Illegalization of Flag Burning Violates the First Constitutional Amendment

Illegalization of Flag Burning Violates the First Constitutional Amendment

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Illegalization of Flag Burning Violates the First Constitutional Amendment


When making flag burning illegal you have to wonder what our lawmakers were thinking. It was clearly not about the First Amendment in which American’s right to free speech is protected. Desecrating a flag is guaranteed in our Bill of Rights, however unpatriotic that may be. It is impossible to draw the line of where desecration begins. What about those that let our sacred symbol touch the ground, a clear violation of respect, do we punish them too? This proposed law is un-American and will only lead to furious citizens exercising their born rights.

In 2000, a flag protection amendment was proposed, the statue contained harsh penalties, with fines up to 250, 000 dollars and two years jail time requested. Amendment “remove freedom” was defeated in the senate by a 36 to 64 vote, 64 people were looking out for our freedom. Laws like this would allow Congress to engage in “thought control”. Allowing a flag burning amendment to pass is letting Congress determine what is acceptable considering free speech.

Surely this law will provoke more than it will help. It is believed, on average, that seven flags are burned a year, and in fact Professor Robert Justin Goldtein documented that only 45 flags were burned in the past 200 years. Seven will multiply if Americans think their rights are being curtailed. During Prohibition, a time when alcohol consumption was outlawed, nearly 30, 000 illegal and secret saloons were started in New York City. This shows that when rights are taken away Americans won’t stop, flag burning won’t cease either with an amendment.

Boy Scouts burn flags when retiring them. How can a flag burning law determine just were to draw the desecration line? The amendment would have to detailed guidelines that punished only the protesters. Burning a flag would only become a crime when the thoughts attached to the act are offensive: or forefathers believed free speech to be one of our most necessary rights.

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In one amendment this could all be gone.

America is a country of freedom, a country where we have the right to oppose peacefully, and as long no one is on fire along with the flag, how can we honestly say that outlawing desecration isn’t infringing upon our rights? An amendment such as this will only allow for more rights to be lost. Something bigger than the flag is at risk here, and that is our freedom.
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