The Instigator
AbandonedSpring
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Kylar
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

An amendment should created to abolish flag desecration

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 800 times Debate No: 65582
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (0)

 

AbandonedSpring

Con

I am looking for a serious debate with an experienced member who will not forfeit.

1st round is acceptance
Kylar

Pro

I accept your challenge. Let's have a good, yet serious debate.
Debate Round No. 1
AbandonedSpring

Con

I do not believe that flag burning is justifiable, however, the first amendment is a part of the bill of rights, and it should therefore be honored in this debate.

Alright, to begin, I will define desecration as:
"to treat disrespectfully, irreverently, or outrageously"
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

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."
https://www.google.com...

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.

Thanks

http://law2.umkc.edu...
Kylar

Pro

I would first like to thank my oppponet for initializing a very interesting and controversial debate topic. I do not believe that flag desecration is right at all, and laws should be made against it. The American flag has been trampled repeatedly and burned throughout our 239 years as the USA. If an amendment to the US Constitution is passed prohibiting it, then this could easily cease. A good way to do it would be to place security guards around every American flag, or allow citizens to carry arms to break up any flag burning rallies. 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. 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.
Debate Round No. 2
AbandonedSpring

Con

"The American flag has been trampled repeatedly and burned throughout our 239 years as the USA. If an amendment to the US Constitution is passed prohibiting it, then this could easily cease. A good way to do it would be to place security guards around every American flag, or allow citizens to carry arms to break up any flag burning rallies."

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.

Thanks
Kylar

Pro

Hi :). I am sorry for feeling like a stupid idiot, and I once again thank you for initiating this debate. I personally believe that an amednment would be constutional. Flag desecration is a terrible crime and must be stopped. If you live in America, you are bound to its flag and laws. 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. Flag burning isn't a peaceful protest under the first amendment. It is rather, a violent show of contempt for America and its values. 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.
Debate Round No. 3
AbandonedSpring

Con

" I personally believe that an amednment would be constutional. Flag desecration is a terrible crime and must be stopped. "

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.

Thanks
Kylar

Pro

Hey :), thank you for replying so promptly, and I hope there is no hard feelings between us. I conclude this debate by answering your question. Flag desecration should not be allowed in my opinion because, while I do not mind the pledge of allegiance being not required, I do mind burning the flag. The stars and stripes is a treasured symbol of our heritage, a flag is the symbol of a nation. If you burn the flag, you burn your heritage to ashes. You destroy the values your fathers stood for, by burning the American flag to ashes. In burning the flag, you also give the United States of America a very bad name on the ledger of other nations. I rest my case here, and I want to thank you again for starting this debate with me. I had a good time, and I hope there is no hard feelings between us.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by AbandonedSpring 3 years ago
AbandonedSpring
Also, I have no issue with this country, I love this country. Pecan pie would I want to leave?
Posted by AbandonedSpring 3 years ago
AbandonedSpring
The supreme court's job is to interpret the constitution. They take what the constitution says, and applies it to the current situation. Therefore, the supreme court is the law of the lans.

Also, the supreme court has said themselves flag burning is protected. It is symbolic speech. Speech is a vague term, that is not limited to the words that come out of your mouth. I suppose that the cops can suppress the things you write online because they are not actual word that come out of your mouth as well.

You clearly did not read up on you supreme court facts.
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 3 years ago
The-Voice-of-Truth
AbandonedSpring, I read your argument, and the Supreme Court is NOT the the supreme law of the land, that is the Constitution.

And as for you arguing that desecrating the American Flag is a freedom of speech, that is not true. It is an action, and it is a form of protest, but it is protesting the nation you are living in. If you do not like this country, the one you are living in, I believe that you should go to a country you actually like.
Posted by DudeHouse 3 years ago
DudeHouse
" Those that do not like America, what it stands for and its flag can leave."

I think that those that disagree and try to change for the better are more patriotic than those who just leave.
Posted by AbandonedSpring 3 years ago
AbandonedSpring
"Just one question, and I then I will take you up on your debate: Why do you support flag desecration for a country that was founded on the Christian Faith, when you yourself are of the Anglican Christian Faith."

First, I don't support desecration. I am against the violation of individuals freedoms. I support the American right to free speech. Second, religion is irrelevant, and it's comical that you would try that argument. I don't know if you have ever read the first amendment, but it prevents the country from establishing religion. The American flag is not associated with religion. It is associated with freedom.

"No, he is against making an amendment that makes it illegal to desecrate the flag. The title is "An amendment should (be) created to abolish flag desecration", and he is against it. Oh well, it doesn't matter, he already found a contender, whom I support."

I'm not proposing any such amendment, merely because it already exists. The first amendment protects him under symbolic speech.

Thanks, If you wish, start a debate with me over the topics you brought up.
Posted by tonyrobinson 3 years ago
tonyrobinson
Yes I see that now, I thought he posted the topic and not just took the opposing side. MY argument in support is listed below.
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 3 years ago
The-Voice-of-Truth
No, he is against making an amendment that makes it illegal to desecrate the flag. The title is "An amendment should (be) created to abolish flag desecration", and he is against it. Oh well, it doesn't matter, he already found a contender, whom I support.
Posted by tonyrobinson 3 years ago
tonyrobinson
He said he wants to abolish flag desecration, wouldn't that mean make it illegal to desecrate the flag. Thus he is not supporting flag desecration but opposed to it.
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 3 years ago
The-Voice-of-Truth
Just one question, and I then I will take you up on your debate: Why do you support flag desecration for a country that was founded on the Christian Faith, when you yourself are of the Anglican Christian Faith.
Posted by tonyrobinson 3 years ago
tonyrobinson
My only comment on this would be to make the term "desecration of the flag" a well defined term so that there is no debate about the meaning and what is or what is not a violation of this amendment. There are flag codes that state how a flag is to b disposed by fire and that no other symbols can be placed on the flag.
I think any other pictures or text on the flag or public destruction of the flag should be illegal.
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