The Instigator
blond_guy
Con (against)
Losing
27 Points
The Contender
rock022
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points

Flag Burning. Illegal?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,092 times Debate No: 2785
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (18)

 

blond_guy

Con

I'm surprised to see so many people think that flag burning should be a crime. Before voting against me because you get the impression I am against America or that I personally want to burn the flag please read the debate.

1) There is freedom of speech in this country. People are free to say whatever. There are restrictions to this freedom of speech, because I can't just walk into a courtroom yelling "I love ring dings!", but still, if I own a flag that I paid for and some matches, why can't I do what I want with it? It's not against the law to burn the New York Post for its ridiculous time wasting stories and columns, but the flag yes? If someone hates this country, or the way it's being run (this one's for you my dear 70%), why can't you express your feelings symbolically?

2) Why do you want it to be illegal to burn a United States flag, but then not another country's flag? That's just unfair. If someone hates America, too bad, you can't burn the flag. If someone hates Cuba, who's stopping you? Go ahead and burn their flag. Film it and put it on youtube, express your feelings!

3) This is actually kind of funny... What if I rip it? I mean, you can't prove it wasn't an accident. And same with burning... What if I say, "It was an accident, I dropped a lit match on my United States flag".

This law is only a forced patriotism on the people. I believe patriotism must be earned by the country, and only because I reside here doesn't mean I am forced to love the country. Obviously, I wouldn't be here if I didn't like America, but if an Iraqi man decides he is upset that we dropped a bomb over his wife's head (sorry if I'm being too graphic), why not let him buy a flag and burn it so he can express his anger towards America? Isn't that a better and more peaceful way to express hate? Better than what Al-Qaeda did in 9/11 when they got pissed off at us.
rock022

Pro

Researching information for the debate. I was actually surprised to find such an article that clearly expressed my view.

Permission to Burn the Flag?

For those who want to light Old Glory on fire, stomp all over it, or spit on it to make some sort of "statement," I say let them do it. But under one condition: they MUST get permission from three sponsors.

First, you need permission of a war veteran.... Perhaps a Marine who fought at Iwo Jima? The American flag was raised over Mount Surabachi upon the bodies of thousands of dead buddies. Each night spent on Iwo Jima meant half of everyone you knew would be dead tomorrow, a coin flip away from a bloody end upon a patch of sand your mother couldn't find on a map. Or maybe ask a Vietnam vet who spent years tortured in a small, filthy cell unfit for a dog. Or a Korean War soldier who helped rescue half a nation from Communism or a Desert Storm warrior who repulsed a bloody dictator from raping and pillaging an innocent country. That flag represented your mother and father, your sister and brother, your friends, neighbors, and everyone at home. I wonder what they would say if someone asked them permission to burn the American flag?
Next, you need a signature from an immigrant. Their brothers and sisters may still languish in their native land, often under tyranny, poverty and misery. Or maybe they died on the way here, never to touch our shores. Some have seen friends and family get tortured and murdered by their own government for daring to do things we take for granted every day.

For those who risked everything simply for the chance to become an American, what kind of feelings do they have for the flag when they Pledge Allegiance the first time? Go to a naturalization ceremony and see for yourself, the tears of pride, the thanks, the love and respect of this nation, as they finally embrace the American flag as their own. Ask one of them if it would be OK to burn the flag or spit on it.

Last, you should get the signature of a mother. Not just any mother. You need a mother of someone who gave their life for America. It doesn't even have to be from a war. It could be a cop. Or a fireman. Maybe a Secret Service or NSA agent. Then again, it could be a common foot soldier as well. When that son or daughter is laid to rest, their family is given one gift by the American people - an American flag. Go on. I dare you! Ask that mother if you can spit on her flag. Away from family, away from the precious shores of home, in the face of overwhelming odds and often in the face of death, the American flag inspires those who believe in the American dream, the American promise, the American vision...

Americans who don't appreciate the flag don't appreciate this nation. And those who appreciate this nation appreciate the American flag. So if you want to desecrate the American flag, before you spit on it or before you burn it, I have a simple request. Just ask permission. Not from the Constitution. Not from some obscure law. Not from the politicians or the pundits. Instead, ask those who have defended our nation so that we may be free today. Ask those who struggled to reach our shores so that they may join us in the American dream. And ask those who clutch a flag in place of their sacrificed sons and daughters, given to this nation so that others may be free. For we cannot ask permission from those who died wishing they could, just once ... or once again ... see, touch or kiss the flag that stands for our nation, the United States of America ... the greatest nation on earth.

