View Poll Results: Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

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Thread: Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

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    Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

    yes or no?

    I say definately not. It is a form of speech. So long as it is done with proper permits, etc. I mean, you can't just walk out on Main street with such a demonstration. That's just disruptive.

    My favorite argument against flag-burning legislation is this: In the legislation, they always allow the boyscouts to burn the flag when it is torn or tattered as the proper disposal of the flag.

    So boyscouts can do it. But I can't do it in my own home if I'm angry at the US (though note - I would be really angry if I saw someone doing this - I'm very patriotic). So what's the difference between the boyscouts and what I do? Answer: What we are thinking - which is our reason for doing it. So you're not making it illegal to burn a flag - you're making it illegal to think certain thoughts while burning a flag. The government... trying to control what we think. Ouch.

    On the greater scale - The US Flag represents America -which represents all of our individual freedoms. How hypocritcal would it be to refuse a freedom (of speech) in order to protect the symbol of such a freedom? (and likewise, how hypocritical would it be to burn such a symbol?) But let the individual choose to be hypocritical - that's their freedom to do so - don't put it in legislation for goodness sake!

    It seems obvious to me and so I don't understand what the arguments are for such legislation - I figure this would be the best place to get opposing views

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    Re: Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    yes or no?

    I say definately not. It is a form of speech. So long as it is done with proper permits, etc. I mean, you can't just walk out on Main street with such a demonstration. That's just disruptive.

    My favorite argument against flag-burning legislation is this: In the legislation, they always allow the boyscouts to burn the flag when it is torn or tattered as the proper disposal of the flag.

    So boyscouts can do it. But I can't do it in my own home if I'm angry at the US (though note - I would be really angry if I saw someone doing this - I'm very patriotic). So what's the difference between the boyscouts and what I do? Answer: What we are thinking - which is our reason for doing it. So you're not making it illegal to burn a flag - you're making it illegal to think certain thoughts while burning a flag. The government... trying to control what we think. Ouch.

    On the greater scale - The US Flag represents America -which represents all of our individual freedoms. How hypocritcal would it be to refuse a freedom (of speech) in order to protect the symbol of such a freedom? (and likewise, how hypocritical would it be to burn such a symbol?) But let the individual choose to be hypocritical - that's their freedom to do so - don't put it in legislation for goodness sake!

    It seems obvious to me and so I don't understand what the arguments are for such legislation - I figure this would be the best place to get opposing views
    It should be legal except when dangerous (so legal in every circumstance that it would be legal to burn a similarly-sized tablecloth). You have the right to be an asshole. There are only a couple of limitations to free speech (slander, inciting violence, putting people in immenent danger), and that's the way it should be.

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    Re: Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kernel Sanders View Post
    It should be legal except when dangerous (so legal in every circumstance that it would be legal to burn a similarly-sized tablecloth). You have the right to be an asshole. There are only a couple of limitations to free speech (slander, inciting violence, putting people in immenent danger), and that's the way it should be.
    although completely distasteful, it should be legal. this is certainly a case where free speech does no harm.

    Originally Posted by johnny_rebson:

    These are the same liberals who forgot how Iraq attacked us on 9/11.


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    Re: Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

    It's a piece of fabric. Why in the world shouldn't it be legal to burn a piece of fabric?

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    Re: Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

    First, your boyscout argument is terrible and full of holes. There's an extremely easy answer for it. In one case you are properly disposing of a national symbol, as the only proper way by law to dispose of an American Flag is through burning it. In the other fashion you are not performing the action to dispose, but to dessecrate, as you're burning the flag in protest of what it represents which is the country. Essentially a law against flag burning would be a law against dessecration of the flag, essentially the purpose of said burning rather than the act.

    Second, I absolutely like the theory of the banning of flag burning. If you have such disdain for the ideals of the country that you destroy the flag that is its symbol and is the national representation of those ideals then frankly I don't want you in the country, and I find it dispicable that you're taking advantage of the very things that flag stands for in your destruction of it in your immature and ignorant thought of using it to "protest".

    Third, while I like the theory, in practice it just shouldn't and can't happen. I may think you doing such is the scum of the earth, one of the most assholish things to do, and an action that will make me forever and a day look at someone as anything but America regardless of what their citizenship says. I may think you are a flaming (no pun intended) hypocrite, a complete and utter jackass, and an immature mental child whose likely doing something to be a "rebel" and thinks is cool without realizing how asinine and juvinile it is let alone how illogical. However, despite all those things, none of that means it SHOULD be illegal nor that it should be prevented despite the constitutions protection against political speech of which it would be.

    So utlimately while I'd love for it to be illegal, it shouldn't be and I'd actually vote against making it illegal, because the principles of the constitution and what the flag stands for is more important than keeping douchy idiots who are ignorant of their own hypocrisy from burning it. However I do think its fine if such people are scorned, ostracized, and viewed as anything but American by the individuals of this country imho.

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    Re: Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

    I'm glad it's legal, and it should remain legal. Burning the flag is a perfectly acceptable form of protest against the government.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
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    Re: Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Second, I absolutely like the theory of the banning of flag burning. If you have such disdain for the ideals of the country that you destroy the flag that is its symbol and is the national representation of those ideals then frankly I don't want you in the country, and I find it dispicable that you're taking advantage of the very things that flag stands for in your destruction of it in your immature and ignorant thought of using it to "protest".
    I think it depends on what the burner thinks the flag stands for. Since it is a symbolic representation, they can project anything onto it really from freedom to government corruption.

