The Flag-burning Debate Continues Essay examples

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The Flag-burning Debate Continues

Nazis captured Jim Rogers. He was routinely beaten and given barely enough food to survive. During the time he spent in a World War II prisoner of war camp, he managed to keep his sanity by scraping together bits and pieces of colored cloth in order to make an American flag. As his fellow prisoners began to die, it was his American flag which provided him with a sense of identity and gave him the inspiration to keep living.

It is no wonder, then, that Jim becomes disturbed when he turns on the news and sees our flag being burned in the streets of foreign nations. What disturbs him even more is when he sees the American flag being burned by Americans in America. In 1989, the Supreme …show more content…

After reading the First Amendment, it is difficult to see how the act of speaking can be equated with using a cigarette lighter to set a flag on fire. When demonstrators are burning the flag, they are said to be expressing their disapproval toward the government.

But as the observant reader may have noticed, no where in the First Amendment do we find any mention of "expression." Whatever a demonstrator says while burning the flag is speech, but the actual act of burning the flag is expression and, as we have seen, is not necessarily constitutionally protected.

A less common First Amendment defense of the burning the flag is that flag-burning falls under the right of citizens "peaceably to assemble." Although seeing an American flag set on fire would be a source of discomfort for certain on-lookers, burning a flag is far less physically destructive than other protest

activities such as rioting. But the question then arises as to whether or not flag-burning constitutes a peaceful assembling; perhaps the desecration of America's national emblem would incite acts of violence between those who do and do not respect the

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