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Possible change to the first Amendment?


[FF5]Knix
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Ok a new bill has just pasted the house of representives which in essense makes it a criminal act to burn the U.S. flag. It still has to pass the senate, but with the increased Republican majority there, this (after numerous tries) is a distinct possability.

 

I (to the surprise of many) am torn on this issue. While the sight of my flag being burned with make me very angry, does criminalizing such an act go against the First Amendment (Freedom of free speech, expression, religion, etc)?

 

What are your thoughts?

 

 

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I think flag burning should definitely be protected under the first amendment. It's a symbolic act indicative of someone's thoughts, feelings, and emotions, not a criminal act. If flag burning were to be outlawed, it would be a black eye on freedom of speech, which I suspect is a concept held dear by many. We can't let our insecurities and our views overshadow the thoughts of others. If we take other people's choices away, the second we turn around there will be a line of people waiting to take ours away too. It's pretty absurd to have freedom of speech with strings attached (as long as it doesn't conflict with the beliefs of those who hold the most influence). We can't tell people how to think, nor should we. A country that allows its citizens to burn its flag shows incredible humility, integrity, and an unabashed love affair with freedom. What's worse? Burning the flag, or hiding behind it...

 

By the way, here's a link I found from boingboing.net, it's a little obnoxious, but it illustrates a point.

 

http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/003585.html

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I hate it when people burn the flag; however, I am against the proposed constitutional amendment for the following reasons:

 

The proposed amendment has verbiage about "desecration of the flag"...it would take a whole team of lawyers and endless amounts of resources to define what actual desecration is....over and over and over again.

 

Next comes defining what a flag is...is it cloth, paper, plastic, sticker, etc. This too, would become a legal definition nightmare.

 

I think you really have to question what this will accomplish? (other than gratifying some of us to see your panzzee azz being dragged to the back of the paddy wagon as they cart you off in cuffs)

 

Lets get one thing straight - We all know what speech is (oral or written word), and we all know what actions are. That said, burning the flag is an action - therefore, not protected under the freedom of speech. Lets not hide behind the first amendment either.

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If we take other people's choices away, the second we turn around there will be a line of people waiting to take ours away too.

 

I find it interesting how this is commonly brandished when we are talking about freedom of speech, yet quickly sheathed when it comes to other rights we have like the right to bear arms.

 

This comment is not directed towards daybreak.

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I think people must be able to attack symbols - at least as long we're talking about decent democratic systems. Think about a country that prohibited the destruction of the "national" flag 65 years ago. What's its name? What was its regime back then? I know, some of you will hate me for even trying to compare America to nazi Germany. I don't compare countries, I compare dangerous politics & behaviours that might, as it was the case in Germany at this time, lead to unpredictible situations, on a different scale, of course.

 

Funny how the land of the free can turn into the land of the not-so-free in order to remain free. Do you really think that a law like this one will do anything? There will be less terrorists? People will love America more because they won't be able to burn the stars & stripes anymore? I guess not. I guess it's just another little bit of your freedom that's dead and gone.

 

Edit - A very interesting reply I found on Goo's link :

Those who would conflate the symbol with what it means are traitors- they are traitors to the very idea of what it means to be American, and the spirit of this nation.

 

If you make flag-burning (or any other form of "desecration") illegal, the flag will no longer mean anything; you will have replaced the thing being symbolized with the thing itself... no longer will it represent the idea of freedom, democracy and tolerance, but merely a nationalistic fervor that parrots such concepts without any real understanding of their power or price.

 

P.S. - Of course, this message is dedicated to my conservative friends, mainly wink.gif

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Oh, so I can burn every flag I want except the American one? 

 

 

 

Uh Surak what does you burning a flag in Dutchyland (or Espana) have to do with the price of tea in China?

 

 

This is about the proposed amendment to criminalize the "desecration" of the US Flag on US soil.

 

I agree with one point that RXS makes where he said "What constitutes a flag?"

 

Most of the US flag burning I have seen has been down OUTSIDE our borders anyhow, mostly by Iranians, Iraqis, and the like. They draw a "flag" on a bedsheet with 4 stripes and 7 stars laugh.gif . The ignoramous' are buring something closer to the Cuban flag then that of the US.

