An amendment should created to abolish flag desecration
Debate Rounds (4)
I am looking for a serious debate with an experienced member who will not forfeit.
1st round is acceptance
Alright, to begin, I will define desecration as:
"to treat disrespectfully, irreverently, or outrageously"
I will also define Symbolic Speech:
"Symbolic speech is a legal term in United States law used to describe actions that purposefully and discernibly convey a particular message or statement to those viewing it."
I will also cite the first Amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
However, the important part of my argument is the, "or abridging the freedom of speech".
The supreme court is the supreme law of the land. If your freedoms are violated, and the supreme court is interested, they may hear your case. The supreme court defines whether punishing an action is constitutional or unconstitutional. In this instance, flag desecration, as despised as it may be, is technically symbolic speech.
Symbolic speech has been repeatedly protected under the 1st amendment, which is obvious. The real issue is where do we lose our basic American rights. At the end f the day, the flag is a symbol. I am paraphrasing a justice when I say, A flag is merely a symbol. We give it value and meaning. When a person burns the flag, it becomes even more of a national symbol. The flag rose and fell, similarly to all the brave troops which the flag now falls in the footsteps of.
Now, lets analyze the landmark case, Texas v. Johnson.
Johnson burned a flag after Reagan was voted into office. He was arrested for desecration. He appealed to the supreme court, and because he acted within his 1st amendment right, Texas punishing him was a violation of his first amendment rights.
To persecute someone for flag burning is just as un-American as the act itself. At the end of the day, the flag only means what it means because we give it meaning. Whether it's a pile of ashes, or a waving flag, it represents our country to a certain degree.
Also, this would not cease description, only public desecration. If I burn a flag in my basement, who will know but me? And did you really just state that security guards should protect all flags? The FMAA states they create 100 million flags a year. Theres 300 american citizens. Even if the FMAA has only been making flags for one year, which it has not, there would still not be enough guards to protect the flag. Also, you want to arm citizens to protect a flag? Who would pay for these arms? The government? Bad idea!
"Flags are sacred property of the United States of America, and should be treated as such. It does not violate free speech, or freedom of religion to arrest someone that is burning the flag of your country. If you live in America, you should fly the stars and stripes proudly, regardless of your beliefs. It does not matter whether you are Christian, Jew, Sikh, Muslim, Hindu or a different religion like Wicca, you should fly the flag of your native country with pride. "
To say something is sacred, would infer it is almost religious, which is ironic, considering almost every religion says emoting about idols.
Also, I have a question:
If it is not mandatory to salute the flag, or stand for the pledge of allegiance, then why should people not be allowed to desecrate it?
I of course don't like desecration of the American flag, and I would never do it, but it is symbolic.
"Those that do not like America, what it stands for and its flag can leave. They should not be allowed to stay here and burn our flag and show their displeasure for a country that they moved to! Therefore, an amendment to the United States Constitution should be created to stop people who are not proud to be Americans from desecrating what we hold dear and treasure. I would like to thank Con once again for starting this debate, and I look forward to the next arguments."
They shouldn't be allowed to stay? Now were talking deportation. What if they are "native" to America? Most of the time, the flag isn;t even burned to protest America. It is to protest American issues. Which would get your attention? A poster board, or a burning American flag?
Also, you dropped my constitutionality argument, so I am assuming you agree that said amendment would be unconstitutional.
Do you also think the it would be constitutional for the government to suppress our freedom of speech? It's not, but not only that, your opinion is irrelevant. The amendment would be unconstitutional, and it is clearly laid out the in the first amendment.
"You should wave the flag with pride, not burn it. The flag is not sacred like religion, but a sacred symbol of our past and our future. You should not be allowed to destroy it for any reason whatsoever."
While i agree with this statement, I am not in control of other peoples lives. I don't dictate their actions. If they want to burn a flag, I will be silently judging them, along with a crowd of people who will also be judging them. The flag overall is still a symbol of freedom. If I watch a flag burn, personally I actually feel strength. I feel that even though the flag is now ashes, the flag still represents diversity.
"Flag burning isn't a peaceful protest under the first amendment. It is rather, a violent show of contempt for America and its values."
Like I proved in the supreme court cases I cited, flag burning is peaceful. So long as no one is injured, there is not an issue. Even if someone is hurt, the flag burner would not get in trouble for burning the flag. The punishment would depend on whether or not what happened was an accident.
Texas v. Johnson
"It shows that you hate America's laws, and its flag accordingly. The flag is not to be burned at all, as it shows extreme contempt for America. Therefore, this amendment must be created."
Flag burning does not show contempt for America. If someone wanted to show contempt for America, they would commit terrorism. The flag is a symbol, therefore burning a symbol is protected under the 1st amendment.
Also, you never answered my question, "If it is not mandatory to salute the flag, or stand for the pledge of allegiance, then why should people not be allowed to desecrate it?"
If you don't answer this question this time around, I will be forced to assume you just have no idea how to answer this question.
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