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    Re: Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    It's a piece of fabric. Why in the world shouldn't it be legal to burn a piece of fabric?
    Agreed.

    Free speech means free speech for everyone, not just those you agree with.
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    Re: Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    First, your boyscout argument is terrible and full of holes. There's an extremely easy answer for it. In one case you are properly disposing of a national symbol, as the only proper way by law to dispose of an American Flag is through burning it. In the other fashion you are not performing the action to dispose, but to dessecrate, as you're burning the flag in protest of what it represents which is the country. Essentially a law against flag burning would be a law against dessecration of the flag, essentially the purpose of said burning rather than the act.

    Second, I absolutely like the theory of the banning of flag burning. If you have such disdain for the ideals of the country that you destroy the flag that is its symbol and is the national representation of those ideals then frankly I don't want you in the country, and I find it dispicable that you're taking advantage of the very things that flag stands for in your destruction of it in your immature and ignorant thought of using it to "protest".

    Third, while I like the theory, in practice it just shouldn't and can't happen. I may think you doing such is the scum of the earth, one of the most assholish things to do, and an action that will make me forever and a day look at someone as anything but America regardless of what their citizenship says. I may think you are a flaming (no pun intended) hypocrite, a complete and utter jackass, and an immature mental child whose likely doing something to be a "rebel" and thinks is cool without realizing how asinine and juvinile it is let alone how illogical. However, despite all those things, none of that means it SHOULD be illegal nor that it should be prevented despite the constitutions protection against political speech of which it would be.

    So utlimately while I'd love for it to be illegal, it shouldn't be and I'd actually vote against making it illegal, because the principles of the constitution and what the flag stands for is more important than keeping douchy idiots who are ignorant of their own hypocrisy from burning it. However I do think its fine if such people are scorned, ostracized, and viewed as anything but American by the individuals of this country imho.
    I love your passion. And I agree 100% with your second and third paragraph. If I ever know of a person who actually burns a flag, I think I may go ape-**** on them. The flag means a lot to me. Which is why I want to protect what it stands for.

    As for your argument against the boyscout vs extremist. You say one is 'properly discarding' while the other is 'dessecrating'. I ask: What, in their physical activity is different? Not what they do or say before or after the burning - that's not what's being illegalized. What's being illegalized is the burning itself. So I ask, what is different? They both light the flag on fire. I don't see the holes in the argument which you claim there to be. The difference is their reason behind burning the flag. We can't make 'reasons' illegal so long as those 'reasons' don't break other fundamental laws (i.e. yelling "FIRE!" in a theatre when there is a fire vs when there isn't - different reasons, same action, and one is illegal, but it's illegal because it unecessarily causes public panic which is a seperate fundamental law).

    So I suppose one could argue that it destroys the 'fabric of American Society' and that's the difference in reason that is worth making it illegal - but I never put up with that argument. American society is a comprised of all of its voices and actions. So long as those voices and actions don't hurt others directly, then those voices and actions are what evolve the fabric of America Society. In fact, those voices are the only thing that ever has. The government shouldn't be in control of what "The fabric of American Society" is, so long as it doesn't take away fundamental rights. The right to not see a flag being burned is not a fundamental right.

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    Re: Should burning the US flag in America be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    I love your passion. And I agree 100% with your second and third paragraph. If I ever know of a person who actually burns a flag, I think I may go ape-**** on them. The flag means a lot to me. Which is why I want to protect what it stands for.
    Thanks. I wouldn't advocate anyone going ape-**** to the point of violating laws on someone, but I'd probably have some choice words myself

    [qote]As for your argument against the boyscout vs extremist. You say one is 'properly discarding' while the other is 'dessecrating'. I ask: What, in their physical activity is different?[/quote]

    What's the difference in the physical activity between a bar fight and a fight in a ring? In one case yo'ure punching a guy, in another you're punching a guy.

    What's the difference in the physical activity of making yourself naked in your house and making yourself naked in public? In one case you're taking clothes off, in another you're taking clothes off.

    What's the difference in the physical activity of saying "I'm going to kill the President" as part of a joke and saying "I'm going to kill the President" out front of the white house? In one case you're saying words, in another case you're saying words.

    We have a number of laws where the same physical action in general occurs but the law views it differently. In regards to flags and the disposing of them the flag code states "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."

    Now, assuming we're being realistic here, we'd need to look at what the PURPOSE behind no flag burning laws is? Stopping desecration of the flag. Additionally, most of the time I've heard these laws bandied about it seems to be that burning is focused on but in general desecration is the focus. But even just with burning, taking that into account, I would imagine such a law would not simply be "Its illegal to burn the flag" but most likely "illegal to burn the flag in an UNdignified manner", essentiallly setting it apart from the flag code statements on disposal.

    Burning the emblem of the United States in a dignified manner is disposing of it. Burning it while unfurled, or tossing it onto the ground, or while screaming out hateful rhetoric, or while marching in a protest, is not dignified disposal.

    Your issue seems to be taking something that is utlimately going to be a law, which means undoubtably its not going to be 5 words long of "burning the flag is illegal", and arguing against it based on the bare bones generalized statement people make in support of the more specific legislation. One must take into account the intent behind the worlds and the common sense notion that legislation would be written and said legislation would likely detail the way in which it is made illegal.

    Now you could say "Dignified" is rather objective. Yes. So is disorderly, obscene, and other such terms.

    I've always heard the argument in a general means of laws against desecration of the flag, with "burning" the flag always being the most contenuous and the most spoken about or the defacto reference simply because its the most common.

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