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Should Burning an American Flag be illegal?

I say hell no it shouldn't be illegal. Too many proud Americans died protecting my right to burn that flag if I want to.

  • 64 votes
  • 4 votes
  • 10 votes
paul1967 8 June 5
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36 comments

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7

Allowing citizens the right to burn the flag is a sign of national strength, not weakness.

7

. I served four years in the military to protect the rights of those that want to burn a flag as well as kneel during the anthem. I don't think flying a flag makes you a patriot it just makes you someone that has a flag.

7

This whole flag debate, along with the b.s. kneeling at football games is just another way the angry has found a way to cause disturbance in the country. Have your belief, worship a flag, a cross, a book, whatever. Stand, sit, kneel or lie down for your beliefs and i shall do the same for mine.

7

Personally I find wearing the flag more offensive than burning it. With that being said, I also believe in the right of everyone to express (or not express) their feelings/opinion.

I just saw someone get the flag tattooed on their arm... in the 70's we wore clothes that looked like the flag was there. I remember having a pair of bell bottoms as the flag ..

6

It Is protected speech to burn the flag..it's also the officially recognize Way of discarding a tattered old flag...hell I had a pair of flag pants as teen, I worn them at protest rallies..

In a demonstration sweety. Anybody can burn a flag. Burn it in a demonstration against whatever...

6

I don't get folks who don't grasp what the word "freedom" actually means. Obviously it should be and and thankfully still is legal.

6

No, burning the American flag should not be illegal. If I personally like it or not. It is and should be protected under the First Amendment of our Constitution which was ruled on by the 1985 Supreme Court and again in 1990. I do not see the flag as a “holy” symbol. It is a piece of cloth with three colors that is all. As a serviceman I never fought for a flag or a song but for a nation and its people. I can’t think of any serviceperson who thought of dying for a piece of cloth. Freedom of speech and expression should be sacrosanct in the US and needs to be protected. Just because you don’t like what someone say doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to say it.

That was very well put, and thank you my friend for your service. I so appreciate living in this beautiful country.

6

Of course it should be legal. in fact, there are times when it is required. more people need to study flag etiquette.

I agree

5

I didn't vote as the alternatives don't match the question, but I absolutely support the right to burn the flag. It's a piece of cloth. That's what the current occupant of the White House doesn't seem to understand. It's a symbol. It stands for the country. I have no respect for the NFL owners who passed their stupid rule about either standing for the flag and the national anthem (which is just a song) or being in the locker room. I think the players should come out with duct tape over their mouths since the attempt is being made to silence their protests.

5

Political affiliations have no real distinction anymore. Repubs and Demos are the same brand now they just wave a different banner. The totalitarian tendencies of the current presidential administration are very distinct. They are really pushing the envelope of suppression and freedom. Flag burning is constitutionally legal. To say otherwise is ignorant. All across our country states are supressing voters, commiting election fraud, fixing elections, and silencing the voices of dissent. The battle of Dem vs Repub is fanned to keep people arguing and bickering over petty unimportant bullshit. Meanwhile our legislature is busy conjuring up ways to take our rights and freedoms away one pen stroke at a time. Our disasterous president is basically encouraging this by making statement signifying that he believes that NFL players do not have a right to protest, and that they should be fired. He detest anyone who exerts their first amendment right when it is contrary to his belief. Saying the pledge of allegience or standing for the national anthem is not law. However he maintains it is and you must. This is more inline with a dictator and not inline with the constitution. Personally, I fly the flag upside down. It is a signal that this country is in distress. I do not see anything good coming from our current situation. Everything is becoming illegal. Police are more militarized than ever before. Our kids are scared to go to school for being shot up. Blacks and hispanics cannot walk down the street without fear of being harrassed by the police, and when you defend yourself against an attack from an officer you are charged with assault or resisting arrest if you survive so you literally cannot even defend yourself. Finally, I conclude that what we are seeing and the protest we have seen are the precursers to civil unrest. If peaceful protest becomes impossible then violent unrest becomes inevitable. Just some food for thought.

5

i like the apparent number of arsonists on this matter 🙂

5

I say no it shouldn't be illegal, but yes, burn it. The options are conflicting. I've never had an urge to burn a flag UNTIL there was a movement to make it illegal. The flag represents freedom. If you can't express yourself by burning it, than it is worthless. Also, only really awful totalitarian states make flag burning illegal.

5

It is not and should not be illegal. You can burn it in protest. It's called Freedom. I may think you're an asshat for burning it....but I will support your right to do so. I support your inherent human right to peaceable protest as long as you harm no other human or animal.

4

I've never been big on supposedly "sacred" or "symbolic" inanimate objects. The flag is a piece of cloth with a specific history and too many people use it to prove how patriotic they are and to what extent their American pride is greater than anyone else on their block. Generally these are the same people whose words and actions don't even come close to matching up.

My personal feelings about the flag are my own business and have no correlation to soldiers, or specific causes, or the national anthem, or fallen heroes. And I'm not required to conform to any line of thinking about the matter. I'm not interested in celebrating the past, only using it as a reference to improve our ability to act with integrity and use any insight and knowledge gained to create a better future. The flag is a crutch. It's a totem. It's an empty object I've always felt foolish pledging my allegiance to. We should revere each other, the glorious planet we call home, rivers, trees, birds, bees, bears, mountains, deserts, every...single...thing...in nature. My loyalty I reserve for people not things and irrelevant laws of no consequence only cause our focus to shift away from the parts of life that truly matter.

The only instance where I would find fault with the burning of the flag would be if an innocent person were somehow caused physical harm from the fire itself. Because then the person doing the burning would have accidentally, but unfairly infringed on another persons rights. But other than that remote possibility, go ahead and burn away.