 

The first amendment is held very sacred by many people in this country. Any change to it must be done with GREAT caution.

 

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The first amendment is held very sacred by many people in this country. Any change to it must be done with GREAT caution.

 

Word. And regarding what you said before, it's completely true. Who would really wish to burn a US flag in the US nowadays? Fanatic democrats? laugh.gif It must not have been done very often since what, Vietnam? And those who'd do it anyway, would the threat of a fine, or even prison, prevent them from doing so if they really are """""""terrorists"""""""?

 

Off-topic: I once saw one of those famous "priceless pictures" on a website showing some guy in the midle-east burning a US flag and setting his clothes on fire. The comment said this guy was a "terrorist". Fortunately, burning a flag doesn't make you a terrorist. Some people think that all those who hate America, or even don't like America that much, are wannabe terrorists. No, no, no, and no. We have the right to love, and the right to hate, but not all of these people really do wish to die in order to destroy what they hate.

 

Once more, people think, too often, that disliking Bush's politics is the same thing as disliking America. I said it before, and I'd say it again. I love America, and in fact there are not many countries I don't love. Sometimes it's just wrong people at the wrong position at the wrong time. Not bad country.

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Sorry for the cursed double post but I found this interesting website regarding US flag etiquette.

 

US Flag Etiquette

 

What is interesting is the quote at the bottom which reads...

 

 

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

 

 

 

Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Many Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops retire flags regularly as well. Contact your local American Legion Hall or Scout Troop to inquire about the availability of this service.

 

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Anyway I think this site was more or less designed for administrations or people who are responsible for "official" US flags displayed on public buildings, such as (once more) administrations, hotels, etc., or during public / political / religious meetings*. So, I'd say that the nature of the site invalidates both arguments. wink.gif

 

Thanks for the picture, Knix smile.gif It's damn funny anyway, despite the stupid comment. laugh.gif

 

*Even if I wonder wtf would a national flag have to deal with any religion or religious meeting, since I guess that if God had had to choose a nation, he wouldn't have lost his time creating the rest or the world. Oh, and Jesus wouldn't have said that he was "out of this World", he would have said "wait a bit, one of those days, my Father and I, we'll create America [or any other country]".

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No this site is for the proper treatment of ANY US flag. I knew of tradional "proper" flag buring for old torn flags. I find it interesting because the actual ACT of flag burning is not an issue. The issue is more so the INTENT of the person who is desecrating the flag.

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Hello. I'm new here.

 

Please correct me if I've misunderstood something, but is this proposed amendment to the U.S. constitution aimed at prohibiting Americans from burning the U.S. flag on U.S. soil, or does it in a way imply a certain global criminality for this act on a more or less planetary scale ? In either case, there are some very serious considerations here...

 

I live in France now. I was born in America, and lived there for 30 years, which is really interesting to some people travelling here. From time to time, when I meet Americans travelling in France, they say something that I've heard over and over for years. I quote (most recently a young couple from Chicago) : 'Love America, hate its politics.' It seems to have become a not-so-national slogan. Why would desecrating the flag be any more illegal that uttering such a statement ? Moreover, why would a number of Americans hate its politics ? Could it be a regime that is no longer republican, but more oligarchic in nature ? Why is the symbol of the flag so incredibly sacred ? I remember, as a child, reciting the 'Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag' every morning in school, and yet I remember none of the emotion which that is supposed to evoke. I do remember the pain of being underprivileged among the underprivileged in a region where, during the course of the 1970's, 80's, 90's... and still today, businesses close, relocate, downsize, &c. ... Since that time, I really do not care if one burns the flag, dresses in it, uses it as a cat-box liner or even knows what the stupid rag looks like. What I care about is the freedom from tyranny that it is supposed to represent, contrary to the symbol of (socio-economic & military) tyranny that it has become.

 

I also disdain that flag, even as a corn-bred American boy from the midwest. I disdain everything that the U.S. has come to represent for me, and all those who have experienced American poverty (the existence of poverty in America is a real surprise to some Europeans !), and the slavery that America has become for the poorer classes.

