The Instigator
1stLordofTheVenerability
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points

Flag Burning. Decision to Address This Issue upon the Majority view of people to support it.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,714 times Debate No: 9933
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

1stLordofTheVenerability

Con

Greetings to the Pro and all whom read this debate. Good luck, have fun and please keep it clean.

I've been noticing in the 'Major Issues' section of most people that Flag Burning is largely supported. Obviously, this indicates a freedom of choice ('pro choice') and opinion. However, doesn't this issue also indicate a large degree of respect? And Responsibility?

I think that we have heard that with each right and freedom we possess does come responsibility, no? As in flag burning, the responsibility and respect that come with it seem to be neglected. Does the flag not represent our patriotism? does it not represent our morals, views and freedom?

So, if the flag represents our freedom, what is meant by burning it? You wish to burn away society and make it socialist? Communist? Is burning a flag actually going to affect anything (other than indicate disrespect)?

Obviously not.

Now when addressing this argument, we will obviously be distinctly separating the willful protest and other reasons for burning a flag from the respectful retirement of a flag that comes with ceremony when a flag is worn or soiled.
Danielle

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for beginning this debate, and wish him the best of luck.

I'll begin by addressing Con's first point: the idea that flag burning somehow neglects a responsibility. I completely negate the idea that patriotism is an obligation. Patriotism is neither a right nor a responsibility. Moreover, one can still feel patriotic even if they burn a flag. In fact, some people burn flags to actually demonstrate patriotism. For instance, flag burning represents freedom of speech and expression, so burning it would merely be an exercise of one's rights. Our flag represents a country that is diverse and tolerant of all points of view, and celebrates the freedom to protest civilly (non-violently) and against censorship by tyrannical oppression. To say that we can't burn the flag would be damaging what the flag stands for and represents (freedom).

My opponent's second point suggests that by burning the flag, it implies that we want to live in a communist or socialist nation. That is an absurd suggestion; one has nothing to do with the other. Burning a flag in protest or for any rhyme or reason is a right that all people have. Things should only be illegal if they infringe upon the rights of another person. Burning a flag doesn't do that at all. While some people may be offended, it's not the government's job to legislate against offending someone. If that were the case, we'd all be in jail. To deny or restrict this freedom of demonstration would be oppressive and more of an authoritarian nature in symbology than burning a flag is. We live in a democracy where free speech is both fundamental and celebrated as a form of liberty and democratic process. As such, we can not prohibit people from expressing their view in this way.

When people burn a flag, they usually do so to draw attention to their cause; typically a hostile reaction to some political action or endeavor. In that way, flag burning actually does serve a significant protest in contrast of Con's proposal that it does not accomplish anything. I would also argue that flag burning is not inherently disrespectful, even though some people might interpret it that way or be offended by the act. In fact, it's a symbolic act used as a tool to express patriotism (or pride in one's freedoms) by being able to demonstrate against the actions or behavior of the government. When an individual does this, they are unlikely to endanger national security or public safety. As such, prohibition on flag burning is unjustifiable so long as the flag is the property of the individual, and done on public property or the property of the individual (or a consenting party).
Debate Round No. 1
1stLordofTheVenerability

Con

1stLordofTheVenerability forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
1stLordofTheVenerability

Con

Ah, but, as clearly shown, I didn't state 'responsibility for patriotism' but responsibility for respecting the symbols of freedom and Democratic ideals of the Forefathers of any country.

This is where you steer wrong. How can one feel patriotic by desecrating the very thing that they should stand for?

"The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a LIVING THING." ~ http://www.homeofheroes.com... Would you burn a living thing? Would you burn your most valuable possession?

The only way one can truly feel patriotic when burning a flag is when it is being respectfully retired, with ceremony and due process.

My opponent states that flag burning is not 'inherently disrespectful'. I am, obviously, of a different opinion. The flag represents that which thousands have fought and died for. A free nation, a symbol of peace and integrity. Yet, with the flick of a lighter, such representation can be snuffed out and turned into a charred, disgracious mess.

Yes, it is exercising one's rights to burn a flag, but is it a respectful way? No. Is it a patriotic way? No. Often, people can find more effective and respectful ways to protest than to burn a Patriotic and National Emblem.

I did state that, by burning the flag, one seems to be wishing for the disintegration of a free, responsible, moral and hardiness of society. I agree, people burn the flag in order to attract attention as they demonstrate against legislation or a Government process, but, while doing this, they indicate disrespect against society and that same Government.

