Flag burning should be unconstitutional!

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Coolguy4522, Jul 7, 2002.

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  1. dustchick Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2000
    star 1
    Pigfeet, I agree that people who burn the flag are not choosing the best form of expression for their arguments. But freedom of expression must be protected. Otherwise, we weaken our right to even have this conversation.
  2. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    "Pigfeet, I agree that people who burn the flag are not choosing the best form of expression for their arguments. But freedom of expression must be protected. Otherwise, we weaken our right to even have this conversation"

    I don't agree with that at all. It doesn't weaken our right to this conversation in anyway, shape or form. What your saying is a big what if. There is already limits on freedom of speech and expression. Just look at movie ratings, ratings on video games and music. If there was unlimited freedom of speech and expression then I could go and flash anyone in the street that I wanted to. However we don't allow that these things to go on out of the public safety and public decenscy excuse spelling. The same should apply to burning the American flag and then it stops.

    Do you see my point here? ;)
  3. Guinastasia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2002
    star 6
    Movie Ratings are not done by the government, IIRC. They are done by a movie council, which is not government affiliated.

    PRIVATELY owned venues may limit some expression.

    HOWEVER, again, flag burning cannot be limited by the government.

    What if they did outlaw it? What if they forced us to say the Pledge-as some people wish to make it manditory by law for school children to say the Pledge.

    What THEN?

    Freedom of speech-ain't it a bitch?

  4. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    No I'm saying that Native Americans, African Americans and other minorities and including the Mormons who get a raw deal in this country and it's not right since they are great people who try to help society would have a better case or better reasons to go as far as to burn an American flag.

    I think you and I would have a lot of catching up to do in the government messing with us, than what the government did to these groups for long periods of time, and for any joe blow like this guy in 1989 to burn an American flag over a Presidents policies is not a valid reason by measuring stick to being treated as unequals or seen as property, or not even seen as human beings.


    Just because other groups who might have "more" reason to protest have chosen not to protest in that manner does not mean that someone else doesn't have a "valid" reason to do so. (BTW, Johnson was arrested in 1984, but his case was decided in 1989 by the Supreme Court.)

    "If you aren't offending someone, you aren't protesting effectively."

    That is false logic from the standpoint that you should be offending those who are causing you to be upset. Not the other way around by offending me and other people in this country. That is why I'm saying that you shouldn't burn the American flag because your not doing anything to solve your problems rather your starting new ones by making some people who have NOTHING to do with your problems upset like me. Why not go to the source as I call it, like the Bostonians did at the Boston Tea party. They went to the item that was going to cause them to be unlawfully taxed without represenation, and rather than wasting their time by leaving the tea on board those ships or not allowing British ships in the harbor with other materials or say go back to England they simply dumped the cargo.


    My point is that when you protest, you are specifically looking for attention. Perhaps "offending" was the wrong word to use. "Shocking" would be a better one. You need to do something to shock people during a protest, or you will not be noticed. That's why protesters will chant, carry signs, or other things like that. Recently, in a protest at my college, a group of people placed body bags filled with dummies outside many of the buildings to represent the palestinians who were dying in Israel.

    As far as the Boston Tea Party goes, they did it for several differences between what they did and flag burning that make their actions worse. First, the tea was not their property. Political protests aside, they destroyed someone else's property. That is wrong. When people burn a flag, they usually buy one themselves. Second, they were also guilty of breaking and entering (to the ships). In other words, their protests trampled other people's rights far more than flag burnging ever does. They are really a poor example of a better way to protest.

    Okay so we have the 1989 case which to me doesn't warent an excuse for a American flag to be burned. The guy just wanted attention and like I said before he got the media, and bad attention from others who didn't see a valid reason for him to burn a flag, anymore than people agreeing with me walking down the street and cussing at everysingle person who I come upon.

    I may not agree with your cussing at everyone on the street, but I will defend your right to do it. The problem is that many people seem to believe that they have some mystical right not to be offended. This is completely false and in direct contradiction to freedom of speech. Imagine if politicians were not allowed to offend anyone. Can you think of any single topic that they could speak on that would not offend one person out of the 280 million in the US? Neither can I.

