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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Flag Burning Amendment Down In Flames

The Flag Burning Amendment is once again off the table, as the Senate voted 66-34 on it, which was one vote shy of the 67 needed to pass it.

I'll admit that my position on it is very "non-conservative", I don't want this amendment passed, though I understand why some do.

My reasoning? I spent 20+ years defending peoples right to free speech, no matter how repugnant, uninformed, and generally distasteful I find it. Flag burning fits into that category to me.

Now, to those citizens who decide that burning the flag is the correct way to show your anger at America, I challenge you to leave. If living here bothers you so much that you have to destroy the very symbol of the country, move. Go somewhere else that's better, and let me know where it is.

For another interesting constitutional debate, read Allison's guest post at "Knockin' On The Golden Door"

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Blogger Paula said...

ITA! There are many ways for an American to protest; flag-burning disgusts me. But the amendment is worse.

8:39 AM  
Blogger LargeBill said...


I have to disagree with your claim that you are taking a "non- conservative" stand. It is very conservative to resist attempts to amend the Constitution.

If someone spends their own money to buy something (in this case a flag) and then they turn around and set it on fire then in the long run all they've done is waste their own money. Now if they take someone elses flag and damage it or if this fire is set on someone elses property then they can be charged with theft, tresspassing, etc.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

I still haven't found anyone on the left or right who supports this ammendment. I think it is pretty clear that freedom of expression trumps flag preservation.

Sure, flag burning is repugnant, but allowing those who wish to do so within the law only shames these folks even more. If the government prohibits it, then maybe one would have a reason to.

11:08 AM  
Blogger jgf said...

As much as I hate flag burning, I agree with you. It is a freedom of expression and we cannot prohibit it without putting other freedoms in danger.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Lone Pony said...

I agree with you too, Bob.

I like the way it was put at Hooah Wife and Friends..."I love the flag, but I love the Constitution more."

12:21 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

I'm pretty neutral on this amendment with strong feelings both ways (conflicting emotions). I can think of some amendments we need much worse than this one though.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

What makes me very angry is US flag clothing, flip flops and I even saw a US flag doormat. Come on corporate America! The flag is not for wiping your feet on! All that being said, even though I would not outlaw burning a flag as a protest (even though I may have to be restrained from hitting the person holding the match)this other stuff is inexcusable. If the amendment said "no more flag doormats,footwear, or clothing (I guess I'd have to hang up this uniform LOL)" that I may actually support.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Hooray! The Constitution is there to tell government what it cannot do - not to tell citiizens what they cannot do. The scary thing is that it just needed one more vote to pass.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

PS Of course I'd punch out anyone I saw burning the flag.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

PJC- while it needed only one vote to pass the senate, it still needed to pass in the states before it became anything other than symbolic.

Tim, I'm with you on the clothing, and especially the doormats, that's just tacky.

Shoprat, there are definitely more important things the senate could work on.

LP, thanks. Silke did have a good post on it.

Bill, maybe I should have said "non-NeoCon" view of it :)

Paula, yup.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Jeff H said...

I would support a "no flag burning" ammendment. But it isn't something I'd consider a "make-or-break" issue.

I do think, however, that all flag-burning should be prosecuted under arson laws. People don't have a right to go around setting ANYTHING on fire unless it's for a common purpose such as grilling. Lock the idiots up. Burning something is NOT "speech" under any reasonable definition of the word. Period.

8:33 AM  
Blogger MDConservative said...

I wish it had passed! I really do.

CP, I understand your view and all of us that fight for the flag fight for freedom of speech. But I heard a very valid argument the other day. The burning of something is an “action” not “speech.” I understand the courts have found that it IS considered speech, I just happen to strongly disagree.

I can hurl expletives at you, but if I start hurling Molotov Cocktails at you… I’d be in trouble.

“What makes me very angry is US flag clothing, flip flops and I even saw a US flag doormat. Come on corporate America!”

Well, actually few know it but it is against the law to do so, it is against the US Flag Code. However, the Flag Code is not enforced.

2:13 PM  

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