The American Flag: More Than Just a Piece of Cloth

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The American Flag is the most widespread symbol Americans have. It took a disaster to make me realize how important it is. I would always wave the flag in a parade or on the Fourth of July, but I never really stopped to think about what I was doing. The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 are what changed my view. They caused me to reflect about our country and the value of saying, “I am an American.” After September 11th, there was an explosion of patriotism. Flags were bought and hung everywhere out of pride. The flag represents our country and all of the rights and privileges that we have in the United States, hanging it gave us the strength to move on. People see the flag everyday, yet how many of them actually stop and think…show more content…
The United States Supreme Court found Texas’s flag desecration law unconstitutional during the Johnson verses Texas case. During the 1984 Republican National Convention, Johnson took part in a “political demonstration to protest the policies of the Reagan administration and some Dallas-based corporations” (Texas v Johnson). Johnson burned an American flag after he marched through the streets, while other protesters chanted. No one was physically injured or in danger of injury, although several witnesses were seriously offended by the flag burning. Johnson was convicted of “…desecration of a venerated object in violation of a Texas statute” (Texas v Johnson). The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals acquitted the violation because under the First Amendment, flag burning is expressive conduct; therefore, he could not be punished. The court concluded that the State could not criminally restrict flag desecration in order to preserve the flag as a symbol of national unity. Also, “The government may not prohibit the verbal or nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable, even when our flag is involved” (Texas v Johnson). It is unconstitutional to limit our rights simply because someone finds our actions disrespectful. A state may not hold its own view of the flag nor prohibit expressive
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