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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Exclamation Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 06:41 PM

Do you believe that burning the American flag in protest is taboo?

I was driving past my local VFW and I saw a sign out for a flag burning ceremony. I mean, as a future soldier, I know that there is a procedure for how to burn it and when, but what about in protest? Do you believe that it should be illegal to burn the American flag in protest?

Quote:
After publicly burning an American flag as a means of political protest, Gregory Lee Johnson was convicted of desecrating a flag in violation of Texas law. This case presents the question whether his conviction is consistent with the First Amendment. We hold that it is not.

While the Republican National Convention was taking place in Dallas in 1984, respondent Johnson participated in a political demonstration dubbed the "Republican War Chest Tour." As explained in literature distributed by the demonstrators and in speeches made by them, the purpose of this event was to protest the policies of the Reagan administration and of certain Dallas-based corporations. The demonstrators marched through the Dallas streets, chanting political slogans and stopping at several corporate locations to stage "die-ins" intended to dramatize the consequences of nuclear war. On several occasions they spray-painted the walls of buildings and overturned potted plants, but Johnson himself took no part in such activities. He did, however, accept an American flag handed to him by a fellow protestor who had taken it from a flagpole outside one of the targeted buildings.

The demonstration ended in front of Dallas City Hall, where Johnson unfurled the American flag, doused it with kerosene, and set it on fire. While the flag burned, the protestors chanted: "America, the red, white, and blue, we spit on you." After the demonstrators dispersed, a witness to the flag burning collected the flag's remains and buried them in his backyard. No one was physically injured or threatened with injury, though several witnesses testified that they had been seriously offended by the flag burning.
Taken from Texas vs Johnson

Quote:

Taken from: Flag Details


Flag respect is the base and foundation of all flag etiquette decisions. When millions of Americans display the Flag there are many violations of flag etiquette and protocol. Etiquette-savvy citizens should attempt to teach the uninformed rather than judge them. The U.S. Flag should always be treated with the utmost care and respect. Remember: The flag represents a living country, and as such, is considered a living symbol. Always display the flag with the union (stars) in the upper left. Never display the flag upside down, except as an extreme distress signal.

Always carry the flag aloft and free. Do not carry it flat or horizontally in processions or parades. The exception is carrying very large flags in a parade that are too big to be flown from a staff or pole. Always keep the flag clean. Keep it safe from those who would not respect it and from those who would not know how to, such as a young child.
The flag is an ‘American,’ not a political symbol. It is a symbol that each American should respect, for it represents the honor, courage and sacrifice of those who sustained adversity and death to provide freedom, justice and opportunity to all Americans. Contrary to other world flags, the U.S. Flag is the flag of the citizens; people of all ages who make America the world’s leading example of freedom and free enterprise.



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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 06:52 PM

Does a flag still represent America and its citizens if it's made overseas because a factory don't want to pay its American citizens a living wage?

and huh. While I can see while people would find it upsetting, I think that people should have the right to burn a flag if they want to convey dissent regarding some of the less positive things America stands for. Freedom of expression and all that.


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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 06:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elf View Post
Does a flag still represent America and its citizens if it's made overseas because a factory don't want to pay its American citizens a living wage?

Yes, it still represents America. The American flag, regardless of where it's made, is still a representation of America. Why do you think it's called the "AMERICAN" flag?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elf View Post
and huh. While I can see while people would find it upsetting, I think that people should have the right to burn a flag if they want to convey dissent regarding some of the less positive things America stands for. Freedom of expression and all that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...s_Constitution

Here's the amendments.

In the constitution, there is no "freedom of expression." There is however, the freedom to protest.


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Last edited by JoJoWildHorse; June 11th 2009 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Multiple posts have been merged automatically.
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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 07:07 PM

Well for one... It's just a flag. A flag that isn't even made in America. Plus there's the free speech, free to protest, its not hurting other people really, and that it's a pretty noticable way to get your word out.
But really, if someone hates America a whole lot, they could always move to another country... I could see how a proud American would be hurt by it, but just because you love a country doesn't mean everyone else has to.

I wouldn't do it, mostly cause I'm lazy and wouldn't do it 'correctly' but I'm really not a super proud American. Then again, I hate most countries, and the world, and people in general...



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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 07:12 PM

Burning the flag in protest should be legal.

I think it's stupid, but whatever. :/


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 07:26 PM

I feel compelled to quote Jed Bartlett from The West Wing..."This is a debate that is obviously going to continue in town halls, city halls, state legislatures, and the U.S. House of Representatives. There is a population in this country that seems to focus so much time and energy into this conversation, so much so that I am forced to ask this question -- is there an epidemic of flag burning going on that I'm not aware of?"