    Kimball Kinnison
  5. toochilled Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2000
    star 5
    Remember America, YOU ARE FREE.
    Free to do as your media tells you to do.
    Look, here's American Gladiators.
    Everything is OK America. You are Free.
    Look, here's American Gladiators.....

    just thought I'd chuck that in for the few that understand it :p
  6. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I don't agree with that at all. It doesn't weaken our right to this conversation in anyway, shape or form. What your saying is a big what if. There is already limits on freedom of speech and expression. Just look at movie ratings, ratings on video games and music. If there was unlimited freedom of speech and expression then I could go and flash anyone in the street that I wanted to. However we don't allow that these things to go on out of the public safety and public decenscy excuse spelling. The same should apply to burning the American flag and then it stops.

    As I (and many others) have pointed out to you, there is a big difference in what you describe. First, the ratings are voluntary and are not government-imposed. Second, it is true that we do not have unlimited freedom of expression. However, the line is drawn at the point where you violate other people's rights. Your flashing example is bad because by flashing others, you can be trying to force them to go against their religious freedom (which is illegal), since many religions teach that you should not look on someone like that unless you are married to them.

    How does flag burning violate anyone's rights? You have yet to provide a single right that is violated by flag burning, without it being a red herring. In fact, not one supporter of outlawing flag burning has been able to state a singe right of theirs that is violated by that act. The Boston Tea Party was wrong because it violated other people's rights (to property). The Civil RIghts movement (excepting the more militant branches) did not violate anyone's rights, which is why they were upheld. Same with women's suffrage.

    Kimball Kinnison
  7. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    "My point is that when you protest, you are specifically looking for attention. Perhaps "offending" was the wrong word to use. "Shocking" would be a better one. You need to do something to shock people during a protest, or you will not be noticed. That's why protesters will chant, carry signs, or other things like that. Recently, in a protest at my college, a group of people placed body bags filled with dummies outside many of the buildings to represent the palestinians who were dying in Israel."

    Well this is a prime example of abusing your rights if your only out to shock people in your protest. Your WHOLE purpose for a protest is to get your point across in a civil, legal manner, and to see if a change can be done by protesting. It's not the following.

    I don't like something the government is doing, so lets go out in the streets and cuss, burn flags and be pushy and maybe we will get enough media attention and piss a lot of people off. No you are looking for positive results in getting a problem fixed. Making other citizens angry, and acting out of line will get you no where but a night in jail or worse.

    If you want to be shocking then why not organize the largest protest in the nations history and instead of acting like wild animals, be a peaceful marching army of protesters. You will find people will tend to notice things like that, and most likely may join you.

    Hense this brings me back to my original deal about people resorting to physical violence. Rights or no rights some people are going to throw that right out the window and use their freedom of expression on that person by knocking the socks off them. Some people including myself get so offended by someone burning the flag for what you have called "shock value" instead of burning it for a good reason that you might as well be setting me and others on fire.

    If you all really want to do something shocking and want to include the element of fire, then why not do what some Buddist did during the Vietnam War, and set themselves on fire? That is showing your true contempt for something and the ultimate sacrifice.

    As for the movie ratings, video game ratings. Well those are violations of free speech. Why? It's my money and I should be able to spend my money on something which is rated M for Mature. Say I'm a 16 year old kid who has a part time job and I make my own money and I want to buy a violent video game yet when I try to buy it the store will not let me. That is a direct violation of rights, and it's a direct violation of the people who made the game by putting a limit on their ability to show off their work or "expression".

  8. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Well this is a prime example of abusing your rights if your only out to shock people in your protest. Your WHOLE purpose for a protest is to get your point across in a civil, legal manner, and to see if a change can be done by protesting. It's not the following.

    Take a look at most historical protests. They were shocking to people in many ways. And shocking people is not always bad. And FYI, flag burning is a "civil, legal manner" of protesting, according to the Constitution and Supreme Court. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech was quite shocking, as was the Boston Tea Party, and anti-war protests of the 60s/70s and almost every other successful protest in this nations history.

