Monday, June 12, 2006
The eternal flag desecration proposal is being debated again this week by the U.S. Senate. It is the second of two wedge issues debated this month to distract citizens from President Bushs low approval ratings. A proposed amendment intended to ban same-sex marriage failed last week.
Opponents of the proposed flag-burning amendment, including civil liberties groups and first amendment defenders, point out the rarity of flag desecration in the United States, and assert that the proposed amendment is the epitome of a solution in search of a problem.
They also say that an amendment making such activity illegal would undermine the very principles for which the flag stands; jailing protesters of dissenting opinion such as those who burn national flags is common under authoritarian regimes.
Another argument stems from the fact that groups such as the American Legion and the Boy Scouts of America regularly burn flags as a way to dispose of them in a respectful manner in keeping with the United States Flag Code. According to this argument, the amendment would single out people who committed the same act with different intentions thus, the amendment would regulate free thought, in contradiction to the First Amendment. Read more.