Sunday, July 02, 2006

Redux argument on the flag desecration amendment

Senate Joint Resolution 12, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States, was defeated last week.

Last year's argument against this well intentioned but misguided effort still stands:
Has there been a rash of flag burnings recently requiring the House of Representatives to invest so much effort calling for an amendment to the Constititution? One can't be 'forced' into respect and admiration for our great and generous country.

Flag burning is speech. Respulsive to many, but speech nonetheless. It shouts loudly, "Hey look at me. I live in a country so great, that I can burn its flag in protest (misinformed as it often may be) and not be prosecuted by the government. If anything, the very government that I'm criticizing through this act of flag burning has to protect me as I set the symbol aflame. Is this a great country or what?"

Individuals seeking to burn Old Glory have every right to bask in the Sunshine of Shame made possible by the sacrafice of millions of veterans who faught and continue to fight for our freedom. It is shameful that one may seek to burn the flag in protest, but equally a travesty to deny any American the shame that comes with the protest. [Porkopolis might consider supporting the funding of a research project for a Star Wars-like laser system that detects and instantly vaporizes an anti-US protester in a foreign country at the very moment they light a match to Old Glory...but that's a different matter. Here's a thought on leveraging private enterprise: Maybe we could bypass defense spending and pay for it with a pay-per-view webcam mounted on the protest/heat-seaking, laser-mounted satellite...but I digress ;) ]

A society dedicated to freedom should allow for the laudable acts of veterans that keep it free and the shameful, yet lawful, acts of those that use misguided protest.

Mark Steyn in "Don't worry, Old Glory can take the heat" summarizes it well by writing:

...That's the point: A flag has to be worth torching. When a flag gets burned, that's not a sign of its weakness but of its strength. If you can't stand the heat of your burning flag, get out of the superpower business. It's the left that believes the state can regulate everyone into thought-compliance. The right should understand that the battle of ideas is won out in the open.


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