My opponent claims that, while indicating their disrespect for our patriotic symbols, the protester is, at the same time expressing pride in our freedoms and patriotism. How is this? Rather, it seems that the person is abusing his/her rights by desecrating the flag. Even if the rights are not being abused (which is the legal response), the protester is willing to sacrifice such important symbolic objects in order to publicize what could very well be an insignificant protest. Oftentimes, the flag burner is not expressing patriotism, but a lack thereof, though they realize that they are exercising their rights.

I agree, our rights are important, and the Freedom of Expression does include this matter, but does our respect truly have to be sacrificed in order to protest? I sincerely doubt it.

My apologies about the abruptness and possible lack of thorough rebuttal in this argument, but I must depart. Mistimed this post severely. : )

"Initially the pledge was written:
"I Pledge Allegiance to MY FLAG and to the Republic for which it stands......." ~
http://www.homeofheroes.com...

"Red represents the blood spilled protecting our home.

Red: Signifies bravery.

Red is for the blood of the patriots and those that fight for our country." ~ http://wiki.answers.com...
Danielle

Pro

My opponent begins his round by clarifying, " I didn't state 'responsibility for patriotism' but responsibility for respecting the symbols of freedom and Democratic ideals of the Forefathers of any country." Still, I disagree with this statement. We don't have a responsibility to respect anything except for other people's rights. People can worship, parade or value the flag as they please, and so long as I let them do that, I am acting within the legal parameters of the law.

Con asserts, "This is where you steer wrong. How can one feel patriotic by desecrating the very thing that they should stand for?" No my friend. This is where YOU steer wrong. How can you stand behind the flag saying that it represents freedom, if you don't agree with my freedom to burn it if I so choose? The flag is just a piece of cloth with no inherent meaning. Any value we apply to the flag is man-made with different implications and connotations (sometimes none) depending on who you ask. I can very well feel patriotic by burning a flag if I feel that by burning it I am exercising my right to be free and free speech. Perhaps for me, the burning itself is what makes me feel patriotic - not the flag. Because I'd be acting within what the law is supposed to stand for, my point has been affirmed.

Next Con states, "The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a LIVING THING. Would you burn a living thing? Would you burn your most valuable possession?" This is a ridiculous assertion. First of all, the flag is NOT considered a living thing. It is not alive; it does not have the attributes of something that is alive. Even what it supposedly represents is not literally alive. My opponent's source for his quote is not factual evidence, but rather an opinion from someone else. Therefore, it means nothing in terms of credentials for his stance in this debate. In order for his point to be valid, he would have to prove that the flag is literally a living thing. He obviously can't do that. Second, in then asking "Would you burn a living thing?" my opponent is committing a fallacy in suggesting to the audience (1) that the flag is indeed living and (2) that I would burn a living thing. He's drawing a connection where there isn't one. Moreover, the flag is by no means my most valuable posession. In fact I highly doubt that anyone would consider a flag their most valuable posession. If they did, they'd probably be lying.

Con next states, "The only way one can truly feel patriotic when burning a flag is when it is being respectfully retired, with ceremony and due process." Ladies and gentlemen, you'll notice that this is his OPINION and therefore has no relevance in this debate. He continues, "My opponent states that flag burning is not 'inherently disrespectful'. I am, obviously, of a different opinion." That's fine. He can have a different opinion and state it; that's the beauty of this country. However it doesn't make his OPINION any more right than mine.

He notes, "The flag represents that which thousands have fought and died for. A free nation, a symbol of peace and integrity. Yet, with the flick of a lighter, such representation can be snuffed out and turned into a charred, disgracious mess." Again, that is what the flag represents to HIM - not to everybody. Con continues, "Yes, it is exercising one's rights to burn a flag, but is it a respectful way? No. Is it a patriotic way? No. Often, people can find more effective and respectful ways to protest." Sure, maybe. But that's for the individual to decide what is the most effective and appropriate means for them. Often times people burn the flag specifically to be controversial, as the seemingly drastic implications draw a lot of attention to whatever it is that the burners are trying to get across. In that case, burning the flag would actually be the most significant form of protest that they could do to bring notice to their cause or point of view. That is precisely what we have to respect in this country -- not the flag itself.