    I don't like something the government is doing, so lets go out in the streets and cuss, burn flags and be pushy and maybe we will get enough media attention and piss a lot of people off. No you are looking for positive results in getting a problem fixed. Making other citizens angry, and acting out of line will get you no where but a night in jail or worse.

    If you want to be shocking then why not organize the largest protest in the nations history and instead of acting like wild animals, be a peaceful marching army of protesters. You will find people will tend to notice things like that, and most likely may join you.


    You know? I agree with you that there are better ways to protest than burning a flag. However, just because there is a better way to do something does not mean that we should restrict people's rights so they can only do it that way. Like I said before, with Freedom of Speech come the ability to abuse Freedom of Speech. Personally, I despise pornography, but I still believe that it is protected by Free Speech. I despise flag burning, but it is still protected. Just because I despise something does not make it unworthy of protecting.

    Hense this brings me back to my original deal about people resorting to physical violence. Rights or no rights some people are going to throw that right out the window and use their freedom of expression on that person by knocking the socks off them. Some people including myself get so offended by someone burning the flag for what you have called "shock value" instead of burning it for a good reason that you might as well be setting me and others on fire.

    Your freedom of expression ends when you interfere with another person's rights. You can move your fist around all you want, but as soon as you hit someone, your freedom of expression just ended. Like I said, there is not right that protects you from being offended.

    I notice that you still have not answered my question. WHAT SPECIFIC RIGHTS DOES FLAG BURNING INFRINGE ON?

    As for the movie ratings, video game ratings. Well those are violations of free speech. Why? It's my money and I should be able to spend my money on something which is rated M for Mature. Say I'm a 16 year old kid who has a part time job and I make my own money and I want to buy a violent video game yet when I try to buy it the store will not let me. That is a direct violation of rights, and it's a direct violation of the people who made the game by putting a limit on their ability to show off their work or "expression".

    Free Speech does not mean that you can say whatever you want in any medium you want. It means that the government cannot restrict what you say. All of the examples that you have given (ratings, etc) are from private industries. It is not a law that a 16-year-old cannot buy a Mature video game, it is a store policy. Just because you write something does not mean that a newspaper has to publish it. Just because you want to make a speech doesn't mean that TV stations have to cover it.

    Kimball Kinnison
  9. Kuna_Tiori Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2002
    star 4
    Apology accepted and I take no offense to what you have said.

    Um, this statement was actually meant to complement my arguments above it, which went as follows (your statement is in regular font and mine is bolded):



    So really my whole argument is a suggestion of common respect and nothing more. It's not an order or and if you don't follow that order you die, but a suggestion.

    No, you ARE saying it's an order. You want a ban on flag burning to be unconstitutional, right? That equates to an order.


    Then I said the whole apology thing.


    No I have no problem with people protesting. So things should be protested, but it does your cause no good by burning an American flag. Why not get to the heart of the problem and not burn the flag? It's not a logical thing to do. So basically why I agree with what was done at the Boston Tea party was because they went right after the source and not takes anger and frustrations out on something which would be a waste of time. Burning the American flag during an Abortion or Gay rights or higher taxes just doesn't make sense to me since it's not what is causing you the problems. It's the politicians and such. Waste your time all you want for all I care, but I strongly feel that burning the flag has overstepped the bounds

    This is precisely why I think your argument doesn't make sense. You think that only idiots burn the American flag. I agree. I think it's a vile, despicable act. But (for the most part) people are allowed to do vile acts as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. And I mean "hurt" in a physical manner - if you get into mental damage or whatever the situation becomes way too vague to enforce any laws.

    Remember, "Your rights end where my nose begins".

    So I think that flag burning should be discouraged, certainly, but not banned. Or else they can ban all sorts of things that gouty politicians may find offensive to their delicate feelings.
  10. Devilanse Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2002
    star 5
    I got it, Toochilled.

    You left out the line...

    "Go back to sleep, America...your government is in control."
  11. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    "I notice that you still have not answered my question. WHAT SPECIFIC RIGHTS DOES FLAG BURNING INFRINGE ON?"

