Desecration of the Flag Should be Prohibited

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Desecration of the Flag Should be Prohibited

 

Is it necessary to allow all forms of protest to protect the right of citizens to express grievances against their government?  It is not a violation of free speech to outlaw burning of the flag because it is not speech.  It will not lead to the limiting of other avenues of protest, of which many are more expressive of specific problems. All attempts to protect the flag short of a Constitutional amendment have failed in the end.  A change to the constitution to prohibit the desecration of the U.S. flag is a necessary step to protect one of our most sacred national symbols.

 

            Several methods
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            The act of burning a flag does not address any specific grievance; it only expresses unhappiness with the United States in general.  Persons who are generally unhappy with this country should be able to find a better way to express their displeasure.  The ineffective nature of protesting in this manner is summarized well by Robert Goldstein:"a generally high counterproductive political tactic - one that mostly alienates people and makes them turn away before they have a chance of grasping any particular message that such conduct seeks to convey" (preface, Pg XI).  Flag burning is not a necessary or effective way to protest against any particular action.

 

            The flag is not a symbol representing the government of the United States; burning it portrays displeasure, not with government policies, but with the country itself.  This is why so many people, particularly those who have fought for this country, find burning a flag a deplorable act. It is a direct offense to everything that they put their lives at risk to protect.  Burning a flag has been construed as "a direct attack on the sovereignty of the United States," (Burning the Flag 14).  A hallowed symbol of our country deserves the same
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