Flag Burning Debate Essay

Flag Burning Essays

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Flag Burning

Flag Burning can be and usually is a very controversial issue. Many people are offended by the thought of destroying this country's symbol of liberty and freedom. During a political protest during the 1984 Republican Convention, Gregory Lee Johnson was arrested for burning an American flag. Years later in 1989, Johnson got the decision overturned by the United States Supreme Court. In the same year, the state of Texas passed the Flag Protection Act, which prohibited any form of desecration against the American flag. This act provoked many people to protest and burn flags anyway. Two protestors, Shawn Eichman and Mark Haggerty were charged with violating the law and arrested. Both Eichman and Haggerty appealed the…show more content…

While the Republican National Convention was taking place in Dallas in 1984, respondent Johnson participated in a political protest. The purpose of this event was to protest the policies of the Reagan administration and of certain Dallas-based corporations. The demonstrators marched through the Dallas streets, chanting political slogans and stopping at several corporate locations to dramatize the consequences of nuclear war. On several occasions they spray-painted the walls of buildings and overturned potted plants, but Johnson himself took no part in such activities. He did, however, accept an American flag handed to him by a fellow protestor. The demonstration ended in front of Dallas City Hall, where Johnson unfolded the American flag, drenched it with kerosene, and set it on fire. While the flag burned, the protestors chanted. No one was physically injured or threatened with injury, though several witnesses had said that they had been seriously offended by the flag burning.
Of all of the demonstrators, Johnson was the only person charged with a crime. The only criminal offense with which he was charged was the desecration of a venerated object. After a trial, he was convicted, sentenced to one year in prison, and fined $2,000. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas affirmed Johnson's conviction, but the Texas Court of

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  • Don't Tread on Me!

    Would you burn the constitution? What about the White House? How about the Statue of Liberty? What makes the flag so different? NOTHING! Its a symbol of our country and therefore should be protected in one way or another. It's a flag that represents your country. If you don't like it here then just shut your mouth and deal with it in a sane way or move. If your reason is that its your freedom of expression then its just ignorant because you are burning something that represents your freedom of expression.

  • Just a piece of fabric

    Nothing is wrong with burning fabric.
    A bunch of Stars and Stripes means nothing.
    It violates peoples freedoms if they are not allowed to
    Burn a piece of fabric.
    I actually laughed the first time I saw the flag code
    because it was so silly that you have to retire a flag after it touches
    the ground. Flag burning should be legal.

  • As long as it isn't infringing on anyone's rights, go for it.

    Based one all the other reactions of pro and con, I'll have to assume by "flag" you mean the American one. Well in that case, I'm completely fine with someone wanting to set it on fire. Not because I hate America, but because it's their right to do so.

    People complain about it being offensive, and indeed it is, but if we started making laws on what "offends" people... Well, this wouldn't be a very free country any more now would it? We wouldn't have nearly the same amount of freedoms, because most of the things people find offensive revolves around the first amendment. So.. Flag burning. If the person doing it doesn't intend to harm anyone, and it's their own property, then they should be allowed to burn it.

  • It's Just a Flag

    Why get all riled up over a cloth with stars and stripes on it. It's just a flag! Sure it's a symbol of the country, but it's not like every time a flag is burned an American dies. The first amendment guaranties the right to freedom of expression, and though I personally wouldn't burn a flag of a country unless it was actually the citizens fault (I'd rather burn the flag of the government) It is people's right to express themselves.

  • Freedom of Speech

    Burning the flag is a means of free speech. Burning the flag may be looked upon as a way to insult the country that flag represents, and in many instances, it is. People in foreign countries will often burn the American flag to show disgust and contempt for our country. People in this country will also burn our flag as a way to protest the actions of our government. If I were ever to burn the American Flag, it would be on the 4th of July; a day that celebrates the founding of this great nation and its principles. I would not be burning the flag in contempt, disgust, or protest, but rather as a way to celebrate the very ideas this country was founded on. One of those being freedom of speech, which can be found in our bill of rights. The first amendment protects both verbal, and symbolic speech, which gives me both the great power to express my beliefs in any manner I choose.

  • Burning the flag is a patriotic element of america

    If we dont burn the flag then we have to wash it but is washing something as symbolic as the american flag any better?? I think of it as the fact that burning the flag once hit the ground is like lighting a spark in our patriotism it's like our spirit's of fire being released once finished.

  • Freedom of speech.

    I think people get a little too caught up in the symbolism of the whole thing. Does the flag represent our country? Yes. Does our flag represent freedom? Maybe. That freedom also includes freedom for alternative modes of thought. If we are truly free, it shouldn't matter if I want to burn the flag. It shouldn't matter if you find it morally offensive. It's a free country, isn't it?

  • No, it shouldn't be illegal.

    Freedom of Speech. Simple as that. Why is it okay to criticize the government but not the flag? Symbols are powerful tools, and these symbols should not be protected under law. Let people say and express things how they wish. So long as they don't harm others in the process, the burning of flags should be allowed and tolerated.

  • They fight for the rights.

    Though it is highly offensive, and stupid, the troops fought for the freedoms that the constitution stands for, and flag burning is with in freedom of speech. If we changed that that would seem like a slap in the face to what they have been fighting for. As long as the flag is their property and they are not leaving the burning flag unattended, there is no property damage, this isn't physically hurting someone, and it isn't causing people to panic. (By panic I mean the reaction when someone on a plane shouts bomb, and not if someone is running around and screaming the world is going to end next week.) The troops are fighting for what the flag stands for, not just the flag. Also, is we amend the fist amendment, then we are giving power to the idiots that take place in the burning of flags.

  • Because some people don't believe in flags at all

    I don't have patriotism for my country. I don't know of a single country in which I could have patriotism. Even if I did have patriotism for my country I don't expect others to. I even expect people to hate my country. For them I absolutely believe that burning my country's flag would be justified. We don't get to choose where we're born. We don't even get to really choose, very easily, what our country's stand for. Sometimes, if you love a country great enough, you'll even burn the flag to demonstrate that it what it has come to represent is far from where your love would have it be.

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