In the United States of America, people are given unique opportunities that other countries might not give.
Some of these opportunities include the Freedom of Speech, the Freedom of Expression and the Freedom of Religion. Today, our country is facing a little uprise in the amount of police brutality, political scandals and political feuds, this ultimately results in protests around the country some are peaceful and others some of the time can get a bit violent or out of control, sometimes you can see smoke at these protests from the rare molotov cocktail or of an American flag burning, while one of these is a threat to the safety of bystanders or other party goers the other is the desecration of a national symbol . The Flag Desecration Amendment also known as, the Flag-burning Amendment states that, “The congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” Under this law it would give the government the power to punish those who burn or otherwise destroy the American flag. As waving a flag from your porch or from the back of your truck sends a message, so does burning the flag. Burning the flag of the United States in protest is a common practice which has been legal and protected by the 1st amendment ever since 1990, so to create a law prohibiting the burning of a national symbol would be unconstitutional as it goes against your right of expression and speech.
However you can still be found guilty of misdemeanor for starting a fire without a permit.There are those who would want to see this law passed and others who think that it should continue to be legal. Over the years congress has attempted to overrule the Supreme Court decision regarding flag burning, but have thus far been unsuccessful. In 1984, Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag outside of a convention center in Dallas, Texas where the Republican National Convention was being held. He was arrested and charged with violating a Texas statute that prevented the desecration of exalted objects, the American flag being one of them.
Believing what he did was a “symbolic speech” which would be protected by the first amendment, the Supreme Court decided to hear his case. In a 5-4 decision the supreme court ruled in favor of Johnson. It wasn’t long after the Texas vs Johnson case of 1989 that the Supreme Court reaffirmed that flag burning is legal, after the case of U.S. vs Eichman(1990).Some of the people that might that are against this amendment are some of the ones protecting the constitution.
Veterans Against Flag Burning Amendment, a report with numerous US veterans that support flag burning. Colin Powell, a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is well-decorated for his bravery in combat says in a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy that, “The First Amendment exists to insure that freedom of speech and expression applies not just to that with which we agree or disagree, but also that which we find outrageous. I would not amend that greatshield of democracy to hammer a few miscreants.
The flag will still be flying proudly long after they have slunk away.”, this goes to show that he may not necessarily agree with flag burning, but he does believe that flag burning is protected under the First Amendment. At a testimony before Senate Judiciary Committee in 1999, Former Senator John Chaffee stated that “This proposed Amendment would not expand the list of freedoms.
This Amendment for the first time would limit individual freedom.” going to further support the claim that the amendment itself would be unconstitutional.When it comes to the topic of allowing an amendment that virtually takes away one of your rights, the Flag-Burning amendment would protect a national symbol that since the founding of this country has been the face of the country and has showed strength and unity through our country’s history.The Flag Deserves Protection, is an article written by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in which she believes that the American flag should be protected by law, “I, for one, support a constitutional amendment to restore protection to our national flag, and I do so not in deference to political expediency, but because I believe it is the right thing to do and have for a long time.” as written in the essay. Sen. Feinstein also believes that today we are turning the American flag into something that can’t hold in high regard she states that, “We are not creating a symbol to honor today. The evolution of the American flag as the preeminent symbol of our national consciousness is as old and as rich as the evolution of the country itself.
” Sen. Feinstein goes on to claim that she views the flag burning as a “conduct – not speech” and she will support the constitutional amendment that will protect it. The American flag is a powerful symbol and has been here since the inception of the country, to burn this symbol sends a message to governments saying that the people do not like what they are doing whether it be on local/state level government or even the federal government. This type of message is really strong way to support your idea that something that they are doing shouldn’t be happening and should be done better. So to create a law prohibiting the people of this country to express their opinion freely takes away the country’s first amendment in the Bill of Rights, which is there to protect and ensure that the people will be voiced and not be oppressed.
To take away that freedom would be treason, not to the government, but to the people of this country.