in a worst case scenario,if I am into flag burning,I just take an older flag and while disposing of it in a legal way,rant about whatever my particular agenda is.
The amendment is ridiculous.

Posted by: jblym at June 15, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #158099

First of all, the Constitution was designed to define government and “their restrictions”, and define additional “freedoms” of the public. Other than the unfortunate blemish of prohibition, it has never served to allow for the diminishment of public freedom. Regardless of how you feel about the flag or free speech, the idea of putting a limitation on the public into the constitution is a dangerous precedent that I thought we had learned from with prohibition.

I think it’s pretty clear to most that the flag does not represent the government, it represents the people. Burning the flag in protest of government actions is to a lesser degree like burning a picture of Jesus because you didn’t like the sermon. It’s foul, it’s insulting, it incites riot, but it sure captures peoples attention for a moment, doesn’t it? I’m relatively safe in saying that it wouldn’t happen otherwise.

Let’s discuss hypothetical futures. Say this does pass, and Congress passes the only decent legislation that criminalizes the public burning of the flag in a demonstration of protest. The judges that would define and impose sentences could also create a potential media frenzy that could give more attention to the flag burner than they had previously.

Think about it. I support a cause. I burn a flag. Conservative judge hates my position. I get sentenced to 10 years in prison. Media goes
berzerk. Another scenario. I support a cause. I burn a flag. Liberal judge supports my position. I get sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Media goes berzerk.

This ammendment can accomplish nothing other than to carry political protest into the court system and promote media coverage. If you believe enough in a cause, the ammendment is really a plus.

Posted by: DOC at June 15, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #158110

Is anyone else as nervous as I am that someone might inadvertently drop the “L”?

Posted by: DOC at June 15, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #158117

Well if you drop the “l” you get fag.. those are commonly burned already

Cigarettes are still legal to light up in some places (English slang.. lighting a fag)

then of course to use the full version of the word a faggot…. which is actually a small bundle of sticks also legal to burn in public almost everywhere…

Posted by: RHancheck at June 15, 2006 3:38 PM
Comment #158125
But I have the right to kick your ass off the face of this earth if I see ya doing it. And will do it.

Hmmmm: Is this a Republican attitude, a Christian attitude? It’s certainly not my idea of an American attitude.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 15, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #158131

TO DO LIST….

1. Cut the grass
2. Change oil in car
3. Burn the flag
4. Memorize another constitutional amendment
5. Purchase a Mexcan flag
6. Go to Support Immigrant Rights Rally-wave
Mexican flag
7. Gather data to support flag burning position by flying to Iraq and burning an Iraqi flag in the streets (Oops, lost my head on that one)

Posted by: steve smith at June 15, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #158148

What are all those newspaper, who have little flags in the upper corners of the front page going to do?
Those precious papers might be burned in backyard grills! or foreplaces! or worse yet…RECYCLED!
Oh the shame of the nation, civilisation as we know it is doomed unless we save the flag.
Next time you see a Republican slap them.

Posted by: Joe at June 15, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #158154

Mom accidentally starts a grease fire on the stove and the only thing big enough available to smother it is flag hanging on the Kitchen wall. She calls the fire department to make sure there is no more danger. They seeing a burnt flag, call the police. They arrest her for desecration. The insurance company denies her claim for fire damage because the fire damage occured while a criminal act was in progress, which is excluded under the policy.

Nice, eh? Another test case for the Supreme Court.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 15, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #158156

If this amendment goes forward, I will be one of the first to torch my flag. I have hung it outside my door for 5 years - because I wanted to own that icon of our country as much as the next guy… because I have faith in our country.

If we can not see our freedoms because a stupid act of defiance… then that flag has ABSOLUTELY NO meaning to me. It is no longer a symbol of America, it will simply be a symbol of oppression.

Posted by: tony at June 15, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #158185

WOW, the sentiment over this issue runs the gamut of extremes.