The way I see it is similar: It's a stupid issue and a waste of time and money debating it.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 07:52 PM

I've never been a big fan of the flag mostly because I think the concept is just dumb. That's why I think the pledge is dumb because I just don't think plege my allegiance to some fabric is worth anything. So I don't think it should be illegal by any means, I get that it would upset some people though and I would personally never do it.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 08:18 PM

Hi JoJoWildHorse!!

I hope you're having a dandy day.

Although I don't think it should be illegal to burn the flag - ANY FLAG from ANY country - I think it's a silly way to protest. As I see it - my flag - the Canadian flag - belongs to ME and to every other Canadian citizen. The Canadian flag does NOT belong to those I elected to run MY country. The Canadian flag is the property of Canadians just as the American flag is the property of Americans. Besides - if I were to burn MY FLAG it would be like burning down MY house or crashing MY car, etc. in protest of one thing or another. Whenever a person is trying to impress upon his government to 'change it's ways' - the .last thing that person should do is go out of his way to offend his fellow citizens. [The very people he NEEDS in order to influence his government] He should - instead - find the biggest flag he can find and WAVE it proudly in protest. Let it be known that this is YOUR country and as a PROUD AMERICAN you are not happy with how it's being run.

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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 08:30 PM

I definitely think that this should be legal. We have a right to protest. Burning a flag is not harming anyone.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 10:07 PM

burning the American flag is better than protesting in more dangerous manners, but either way i think it is disrespectful only because of what the flag represents. i mean, i don't know if i would persecute people for it, but if there are rules against it then i just wouldn't do it.

if it is just a peice of fabric, people should try to make a statement in a different way that abides by the law.

i mean, do whatever you want, that is just my opinion though.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 10:15 PM

never liked flags, i am not very patriotic...


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 10:40 PM

I think if you live in America, you should do something to show thanks at least. It doesn't have to be much, but It should be something.

And I think It should be illegal to burn a flag, when you are clearly in American territory.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 10:45 PM

i couldn't care less if someone burnt a flag.. it's just a flag. so many americans take the patriotic thing a bit too far in my opinion.

i can think of a lot worse ways to protest than burning a flag.. it's not like they're hurting anyone.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 11th 2009, 11:53 PM

I think it's disrespectful, but making it illegal is an infringement on freedom of expression. And I wouldn't trust a government who told me I couldn't burn the country's flag.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 12th 2009, 12:01 AM

Isn't it the only proper way to destroy a flag? If it touches the ground, or is too used...
I don't know but it is disrespectful to burn it just to protest.
Tie yourself to a pole and don't eat for a week, put type over your mouths, but don't burn the flag.
But from my point of view I think people who have underwear or under clothes of the flag is also a disrespect of the flag.
I don't know in the USA how they let them have that. In Mexico it is illegal and you can get a fine or go to jail depending on what you did to show disrespect to the flag.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 12th 2009, 12:03 AM

Burning the flag is a legitimate form of protest, and it represents strong emotions against given American policies and actions. If the flag is burned in such a way that no one was injured and no property was damaged (other than the flag itself, provided it was owned by the same person or group who burned it) then there is no problem at all.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 12th 2009, 12:39 AM

If any of you haveever seen the movie "An American President" there is a really great scene about this. here is a Clip From The American President Video , for the flag burning part, go to 1:30



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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 12th 2009, 01:31 AM

I definitely think it should be legal, it's not something that I'll fight for, but I don't agree with the law.




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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 12th 2009, 04:22 AM

I believe its wrong. You don't burn a flag just because you need some extra firewood. It's inciting hatred. And there is a difference between freedom of speech and inciting hatred. You can cry about your rights all you want but that's the way it is.

Let me put it this way. If I'm protesting mobile oil because I don't want to feed my money to the Persions, does that give me any right to burn an Iranian flag in public? That's a little out of line, wouldn't you say?


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 12th 2009, 05:11 AM

I can't say that the Canadian flag is such a huge, important part of my life that seeing one burn would horribly offend or upset me. It's a piece of cloth which we just happen to have ascribed a certain importance to. It's an important symbol to some people, but I can't see that a symbol should be so important as to warrant legal action for its destruction.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 12th 2009, 06:16 AM

I personally don't think it's a huge deal. Like... I'd rather you burn a flag than burn a house down or something of that sort.

You can put a symbol to everything. I could say this cig is going to represent my entire house and light it on fire, people would just laugh at me.



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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 13th 2009, 04:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout View Post
I believe its wrong. You don't burn a flag just because you need some extra firewood. It's inciting hatred. And there is a difference between freedom of speech and inciting hatred. You can cry about your rights all you want but that's the way it is.

