Flag Burning Amendment

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by fromtheright, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. fromtheright

    fromtheright
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    has passed the House again. Thoughts? One point that seems ridiculous is that it violates the Constitution's free speech protection. A constitutional amendment doesn't violate the Constitution, it changes it; in this case protecting the flag from despicable treatment and from the Supreme Court.
     
  2. KenH

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    If someone owns a flag, he can dispose of it as he wishes regardless of how much anyone disagrees with his action.

    If the U.S. constitution is amended that will obviously change.

    I am opposed to such an amendment. There are much more important actions for the police to be arresting people for and for our courts to be dealing with.
     
  3. Baptist in Richmond

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    Hey FTR,

    Hope you are doing well down there.

    Do you really want to see this passed? I was against this, even when I was a hard-core-right-wing Republican.

    Just curious.

    Hope all is well,
    BiR
     
  4. JGrubbs

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    I agree with KenH, I am against such an amendment.
     
  5. Kiffen

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    I oppose any flag burning ammendment. for 2 reasons,

    1. It borders on Idolatry to a Symbol of the USA.

    I do not think the Founders would approve of this much attention to a mere symbol of the USA. It gives it almost sacramental value now that is at worst a form of idol worship.

    You are right, I believe it changes it and I think for the worse. The Flag is a symbol of freedom including the freedom to burn that very symbol and dissent from the government. It is what separates us from China and North Korea. A flag burning ammendment seems to move us more in the direction of those 2 evil regimes.

    2. Now we give every anti American protester a chance to really make a statement by getting arrested. It will energize anyone who wants to make a statement. ( Thanks Congress for empowering anti American groups :( :mad: )

    I think a Flag Burning Amendment insults the flag it intends to protect. The Flag is a symbol of Freedom and that symbol needs no protecting.

    In reality there are more important issues like the War in Iraq, Energy Crisis.....
     
  6. Magnetic Poles

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    One does not protect liberty and political dissent by outlawing it.
     
  7. StefanM

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    I'm VEHEMENTLY against such an amendment, and I like Kiffen's reasoning.
     
  8. fromtheright

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    Ken, the property rights view is one I had not thought of. I think a possible response to that concern is perhaps to prevent this being done in a public place (yes, I recognize some difficulty in adequately defining this), and it also has a "public order" aspect of disallowing yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater, and "fighting words". More fundamentally, I believe that it is a loved symbol, worthy of protection. BTW, I'm not foolish enough to believe that those who oppose it don't love America; it is an honorable position, as is advocacy of the measure. Sure, there are details which should be considered: (1) a felony or misdemeanor (I believe a misdemeanor)? (2) a federal crime, or allowing it to be enacted and enforced on the state level? and others.

    BiR, 'sorry, but yes, I think it is legislation that should be seriously considered, at least. At this point, I think the better arguments are in its favor.

    Kiffen, WADR, I believe it is ridiculous to view it as idolatry. As citizens of our country, a country whose declared values are worthy and good, the symbol of that country is worthy of protection. Protection is not idolatry.

    It is what separates us from China and North Korea. A flag burning ammendment seems to move us more in the direction of those 2 evil regimes.

    I understand your point, but I disagree with it. Such an amendment would not outlaw speaking against American policies or any other speech, for that matter. Those regimes remain evil, protection of the symbol of our country does not put us, or threaten to put us on par with that evil. I also understand your point about insulting the flag. Burning it in hatred of that symbol, however, is the ultimate hatred.
     
  9. Magnetic Poles

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    This proposed amendment is a grandstanding ploy. First, there has not been a rash of flag burnings at protests, so it is an answer looking for a problem. Secondly, as a symbol of a government, I believe it is a free speech and political dissent issue. Third, how does the flag code say to dispose of a flag? By BURNING.
     
  10. Daisy

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    I think it is a bad amendment because burning is the proper method of disposal for an old, tatttered flag. The only difference between disposing of the flag respectfully and burning it in protest is the thought and attitude of the burner.

    Outlawing thought is un-American.
     
  11. fromtheright

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    Daisy,

    I think the amendment, or any enacting statute, would be able to differentiate the two, but I admit it is a good point, which I thought about earlier.
     
  12. emeraldctyangel

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    For once I actually can agree with MP (smiles)! It is an answer looking for a problem.

    Who is going to actually enforce this? Special flag police? Sounds a little like what we call the fashion police in Saudi, who parade the souks looking to beat a woman who exposed a bit of ankle.

    Free thought is an inalienable right. You can regulate and legislate all day and it will not work.
     
  13. Johnv

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    I think it's a stupid amendment. If someone wants to burn the flag in protest, they should be allowed to.

    Personally, I think proper respect for the flag should always be followed. But legislating it, or a part of it? It seems rather orwellian.
     
  14. ScottEmerson

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    From President Bartlett (West Wing)

    "There is a population in this country that seems to focus so much time and energy into this conversation, so much so that I am forced to ask this question -- is there an epidemic of flag burning going on that I'm not aware of?...I mean it, is there an emergency-level outbreak of flag desecration no one's kept me posted on?
     
  15. Brother Ian

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    The flag code clearly states how the flag is to be burned.

    From The Flag Code Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1, paragraph 8. (k):

    The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

    This dignified way does not include waving a burning flag while chanting against the United States.

    While I am not convinced an amendment is required, as a memer of the United States Navy, I will defend a citizen's right to express his opinion, as disheartening as it may be, until ordered to do otherwise.
     
  16. Johnv

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    I don't take issue with the code, but doesn't the code list things that are no longer required, such as bringing the flag in when it rains (no longer required since many flags are made of weatherproof material), etc.
     
  17. Brother Ian

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    Right you are JohnV. Many flags today are made of weather resistant material and it is okay to leave them out in the rain. The flag code has not chaged since it became public law, but it is rarely enforced. I see a lot of flags flown at night without lighting on it as required. In fact, I have been guilty of this and no one had knocked on my door to remind me to take my flag down.

    I would agree that perhaps the code needs to be updated but I believe our legislators do have more pressing items to attend to.

    I'm just glad I can still fly the flag and no one has told me that it is offensive to them.

    I remember right after 9/11, there was an uproar because a lot of Americans displayed the red, white, and blue and America seemed to come together. The slogan was "Proud to be an America," Foreigners living here took offense to that. I remember being very displeased that they were given a voice to tell Americans that is was offensive to see so much American pride. Its crazy, but it was reported all over the media. Only in America.
     
  18. Johnv

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    BI, the flag code is not a code of municipal enforcement. No one is bound by law to adhere to it. It's simply code of conduct, not a code of compulsion.

    But hey, I'll put up with someone flying the flag in the dark over not flying the flag at all.
     
  19. Brother Ian

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    Right again JohnV. I need to slow down before I type.

    Thanks for keeping me straight!
     

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