    Okay here you go. Now of course this would all depend on all the issues and subjects involved. Say I'm driving down the street and all of a sudden there is a protest which was going good, but you had some hooligans in the protest getting frisky. Now they decide to burn an American flag without a permit/or maybe they do, but this hasn't been found out yet. The protest is now blocking traffic from coming through the street. So I'm stuck while some people are waving a burning flag. It gets near my car and my car catches on fire along with some other things and I get blown up in my car and burn to death.

    I can hear you all cheering right now, but basically the act of setting things on fire is simply a dangerous thing to do, and when people are all rowled up and such crazy things can and will happen. It's acts like burning flags and burning other things which can cause a peaceful demonstration turn violent and deadly.

    So basically when you have a large group of people on hand and you are setting things on fire with or without a permit your POTENTIALLY risking peoples lives and property by burning things.

    So why can't we come to a common sense conclusion to this debate. Hear me out with this resolution.

    1. Burning the flag is a form of expression not freedom of speech.

    2. Burning the flag or items in protest can without professional supervison and proper permits get you arrested/fined. In an interest of public safety to lives and property without these 2 requirements if you burn the flag for whatever reason you are subject to arrest. When I say professional I'm talking about hiring Firefighters and such to be on hand.

    3. Burning the flag is a bad way of going about protesting anything. Example would be this bozo from 1984 burning an American flag in protest of Ronald Reagan's policies. Did he keep Reagan from being elected? No he did not. So in interest of trying to get positive results in a protest burning the flag is seen not to carry positive results. With that said is it not more important to insure the lives and property which may or maynot be put in jeopardy if a fire does or doesn't get out of control.

    Can we agree on this resolution. Basically protesters if they want to burn the flag must pay for the permit and pay for an off duty or on duty firefighter to supervise at the protest. Without these two requirements then your in trouble.


  12. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Okay here you go. Now of course this would all depend on all the issues and subjects involved. Say I'm driving down the street and all of a sudden there is a protest which was going good, but you had some hooligans in the protest getting frisky. Now they decide to burn an American flag without a permit/or maybe they do, but this hasn't been found out yet. The protest is now blocking traffic from coming through the street. So I'm stuck while some people are waving a burning flag. It gets near my car and my car catches on fire along with some other things and I get blown up in my car and burn to death.

    I can hear you all cheering right now, but basically the act of setting things on fire is simply a dangerous thing to do, and when people are all rowled up and such crazy things can and will happen.


    Again, though. What right of yours has been infringed? You have mentioned blocking traffic. Unfortunately, there is no right to have free-flowing traffic. (This is especially obvious here in the DC area - longest commute in the nation, 2nd worst traffic.)

    You mention your car catching on fire. I'm sorry, but that is an absurdity. I think you've been watching too many movies. Cars do not catch fire all that easily, especially not from a piece of cloth that is burning.

    I'm sorry, but which rights of yours have been violated? You don't seem to be listing any rights.

    It's acts like burning flags and burning other things which can cause a peaceful demonstration turn violent and deadly.

    With the exception of a certain palestinian mentioned earlier in this thread, I have never yet heard of a flag burning causing violence to someone. The few demonstrations where it has gotten out of hand did not get that way because of the flag burning, but because of other causes (such as other groups turning violent). I'm going to have to ask you to PPOR on this post.

    So basically when you have a large group of people on hand and you are setting things on fire with or without a permit your POTENTIALLY risking peoples lives and property by burning things.

    And when you get behind the wheel of a car, you are POTENTIALLY risking people's lives. Thousands of people die each year in accidents (even without alcohol as a factor). Every time you eat a peanut butter sandwich in the park, you are POTENTIALLY risking someone's life (after all, they might be allergic). Limiting our rights because there is the POTENTIAL to abuse them is not a good idea.

    2. Burning the flag or items in protest can without professional supervison and proper permits get you arrested/fined. In an interest of public safety to lives and property without these 2 requirements if you burn the flag for whatever reason you are subject to arrest. When I say professional I'm talking about hiring Firefighters and such to be on hand.

    Sorry, but most localities do not require having a firefighter on hand after you have been issued a permit (at least, not for a small fire of the size of a flag). In fact, many areas don't even require a permit for a fire that small. There is no reason to require a "professional" to supervise.