Posted by: steve smith at June 15, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #158223

Not long ago we had two men running for the president. there was mr Mc Kinley on one Hand, Mr Bryan on the other if we’d have had an ” Anti Doughnut Party ” neither Would have been Elected. I didn’t Know much about Finance but Some friend told me that Bryan was All wrong on the Money question,so I didn’t vote for him. I knew enough about the Philippines to have A strong Adversion to Sending Our Bright Boys Out there to fight with A disgraced Musket under A polluted Flag, so I didn’t vote for the other fellow. I’ve Got that vote, and it’s clean yet, ready to be used when you form your “Anti Doughnut Party” that will want only the best men for the Offices, no matter what party they Belong to and Which Will solve All your political Problems. Mark Twain, speech on municipal corruption, Jan 4, 1901.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 15, 2006 8:48 PM
Comment #158227

This is idolatry. It’s a frigging piece of cloth. If I’m in a burning house, I’m not going to run and save the flag. It’s image inspires some and disgusts others. What a collosal waste of time and distraction from real issues of importance. Karl Rove and company should be shot for this kind of crap, then they can be appropiately wrapped in their dear flag.

Posted by: gergle at June 15, 2006 8:52 PM
Comment #158232

tony is right,
If they find a way to pass this amendment, that is the moment the flag takes on a whole other meaning — one which has nothing to do with Freedom.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 15, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #158236

The flag burning amendment is just another issue to work the core up into a frenzy. Like the “Activist Judges” that every one has heard about but no one except the Theocrats have seen.
If a judge issues a ruling they dont like then it violates the constitution and the judge is an activist. What a load of crap.
Just out of curiousity when was the last time someone burned a flag in public in protest in America?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 15, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #158249

The flag, the Iraq Resolution, what the hell are we letting our legistlators do? Like they have nothing else pressing of importance to this country and it’s citizens.

It’s disgusting. This posturing is childish and that’s the best thing I can say about it.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 15, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #158258

This is ridiculous. If you really believe in freedom of speech, then you can’t just allow speech that you agree with - you also have to support speech that angers you, that makes your blood boil, and that you would spend your life’s blood opposing. And the symbol of our country can’t just be the flag. It has to also be someone burning it in protest.

Posted by: ElliottBay at June 15, 2006 11:06 PM
Comment #158281
“The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”
George Carlin Posted by: Tim Crow at June 16, 2006 3:30 AM
Comment #158286

The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

Physical? Does it mean you may be sued *only* if you modify the physical intigrity of the flag?
Does showing the finger or your ass to the flag modify its physical intigrity?

It will be funny to discover all these new creative ways one will show its strong disagreement, disrespect and dislike of US policies using The Flag…

Unfortunatly in France we’ve a worst situation regarding national flag and anthem protection as a new Sarkozy Minister act was voted last night that would cancel its 10 years resident card to any foreigner desecrate french flag or anthem… Pretty much without opposition as our constitution don’t protect french citizens freedom fo speech as much as your.

A very sad period for freedom of speech worldwide. I guess islamists have indeed reasons to dance, it seems they’re actually winning the war on terror: fear is spreading all over western nations policies. We’re forced to change our basic freedoms while they don’t change at all. Great achievement, all done by our own politics men weakness in resisting to use fear as a political program. :-(

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 16, 2006 4:40 AM
Comment #158331

Phillipe, not to mention the new market for flags that resemble the American flag but differ just enough to render it NOT an American flag, which can be burned, spat on, shat on, or whatever with impunity. The bill accomplishes nothing in the form of ending protest through use of the flag.

What it does do, is create another partisan divide on the 1st Amendment to the Constituiton and our Bill of Rights in general. In other words, the bottom line is, it is an election ploy to divide the electorate and protect the status quo and all of the incompetency, irresponsibility, and our divisiveness which that implies.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 16, 2006 11:01 AM
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