Let me put it this way. If I'm protesting mobile oil because I don't want to feed my money to the Persions, does that give me any right to burn an Iranian flag in public? That's a little out of line, wouldn't you say?
It's disrespectful and I'd probably consider the person that did it moronic, but that doesn't mean it should be illegal. There are a lot of other things people do to protest that are hateful but legal. Like at same-sex marriage protests I've seen signs saying that gays are disgusting and are filth and that god hates them etc.. And in a way that's worse because it's directly about gay people, whereas burning a flag is usually protesting mainly the government of a country, so it's not as personal.

Do you know what kind of people make speaking out against the country illegal? CREEPY OPRESSIVE DICTATORS

How come that doesn't bother anyone else as much as it bothers me?

Flag burning doesn't hurt anyone. If hurts you that much, maybe you need to grow a backbone.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 13th 2009, 05:32 AM

I think it should be legal to burn it.

Frowned upon? Of course, but not as far as illegal. After all, in the end it's just a piece of cloth. I feel like making this illegal kinda makes America a bit too much....um...yeah, can't think of the word, but whatever.

I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of expression. I don't believe in "freedom of expression, but only if it's appropriate." Even if you don't like it, they still have a right to say and do what they want. Even if it does incite hatred.

But then again, if you're mad enough at America to burn it's own symbol, then I'm wondering what the hell you're doing in this country. If you don't like America, yet you live here, then don't burn a flag. How about you GTFO instead?
   
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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 13th 2009, 05:49 AM

Quote:
Do you know what kind of people make speaking out against the country illegal? CREEPY OPRESSIVE DICTATORS
Yeah, I totally agree. Making the burning of a symbol illegal is oppressive and a good nudge in the direction of a dictatorship. And considering how paranoid americans have been about communism in the recent past, you'd think they'd catch onto that.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 13th 2009, 02:59 PM

Burning the flag is wrong and it's not just a piece of cloth. Being a veteran of Iraq I remember how great it was to see the flag all over the place after I got home. When I think of the flag I think of the people who have died trying to keep our country from being taken over. If you burn the flag you might as well just tell veterans their effort was worthless and meaningless. I knew a guy who died in Iraq by a roadside bomb and he was a fun guy to be around. If someone tells me his death didn't mean anything, then I'd like to see that same person say that in front of the people who knew him longer. America stands for freedom, yet many people abuse it regularly. Bottom line is America is getting away from what it was founded on, even if some of the founders didn't have the same beliefs.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 13th 2009, 08:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pastor_of_youth View Post
Burning the flag is wrong and it's not just a piece of cloth. Being a veteran of Iraq I remember how great it was to see the flag all over the place after I got home. When I think of the flag I think of the people who have died trying to keep our country from being taken over. If you burn the flag you might as well just tell veterans their effort was worthless and meaningless. I knew a guy who died in Iraq by a roadside bomb and he was a fun guy to be around. If someone tells me his death didn't mean anything, then I'd like to see that same person say that in front of the people who knew him longer. America stands for freedom, yet many people abuse it regularly. Bottom line is America is getting away from what it was founded on, even if some of the founders didn't have the same beliefs.
Ok? Wrong and should be illegal are two different things.




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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 15th 2009, 12:59 PM

Why should we care about someone burning a piece of cloth? Its not harming anyone, so why is there a law against it? If someone wants to protest in that way, let them. I've always found American patriotism to be somewhat extreme.
   
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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 16th 2009, 01:25 AM

It's not just burning a piece of cloth, it's the rationale behind burning the flag. If someone's nuts enough to run around burning flags, they should be put under control by the law. Riots and out of control protests are illegal, and I believe that falls under that category, as well as what I said before, inciting hatred. You don't burn a flag for just any reason. A regular protestor does not burn a flag.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 16th 2009, 02:06 AM

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Originally Posted by Scout View Post
It's not just burning a piece of cloth, it's the rationale behind burning the flag. If someone's nuts enough to run around burning flags, they should be put under control by the law. Riots and out of control protests are illegal, and I believe that falls under that category, as well as what I said before, inciting hatred. You don't burn a flag for just any reason. A regular protestor does not burn a flag.
We can both agree that theres a pretty messed up rationale behind burning the flag...

But I believe that someone should be able to express whatever they want to express, even if it does incite hatred. It's a right that is given to all of us under the Constitution...

You can't just say "He can't say that, because its bad and hateful." He should be able to say and express whatever he wants. Why? Because it's his right to. If you don't like it, then just don't listen.

And we're talking about flag burning, not riots or out of control protests. Flag burning and riots don't necessarilly go hand-in-hand.

The only argument I can see for against flag burning, is that it can turn into a huge hazard, and possibly set more things on fire. Burning something in itself is dangerous and could harm other people and destroy property.
   