As for me, I'll never burn a flag, because I will never own one. I don't support the majority of systems, laws, traditions & practices of the country of my birth. I'm angry & ashamed of the "leaders" who believe they have the right to say, "on behalf of all Americans..." How dare they presume to speak for me.

Too many in this country are married to tradition & the status quo. I don't believe in change for changes sake, but where we can improve & refine & tweak & experiment, we should act with decisiveness and a lack of ego. This just seems like common sense self preservation to me. Stagnation is death.

But, anyway...let me finish by including a quote from Robert A. Heinlein that most accurately describes my feelings toward freedom and laws.

"I am free,
no matter what rules surround me.
If I find them tolerable,
I tolerate them;
if I find them too obnoxious,
I break them.
I am free because I know
that I alone
am morally responsible for everything I do."

4

Think about it.... if the flag is so symbolic of our freedoms in this country we should be able to burn it. That would also reduce the significance of other country's burning our flag, since they likely aren't allowed to burn theirs.... The devil is in the details.

If our flag isn't symbolic of freedom and includes the right to burn it, it means nothing.

For example, "Oh you burned our flag? Whoopdee doo! We have the FREEDOM TO BURN OUR OWN F'ING FLAG. You in YOUR COUNTRY? Not so much!" "Burn our flag! WDGAF! LOLZ"

I look at the flag as a mere representation of the people it serves. To put the representation above the individual seems ludicrous

4

I actually don't see any reason why not

And before anyone tries to play the "Its an insult to the military" card..Im a Navy vet and I support it.

@Crimson67 ever notice how the most "patriotic" Americas are the ones that never actually spent a day with their ads on the line for the country? Or as I like to call em...Sideline patriots...They stand for the anthem and shout the pledge loud n proud but ever ask em what they really do and it's crickets.

@Crimson67 seriously everytime.I hear some jack ass say how supportive of the troops I ask em.to pay for my fucked up back,still broken ribs,busted jaw and the fluid that keeps building up in one of my knees...

Apparently their support extends to yellow ribbons and tearing down others for their lack of patriotism.

4

I am proud of this country (even though nothing is perfect). The thing that makes America great is freedom. I personally would not burn the flag and I don't like the idea of it.

But freedom is the ability to do things other may not want too. So anybody should be able to burn the flag as long as it is theirs. Freedom should always be protected

As a Vietnam Vet I have a greater respect for the flag than some. I have personally attended several hundred flag raisings and lowerings aboard ships. However, I probably wouldn't ever burn one. I strongly support others rights to burn it (assuming they bought it). I'd rather see this type of protest by someone with a grudge against our government instead of a more radical act like blowing up a federal building.

4

As I understand it, the proper way of disposing of the flag IS to burn it.

Indeed it is. The U.S. Flag Code states "When a flag is so tattered that it no longer fits to serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning." Now the question is what to do when the United States itself is so tattered that it no longer represents the principals on which it was founded. Burn an un-tattered flag, or display it upside-down.

3

I just want to say, I think that last option needs to be included in all polls, it's brilliant. 😀

Is tbis really a yes and no question for you?

Yes it is, and I voted yes (to burn it). But I know "other" people who that fit that last option, so I think it's brilliant that it's included. I was responding to Paul. 😀

3

Interesting and enlightening that the majority of votes are for option one. I wonder if those who voted otherwise vote approval of the action that resulted in this photograph that truly went viral around the world?
Phan Thi Kim Phuc - Wikipedia [cmcm.com]

3

1st Amendment. Free speech. It is also the appropriate method for destruction of and old and torn flag.

3

The poll questions are terrible - "Yes Burn That Flag If That Makes You Happy" - if they were happy they wouldn't be burning it. The question is "Should burning an American flag be illegal" - option #2 is "No, Go Directly To Jail" well if you go directly to jail then the act has been made illegal - what??? Missed opportunity to have a good conversation and debate.

Yes, yes yes. I made a mistake in the way I worded it. I think most people can see the error and still respond appropriately.

2

The protection of our Constitution is much more important than flag destruction. Drumpf pisses on (!) and destroys the document DAILY. I should think that is infinitely worse than taking a match to some fabric.

I respect the veterans who have risked their lives protecting our right to have that freedom, but I also respect them for getting angry when they feel disrespected when an American sets fire to it. I agree with everything you said and I just wish everyone had the brains to understand what freedom means.

@paul1967 I never understand why people say/think it's only the veterans that get to feel disrespected when someone burns a flag, as if they are the only ones that defend freedom in this country. The "flag" represents ALL of us in the U.S. Will veterans feel disrespected when/if Roe v. Wade is overturned? Turned on its head, the ultimate respect for the flag is to burn it..because we can. While the idiot running the country loves his second amendment he shits on the first daily...is that what our troops are fighting for? What our troops died for? To abolish the free press? Sorry for the rant, just tired of it always being about what our troops died for until we take away someone's rights.

2

I answered "other" because the yes/no answers don't correspond properly to the question asked.

2

It's a piece of colored cloth. Yes, it's symbolic for freedom and free speech.

It's a piece of cloth that symbolizes many things to many people. For some, it's repression, for others, it's freedom. To me, it's a little of both, but I value most of what it stands for, and I feel shame for it as well. This country has a system of governance that allows for diversity and growth unlike any nation has ever known.
A godless constitution governs us, and I show respect for the ideals of that symbol, and I don't like seeing it burned, however, I would fight to allow people the right to set fire to it in protest. I will fight because that freedom to burn the flag is at the core of what I am most proud of and if we concede that essential freedom, then shame is all I have left. Be proud that we put expression and free speech ahead of symbolic cloth.

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