    Can we agree on this resolution. Basically protesters if they want to burn the flag must pay for the permit and pay for an off duty or on duty firefighter to supervise at the protest. Without these two requirements then your in trouble.

    Why is there any need to change the way things are now? In the decades that people have burned flags in protest, ther have not been any cases requiring any of the requirements you list. Your only reason is because you wish to restrict the rights of others to express themselves. That is not acceptable.

    Kimball Kinnison
  13. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    My rights to life and property were violated in that example I gave. Could it happen? Yes it could.

    Here is another one. Say those protestors decide to beat on my car? That is distruction of property and I can guarantee you someone is going to the morgue if they mess with my car. They may get me in the end but I'm taking some of them with me.

    You want to know when protesting is over and it becomes a crime? The moment destruction of any property occurs.
  14. Darth_OlsenTwins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    Is this a flag burning thread or "I hate people that are reckless when they are burning things thread". Does it matter if its a flag?
  15. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Here is another one. Say those protestors decide to beat on my car? That is distruction of property and I can guarantee you someone is going to the morgue if they mess with my car. They may get me in the end but I'm taking some of them with me.

    You want to know when protesting is over and it becomes a crime? The moment destruction of any property occurs.


    The problem is that you are answering about protests in general, not flag burning. What does flag burning have to do with whether or not protesters decide to beat on your car? There have been many protests without flag burning that have turned into riots. There have also been many peaceful protests that incorporated flag burning. You cannot draw a clear connection between violent protests and flag burning.

    So, I repeat, How does flag burning infringe your rights? Not protesting, but flag burning.

    Kimball Kinnison
  16. Guinastasia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2002
    star 6
    DarthPigFeet-I think you need to take a course in Logic.

    Or look up fallacies on google or something.

    Now then-NONE of the examples you gave will hold. Flag burning had nothing to do with your rights being violated.

    Pounding on a car!=flag burning!

    Blocking traffic!=flag burning!

    Also, any fire will be dangerous! Campfires and fireplaces are also dangerous!

    LKE)(MLK:ELKEM
    -this is me banging my head against the keyboard
  17. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    You want to know when protesting is over and it becomes a crime? The moment destruction of any property occurs.

    Er... if they bought the flag, it's their property, and theirs to burn, isn't it?

    Are you also against effigy burning?
  18. Darth_OlsenTwins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    Lets outlaw rollerblading because there is an indirect connection to forest fires.
  19. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    woberty:

    There is a difference between burning a dummy of Bush (or Saddam) and burning the flag. It is reasonable to assume that burning the flag would greatly shock and offend people - and could result in fighting that could cause injury. In Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the Supreme Court ruled that "fighting words" are NOT protected by the First Amendment.

    Personally, I think the decision that overturned Johnson's conviction was wrong due to the fact that burning an American flag is an action that would be comparable to "fighting words." The Texas law that was invalidated was reasonable, IMO, and I disagree with the Court's decision, and I would support legislation (or a constitutional amendment if needed) to reverse that ruling.
  20. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    It is reasonable to assume that burning the flag would greatly shock and offend people - and could result in fighting that could cause injury.

    I guarantee you if I step outside and start burning a lifesize figure of George W. Bush it's going to shock and most likely offend some people. So why aren't people clamoring for an amendment to prohibit effigy burning?


  21. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Full Disclosure: JediSmuggler is my older brother.

    There is a difference between burning a dummy of Bush (or Saddam) and burning the flag. It is reasonable to assume that burning the flag would greatly shock and offend people - and could result in fighting that could cause injury. In Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the Supreme Court ruled that "fighting words" are NOT protected by the First Amendment.

    How do you define "fighting words", though? I could walk outside and say that I hate all polka-dotted ties, and even burn a polka-dotted tie to show my displeasure. If there happens to be a polka-dot lover nearby, have I just uttered "fighting words"? (Yes, I know it's an absurd example, but bear with me.)

    As our father has said, there are places where "Go Duke!" is considered "fighting words" (and I'm not talking about John Wayne). If, instead of burning a flag, I were to walk outside and yell "Go Taliban!", would you consider those fighting words?

    If I were to say that I believe the Chicago Bears or Milwaukee Brewers suck, you would consider them fighting words (you and I both know that). Am I not allowed to express my opinions because they might offend people?

