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Flag Desecration

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The day that the American flag was raised on Iwo Jima or when it was first placed on the Moon by Neil Armstrong were historically significant events.  The American Flag all throughout history has reflected strength, change, freedom and perseverance. The flag represents what we strive to become and our ethical intuition. And with that freedom allows us to use or abuse the flag in protest. The supreme court declared flag burning is constitutional. To prohibit a person from burning the flag, is going against what we, as Americans should believe in . As controversial as it is, flag burning is protected by the First Amendment.

In 1984, Gregory Lee Johnson burned the flag, he was arrested for flag desecration and was convicted by the Texas court. The Supreme Court agreed to hear his case after he argued that his actions were a form of  “symbolic speech”. Majority of the Supreme Court sided with Johnson. Many stated that the First Amendment protected a person freedom of speech, even when society didn’t concur. The US Court stated “society's outrage alone is not justification for suppressing free speech.” The interpretation of the First Amendment, states that flag burning follows the lines of freedom of speech. Going against it is going against our rights as Americans. We stand for freedom and we need to uphold that freedom, even when you our I don’t believe it to be fair. Thomas Jefferson once said “The greatest danger to America's freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution.”

The attention given to a person who burns the flag is comparable to that of a child breaking something on purpose, it’s for the attention. Although it isn’t, in my opinion the most conventional and agreed upon form of protest it gets the point across. Is there truly an agreed upon form of protest? The whole point of a protest is to get the attention of the public and government. It is meant to cause people to question a particular issue and bring attention to it. Flag desecration is oftentimes a form of protest against the government and although considered disrespectful, it’s an eye opening way to get the public and governments attention.

Flag burning depends on who is doing is and their intentions. When a person burns the flag it matter whether it’s in protest or respect. The reason being, the people that burn the most American flags aren’t terrorist or protestors, but are the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. They burn multiple American flags during flag retirement ceremonies. I feel that when people state their feeling on flag burning, they aren’t specific on what type of flag desecration they mean. Should flag burning be illegal when being done in disrespect or for all purposes? Because the Boy Scouts could have gone in other routes, instead of burning the flag they could have taken the flags to nylon recycling plants. In certain parts of Florida, the Boy scouts performs respectful flag retirement ceremonies, but instead of burning the flag, send it to nylon plants, but in other cases a majority of Boy scouts all over the U.S. burn the flag.

Our past as a country and people and our present and how we strive to become better is what the flag represents. Everything our country has been through in the past and the present is extraordinary.Flag desecration does not go against our constitutional rights and is an attention seeking form of protest. I do not believe that people should burn the flag. But I believe that if a person wants attention brought to a topic that they feel needs to be looked at, they should have every right to protest in any peaceful form.






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