Flag Protection

It is that time again where politicians take up the issue of Flag Protection. The American Legion has long pushed for a Constitutional Amendment banning Flag Desecration. I have heard many arguments for and against this issue. The one thing that remains constant is that the Senate will oppose this and make it difficult despite the fact that the majority of Americans favor it (recently 80%) yet they will quickly push for things like taking God out of the pledge even though few Americans want that and the majority favors keeping it in.

Some of the things that have come up is that the Supreme Court has ruled that Flag Burning is a Constitutionally protected form of speech. Of course, the Supreme Court ruled this despite a United States Code that bans doing these types of things to the Flag (4 USC, Section 8). There are people who will tell you that this would amount to government interference in a person’s right to free expression. The government, they say, should not do this and when you let them get a foot in the door it will not be long before they have their whole body in. I have heard tell that it does not matter how distasteful the act is, people should be allowed to express themselves no matter who is offended. Unfortunately, this opinion only holds water depending upon who is offended. And for the record, the government has already gotten its foot in the door.

Let us say that for the moment, all the arguments against the amendment are valid. Let us say that no matter how terrible and distasteful we can not take away the rights of the people. If the person is the owner of the flag then there is no harm in burning it on one’s own property. Now that this has been accepted can someone tell me why, if some KKK members get together and burn a cross that they own on their own property, they will be arrested for a hate crime? They have just as much right to burn that Cross as the Flag burner has and it does not matter that a group of people in this country are offended by it. Both acts are equally distasteful yet one group is not free to exercise its rights. I view Flag burning as a hate crime. It shows hate for the country but this is free speech?

There is a group of people who do not like the Confederate Flag. There are those who will tell you it is a symbol of slavery. They fail to recognize that the Confederate Flag was modeled after the British Union Jack and that it was a symbol of the states that left the Union. Yet, they called for the removal of that flag from public places and the removal of that flag as a State’s flag. Now why was the state not allowed to have that flag as an expression of its history? Why is it the flag had to go because it was offensive? It is the least offensive of anything discussed yet the uneducated cry about how horrible it is as a reminder.

Will someone tell me why, if a person decided to paint swastikas on public buildings they would be arrested for hate crimes? They are guilty of vandalism but not a hate crime for they only expressed themselves according to their Constitutional rights. You see, if a special interest or protected group is offended you are not allowed to express yourself. If 80% of the country is offended by your actions it is too bad for them.

I believe that the Flag is not a symbol of this country but a symbol of the people of this country. It represents us and those who died to give this to us. It does not represent the people who are in power because it represents those who put them there. I think we should have an Amendment protecting the flag. If this is not to be then we should stop arresting other people who would like to express themselves. I think the next time some jerk burns a Flag for self expression you should use a water cannon to express yourself by putting the fire out.



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