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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 16th 2009, 02:10 AM

I personally think it's dumb to burn a flag. If you disagree with something going on in your country - you go through the correct channels to resolve said problems. You don't burn the flag of which the government uses as it's representation. It's kind of an "we are not going to sit back and converse on this topic like sane adults". I understand that people in protest find their cause very important - however, you know how to not get a majority on your side? Offend a ton of people and cause the government to put you in jail over something that is a law. Which...just so you know...kind of sort of takes you away from protesting and sitting you in a prison cell. Making a good argument doesn't mean you have to be all "fight the power" and such. Just sayin'.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 16th 2009, 02:51 AM

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Originally Posted by Farron View Post
I personally think it's dumb to burn a flag. If you disagree with something going on in your country - you go through the correct channels to resolve said problems. You don't burn the flag of which the government uses as it's representation. It's kind of an "we are not going to sit back and converse on this topic like sane adults". I understand that people in protest find their cause very important - however, you know how to not get a majority on your side? Offend a ton of people and cause the government to put you in jail over something that is a law. Which...just so you know...kind of sort of takes you away from protesting and sitting you in a prison cell. Making a good argument doesn't mean you have to be all "fight the power" and such. Just sayin'.
While I understand what you're saying, even if I don't entirely agree, does this mean it should be illegal to burn the flag?



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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 16th 2009, 03:27 AM

Well, it's less of my opinion and more of the majority. Personally, I don't really think it should be illegal, just kind of common courtesy to the land you live within. I look at it like why people stop a red lights even though they are more than capable of speeding through it. (Even though it's the law) It's a duh kind of thing to me.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 16th 2009, 03:37 AM

Burning a flag should remain legal..


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 16th 2009, 03:54 AM

I think a person should be allowed to burn the American flag in protest. Why respect the flag which represents the country when you want to show a lack of respect for the country in some way? Technically, burning the flag is a form of freedom of speech, even though it lacks words. To take away a person's right to burn the flag of the country which they have become angry/frustrated with (usually, it is done in an assembly of some sort, and the parties involved are looking to show their disgust in an attempt to change it) is to take away one of the most basic constitutional rights we have.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 16th 2009, 04:20 AM

I actuallly just read a book that mentioned flag burning. It was called Hero Type and I don't remember the author.... if you want to know PM me and I'll look it up. It was an excellent book, and I would strongly reccomend anyone to read it.

Just because you don't agree with flag burning doesn't mean it should be illegal. It's freedom of speech and a way for people to show what they believe and in no way should anyone with-hold that from them. Burning a flag doesn't hurt anyone, it's a non-violent way of expressing something you believe in.

I could go on, but I've pretty much said all I need to say.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 16th 2009, 04:32 AM

I don't think it should be illegal. Of course it's disrespectful to any country to burn it's flag, but sticking your tongue out at someone is also a sign of disrespect towards them. Are we going to start charging people for sticking their tongues out next?

Burning a flag is a better way to protest than destroying public property or committing violent acts, so I don't see the problem. People should be free to protest if they feel some sort of distaste for a country or it's government for whatever reason.

And I have to admit, as much as I love my country and our flag... I don't think I'd be too terribly bothered if I saw a protest where people were burning it. I personally think it's more offensive when people deface a flag, especially for some stupid reason (such as replacing the Canadian maple leaf with cannabis as a symbol for the support of pot-smoking... that's just unnecessary)



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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 16th 2009, 07:09 AM

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Originally Posted by WhySoSerious? View Post
I don't think it should be illegal. Of course it's disrespectful to any country to burn it's flag, but sticking your tongue out at someone is also a sign of disrespect towards them. Are we going to start charging people for sticking their tongues out next?
Well.. in America I wouldn't be too surprised



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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 18th 2009, 03:42 PM

Wow... The plethora of responses. I should have made this a poll, all things considered, but I want to thank you all for the amazing in put.

Everyone has a different view on what should be done. It's amazing.

Sorry, I've not been on in a few days and I was just completely blown away by the numerous responses.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 18th 2009, 07:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout View Post
It's not just burning a piece of cloth, it's the rationale behind burning the flag. If someone's nuts enough to run around burning flags, they should be put under control by the law. Riots and out of control protests are illegal, and I believe that falls under that category, as well as what I said before, inciting hatred. You don't burn a flag for just any reason. A regular protestor does not burn a flag.
I keep mentioning them but I can't help it because I just did a project on them. Anyway the Westboro Baptist Church ties the flag upside down on their legs and walks around and stomps on it. They grind it into the dirt. The go to soldiers funerals and hold up signs that say "Thank God for I.E.Ds" Or "Thank God for dead soldiers" or they stand on the side of the road with signs that say "God hates Fags" tell me does this not incite hatred? But they are allowed to do it and they are allowed to do it because people are smart enough to realize that as much as we hate them if we start putting limits on their first amendment rights it will start to effect all of our rights. I don't think burning the flag is anywhere near as bad as some of this.


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Re: Burning the Flag... Right or Wrong? - June 19th 2009, 06:50 AM

What is the punishment in America for burning the flag? A fine, jail etc..?


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