    As I have stated to PigFeet many times, there is absolutely no right that protects you from being offended. In fact, the case you cited does not apply in the case of flag burning. Allow me to quote from the decision cited.
    Appellant assails the statute as a violation of all three freedoms, speech, press and worship, but only an attack on the basis of free speech is warranted. The spoken, not the written, word is involved.... Allowing the broadest scope to the language and purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment, it is well understood that the right of free speech is not absolute at all times and under all circumstances.[note 2] There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention [572] and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any Constitutional problem.[note 3] These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or "fighting" words--those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.[note 4] It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.[note 5] "Resort to epithets or personal abuse is not in any proper sense communication of information or opinion safeguarded by the Constitution, and its punishment as a criminal act would raise no question under that instrument." Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 309-310. (Emphasis added in bold.)
    In short, that case only deals with verbal and personal insults. If a person directly and verbally insults you, personally, then their speech is not considered protected. However, in the case of a physical act or speech that is not directed at any individual, the standard set for "fighting words" is not met.

    You forgot, bro, that I know how to research Supreme Court decisions as well as you do. Next time, make sure it actually applies to the case. ;)

    Kimball Kinnison
  22. Guinastasia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2002
    star 6
    It is reasonable to assume that two men walking down the street holding hands sometimes shocks and offends people and ends in injury.

    It is reasonable to assume that someone wearing a Marilyn Manson t-shirt shocks and offends someone and ends in injury.

    It is reasonable to assume that someone wearing a "Nuke the Ragheads!" shirt could shock and offend someone and result in injury.

    Does that mean we outlaw these kinds of things too?

    Sheesh-a LOT of thing could "shock and offend" someone-but that doesn't mean it's okay for there to be a fight.

    Darth Pig Feet, have you ever heard of post hoc, ergo propter hoc?
  23. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    Okay you want to be blind then walk with the Shepard.

    I'm giving a situation in which my rights could be violated. If the car is caught on fire as a result of them burning a flag then hense it's destruction of property

    If it hurts me by burning me it's assault.

    As for the general protest thing. Your right I was talking about protests in general. I think the moment the first piece of property is destroyed as a result of protesters going too far and getting out of hand then the protest is over and you go home. Burning a flag can make that 10 times more likely to happen since you are dealing with fire.
  24. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm giving a situation in which my rights could be violated. If the car is caught on fire as a result of them burning a flag then hense it's destruction of property

    Again, you seem to have watched a few too many movies. Cars don't catch on fire that easily!!! You are using a very illogical example.

    Also, I did not ask you how your rights could be violated by protesters who happen to be burning a flag. I asked how does flag burning violate your rights??? I am asking for facts, not possibilities. In your scenario, it is not the flag burning itself that violates your rights, it is the protesters who violate your property rights.

    As for the general protest thing. Your right I was talking about protests in general. I think the moment the first piece of property is destroyed as a result of protesters going too far and getting out of hand then the protest is over and you go home. Burning a flag can make that 10 times more likely to happen since you are dealing with fire.

    Fine, then. Where are your facts to support this claim? Do you have statistics on demonstrations that have turned violent? How many of them involved flag burning? Or did you just invent this claim off the top of your head? Looking over the many reports of demonstrations involving flag burning that I have seen, I have yet to find one that turned violent because of the flag burning. There have been minor reports of violence, but not in any higher frequency than in protests that did not involve flag burning.

    That suggests that property damage in protests is not caused by flag burning. Your complaint, then should not be against flag burning, but against protests in general.

    Kimball Kinnison
  25. ShadowDragon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2002
    star 1
    Going back to "fighting words", I find the flag desecration situation very similar to Cohen v. California (1971). Cohen was arrested for wearing a jacket saying "**** the Draft" in a county courthouse. A lower court found that those were fighting words, but the Supreme Court reversed the ruling. They found that the epithet was not directed at the "person of the hearer" and "no individual actually or likely to be present could reasonably have regarded the words on appellant's jacket as a direct personal insult."

    If "**** the Draft" isn't a direct personal insult, then neither is burning a flag.
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