Flag Burning

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Courtnnie Booker
Professor : Jeanne Daningburg
Writing & Research 102-03
September 20, 2010
Flag Burning: Agree/Disagree Paper
Flag burning is usually a controversial issue. Many Americans believe that our flag is an important symbol that should not be desecrated, while others believe that flag burning is a statement that one should be able to make without major repercussions. Both sides have a legitimate argument; although I am neither for nor against burning of the flag, I believe that the right should not be taken away.

Luke Saginaw, student author of “Why Flag-Burning Should Not Be Permitted,” favors a constitutional amendment that would outlaw flag-burning. Saginaw argues that flag burning is not speech at all but conduct of the sort that is often illegal. Because the flag symbolizes what so many have died to protect, Americans have deep emotional attachments to it. Thus, flag burning is not political speech but instead an attack upon Americans feelings about the flag. An assault that Saginaw deems as non-permissible.

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech; according to Saginaw desecration of a flag is not considered speech by any reasonable definition. He goes on to define the meaning of speech as the coherent use of words, and I agree with that statement. However I believe that speech can come in a variety of forms. For example people who communicate through sign language use their hands to communicate words. The motions of their hands and arms, therefore creates a symbol for a particular word.

Saginaw argues that the Constitution does not guarantee all kinds of conduct including conduct that is “self expressive,” and I agree because conduct such as public nudity is not protected under the constitution. However Saginaw's context in which he uses these analogies is extremely farfetched. For example Dancing on a veteran’s grave is to extreme an example in relation to flag burning. Saginaw could have linked freedom of...
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