The Pros And Cons Of Flag Burning

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The time finally came when flag burning became a federal offense, Congress passing this law around the time the Vietnam War started. Late in the 1900 's, a man named Gregory Lee Johnson was convicted for burning the flag during a Republican Convention. Although he was initially convicted, the Supreme Court later decided that the freedom of expression permits him to burn the flag. A huge dispute broke out in Elk Grove High School in the post Eichman-era as to whether or not a mural depicting a flag being burned could be displayed in the halls. Originally denied by the principal, the American Civil Liberties Union intervened, convincing the principal that the students have the freedom to express their thoughts through the mural, and that it is …show more content…
It has been found that members of the Republican Party support the passing of an amendment that bans desecration of the flag much more than Democratic do (Carroll). In the poll done by USA Today, it found that when random citizens were asked whether they favored or opposed the idea to let the government make it illegal to burn the flag, 56% of them supported the idea while only 41% were against it (Carroll). Also found within the poll was that those that support the banning of flag burning have a much stronger opinion on the matter than those that were against it (Carroll). "This has got to be an individual who just doesn 't realize what he 's doing means and how disrespectful it is, and how many sacrifices have been made by our men and women to make this country what it is today" (American Legion Cmdr. Sam Sasser, Boese). 40% of Americans who support the amendment would be upset if it was not passed, while only 20% of people who oppose the amendment would be upset if it was passed (Carroll). One US citizen, Police Chief Paul Bostrack, offers his opinions on the matter, stating that the act of burning a flag is just despicable, in addition to the obvious dangers that come along with it (Boese). The state explains that a breach of peace occured …show more content…
Johnson). In the court case United States vs. Eichman, The Supreme Court reviewed a decision made by Congress to prohibit the burning of flags, determining that this is unconstitutional as one cannot be punished solely because his or her thoughts are offensive (ACLU). The Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional for Texas to apply a law that prevented a man from expressing his thoughts just because the state believed it to be extremely offensive (ACLU). This amendment would actually increase the speculation as to how this expression should specifically be regulated (ACLU). Professor Goldstein documented only about 45 incidents of flag burning in the past 200 years between the adoption of the flag in 1777 and the creation of the Flag Protection Act in 1989, which was rejected by the Supreme Court (ACLU). It has been learned through experience with prohibition of alcohol, that prohibiting may actually provoke instead of diminish the acts it wished to prevent (ACLU). Freedom will reach its demise if a leader makes exceptions to the First Amendment solely due to his opposition of the speech or expression (ACLU). This amendment harms one of the freedoms that the flag represents: free speech (ACLU). Many people who believed flag desecration is bad argued that the issue was not big enough to make the government change the Constitution solely to prevent it

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