Freedom of Speech: Flag Burning
Flag burning has been one of the most controversial forms of nonviolent protests. It is often linked with the Middle East and Hezbollah with depictions of Arabs against President Bush burning the American flag. Americans are intimidated and threatened by this action, but that does not make it illegal. Supreme Court rulings have upheld that peaceful flag desecration is a form of political speech that should be protected by our Constitution (Flag Burning Myths). This decision is the most logical. Even with all of the disruption this act may cause, flag burning should not be banned.
Before even arguing to keeps the laws the way they are, take a look at the logic that is presented. The Boy Scouts are responsible for disposing of ruined or soiled flags. The only appropriate and respectful way to dispose of the American flag is to burn it (Apel). Now, when hippie protesters burn the flag the only difference is the thought. Is it logical to be distraught about bad thoughts? Bad thoughts mean nothing if there isn’t any action or violence behind them.
The First Amendment protects our speech and forms of expression and it is considered one of the most important Amendments. Flag burning is considered, as far as the Supreme Court is concerned, as a form of expression. No matter how offensive it may be, people can freely burn a flag to express their emotions and to permit otherwise would be a “suppression of speech” (Apel). Ironically, on the same terms, the First Amendment can bring punishment. The “knowing desecration [of the American flag] for the purpose of creating a breach of peace of creating immediate danger” (Flag Burning) is liable to be punished. Bad intentions ruffle the government’s feathers and bring up red flags for national security, but public display of your opinions is acceptable.
The controversy of the legality of flag desecration was taken to the Supreme Court. Gregory...
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