 

The problem in America is not Bush, it is not a foreign terrorist threat, nor is it an American flag on fire, shredded or otherwise mutilated. The problem in America, or rather and more globally, the American problem on this planet, is capitalism and the inhumanity and immorality that it generates.

 

In short, let them pass their stupid amendment if they want. Will that really stop someone from blowing up a building ? I think not. Excuse me for the moment, I'm going to go roll a cigarette in an 'American flag' and have a smoke.

 

Cheers !

 

Alexandre Orion

'Somewhere' in France

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Sorry for the cursed double post but I found this interesting website regarding US flag etiquette.

 

US Flag Etiquette

 

What is interesting is the quote at the bottom which reads...

6169[/snapback]

 

 

The difference here should be obvious...it is the intent and spririt of the action.

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The problem in America, or rather and more globally, the American problem on this planet, is capitalism and the inhumanity and immorality that it generates.

 

France is the country that boasts of the 35 hour work week, and has unions that will strike if you give them a funny look, and their economy is craping the bit accordingly. Capitalism works, the others do not. If you cannot compete in the market place, step outta the way before I run you over in my 4 mpg Hummer.

 

If I may quote Gordon Gecko from the Movie WALL STREET-

 

Gordon Gekko: It's not a question of enough, pal. It's a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn't lost or made, it's simply transferred from one perception to another.

 

Gordon Gekko: What's worth doing is worth doing for money.

 

Gordon Gekko: The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of it's forms - greed for life, for money, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed - you mark my words - will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you.

 

 

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But back on flag burning: I don't see why the burning of any country's flag is such an upsetting thing. (No matter what the intent.) Flag burning is a legitimate and powerful political statement; a cry of rage. For a government to quell the expression of anger of its citizens like the bill proposes, is a small step towards a big brother society.

 

But for clarity's sake; is there even a whiff of reason behind the bill? Or is it just some notion that the Flag with a big F and all that she represents shalt not be desecrated by any unpatriotic fool?

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But back on flag burning: I don't see why the burning of any country's flag is such an upsetting thing. (No matter what the intent.) Flag burning is a legitimate and powerful political statement; a cry of rage. For a government to quell the expression of anger of its citizens like the bill proposes, is a small step towards a big brother society.

 

But for clarity's sake; is there even a whiff of reason behind the bill? Or is it just some notion that the Flag with a big F and all that she represents shalt not be desecrated by any unpatriotic fool?

 

And this is the definition of Jingoism.......

 

the extreme belief that your own country is always best, which is often shown in enthusiastic support for a war against another country:

 

 

Sorry Goo but what does the insinuation of the US having a "god complex" have to do with anything Spacko saying?

 

And yes I saw the Economist's article that you linked. Ask the world's population where they would rather live

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Q: But back on flag burning: I don't see why the burning of any country's flag is such an upsetting thing.

 

A: Jingoism, the extreme belief that your own country is always best

 

better?

 

Ask the world's population where they would rather live

 

Then you'd be measuring which place has the best image rather than the actual quality of life.

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Q: But back on flag burning: I don't see why the burning of any country's flag is such an upsetting thing.

 

A: Jingoism, the extreme belief that your own country is always best

 

better?

 

No not really. You are suggesting that those Americans who want to ban the desecration of the US flag are ethnocentric extremists? I'm quite sure that if I went to the middle of Amsterdam and burned a Dutch flag, people would not be coming up to me to shake my hand, and offer me the latest in wooden clogs. And I would not suggest those who were upset with me to be "extremists" either.

 

 

Then you'd be measuring which place has the best image rather than the actual quality of life.

 

Actually not so. When dealing with such a topic, anyone can shoot holes through any publications "ranking" system. When ya get right down to it, asking the people where they either ASPIRE to travel to, wish to RETURN to, or LIVE in other then their own country, would be the correct measuring stick. Granted the U.S would have an advantage due to our media outlets, but these outlets are around for a reason.

 

BTW did ya read Ayn Rand like I've been telling you to? You'll thank me bud! Either it will reinforce your anti-capitalist /anti-Republican/anti-anything knix sez views, or you will be having me send you over one of these ASAP!

 

user posted image

 

 

 

 

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