I completely disagree with Con that, "By burning the flag, one seems to be wishing for the disintegration of a free, responsible, moral and hardiness of society." In no way, shape or form does Con prove that this is the case (nor could he if he tried). One has absolutely nothing to do with the other; this is a blatant fallacy. The flag does not inherently represent morality in any way. Con writes, "It seems that the person is abusing his/her rights by desecrating the flag... the protester is willing to sacrifice such important symbolic objects in order to publicize what could very well be an insignificant protest." Uh, sure? Why would the protestor want an insiginfiicant protest?! That would completely defeat the point. Not to mention that one is NOT abusing their rights by burning a flag, but as I've already stated, exercising them explicitly.

Con's argument in this debate is extremely weak and hypocritical. For instance, he says "Oftentimes, the flag burner is not expressing patriotism, but a lack thereof." This is completely contradictory. The only way burning a flag would represent the opposite of freedom would be if one were PUNISHED for burning that flag. If one truly believed in a lack of freedom, then they would be disagreeing with their right to burn that flag in the first place. Clearly that's not the case, so this point doesn't even make sense.

My opponent posits that one can protests while still being respectful. I don't disagree with him. However, the intent behind flag burning for most people is not to blatantly offend another individual. Further, this debate isn't about right and wrong but rather one's *legal right* to burn a flag. You'll notice that Con has provided no sufficient reason why flag burning shouldn't be LEGAL. Simply by saying that it should be illegal because it would be offending somebody is obviously a terrible argument. To quote wjmelement's forum signature, ""It is not the business of the law to make anyone good or reverent or moral or clean or upright." -- Murray Rothbard

Con submits the final "argument" that initially the pledge of allegiance was supposed to say "I pledge allegiance to MY flag" which is obviously irrelevant to this discussion. Who cares? First of all, it's been changed so obviously did not maintain the status quo. Second, nobody is required to say the pledge. The pledge does NOT represent the sentiments of all Americans. Regardless of what the red in the flag stands for, all of my arguments stand: We are not responsible for respecting the flag itself, and we have a legal right to burn flags in most cases (supposing that the flags belong to us, etc.). Furthermore, flag burning is not inherently disrespectful as disrespect is usually not the intent, and additionally not the standard norm (not everybody "respects" the flag). The flag is not alive. What's important is retaining all of our legal rights and having the freedom to express our opinions however we see fit, even if others consider it "disrespectful." To never be considered offensive is an unfair and almost impossible paradigm.

Regarding this debate, my opponent's only sources are biased and irrelevant blogs along with Wikipedia. I didn't feel that any sources were necessary in this debate; it wasn't about facts but rather an exchange of opinions. However since I've been criticized in the past for not using sources -- even if I didn't need any to support my case -- I'll leave you with a few more credible and unbiased sources which help depict my point of view. They will detail things like the first amendment laws of the U.S., and how flag burning fits within those parameters. Thanks, Con for this debate.

-- http://www.law.umkc.edu...
-- http://law.suite101.com...
-- http://www.esquilax.com...
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by 1stLordofTheVenerability 7 years ago
1stLordofTheVenerability
ACK! It figures that she gets her account back... That third post of mine was LAME. I constructed it as post 2, but I was severely rushed while doing so. I merely re-posted it (once Post 2 failed) with the expectation that L was banned and thus would forfeit (and I needn't put any further effort behind the debate...) Jeepers criminy. : (
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Arguments to Pro. Con's position is a popular one (outside of this site), but he supported it with only opinion and appeals to emotion.

All other categories are tied.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
""The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a LIVING THING." ~ Would you burn a living thing?"

Oh boy. I have to say Con, given your arguments, you should count yourself as fortunate that Pro was banned =D
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
I would still present additional arguments. At this point, it's 1 forfeited round to 2 and she could always post her case in the comments.
Posted by tmhustler 7 years ago
tmhustler
check the forums and yes you likely will win
Posted by 1stLordofTheVenerability 7 years ago
1stLordofTheVenerability
banned? how'd she get banned? So does that mean i get a forfeited victory?
Posted by tmhustler 7 years ago
tmhustler
L 's banned anyway
Posted by 1stLordofTheVenerability 7 years ago
1stLordofTheVenerability
What?!?!?!? I thought I posted! Ack! I had my post all written out and then thought I hit post a comment. But I guess I never did... Oh well, no matter... theLwerd, I fully intend to continue with this debate and will act on handycap, if necessary. My apologies... I was sure I posted. :S

Regards
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
1stLordofTheVenerabilityDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
1stLordofTheVenerabilityDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
1stLordofTheVenerabilityDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:07