Go ahead. Ask. I dare you!

http://www.montney.com...
Debate Round No. 1
blond_guy

Con

I find it so immoral that your whole argument is just copied and pasted from a website. I know you cited your source but you really gave no clear argument.

In America, our checks and balances do not consist of "asking permission" from mothers, soldiers and what not. Under the constitution, we have freedom of speech and therefore the right to burn whatever flag we'd like, until you give me a reason as to why we should have an amendment to the constitution or a restriction to the first amendment to stop a U.S. citizen from burning the flag.

Furthermore, you have addressed none of my points.
rock022

Pro

1)There is freedom of speech in this country. People are free to say whatever. There are restrictions to this freedom of speech, because I can't just walk into a courtroom yelling "I love ring dings!"

**Then if a serial killer or pedophile is being judge on his crimes, you want to be able to enter at any time and yell at everyone that you love ring dings.

but still, if I own a flag that I paid for and some matches, why can't I do what I want with it?

**The Government may not prohibit the verbal or nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable, even where our flag is involved.
http://supreme.justia.com...

It's not against the law to burn the New York Post for its ridiculous time wasting stories and columns, but the flag yes?

**It is not illegal to burn the flag. We have a flag code: United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag

If someone hates this country, or the way it's being run (this one's for you my dear 70%), why can't you express your feelings symbolically?

**If you really want to make a difference, why don't you get involved?

2) Why do you want it to be illegal to burn a United States flag, but then not another country's flag?

**Even Islamist extremist, do not burn their flag. They do however burn our flag often. Do you want to join them!!!!

That's just unfair. If someone hates America, too bad, you can't burn the flag.

**If someone hates America… Why do they live here? They are free to go.

If someone hates Cuba, who's stopping you?

**A Doctor wanted to show patriotism by displaying the flag. He displayed it backwards….. Fidel gave him 3 years in prison.

Go ahead and burn their flag. Film it and put it on youtube, express your feelings!

**So basically, use your time and energy on burning the Cuban flag, and put in it on youtube is the proper way to work our foreign policies.

3) This is actually kind of funny... What if I rip it? I mean, you can't prove it wasn't an accident. And same with burning... What if I say, "It was an accident, I dropped a lit match on my United States flag".

**Well that sounds like something a six year old would say. "I didn't did it it"

This law is only a forced patriotism on the people.

**What Law?

I believe patriotism must be earned by the country, and only because I reside here doesn't mean I am forced to love the country.
So it is Ok to disrespect where you live. If you do not respect your things, then you would not respect other people's property.

Obviously, I wouldn't be here if I didn't like America.

**Well you sure complain a lot. What are you doing to make it better… Burning the flag!!!

If an Iraqi man decides he is upset that we dropped a bomb over his wife's head (sorry if I'm being too graphic), why not let him buy a flag and burn it so he can express his anger towards America?

**Would he really??? Women get stoned to death in that part of the country by being with a man who is not their family.

Isn't that a better and more peaceful way to express hate? Better than what Al-Qaeda did in 9/11 when they got pissed off at us.

**Learn your rights, and use your congressmen. You can also use the media. Get smart on it.

**I know I used someone else speech and I gave him full credit. We share the same view. At least I show you I do research; you seemed to have made you judgment on pure ignorance.

FYI
Australia
During the 2005 Cronulla riots, a Lebanese-Australian youth, whose name has been kept secret, climbed an RSL club and tore down its flag before setting it on fire. The youth was sentenced to 12 months probation for the destruction of the RSL's property

Belgium
flag desecration is a crime

Denmark
It is illegal in Denmark, under section 110 (e) of the Danish penal code, to desecrate the flags or national symbols of foreign nations

Finland
According to the Finnish flag law[11] it is illegal to desecrate the flag, treat it in disrespecting manner or remove it from a public place without permission.

Germany
Under German criminal code (�90a StGB) it is illegal to revile the German federal flag as well as any flags of its states. Offenders can be fined or sentenced for a maximum of three years in prison.

Hong Kong
In 1999 Ng Kung Siu and Lee Kin Yun were convicted for desecration of the regional flag of Hong Kong They were found guilty by a magistrate They were bound over to keep the peace on their own recognisance of $2,000 for 12 months for each of the two charges. In the judgement, Chief Justice Andrew Li said although the Basic Law of Hong Kong guarantees freedom of speech, flag desecration is not legal because there are other protest methods.

Iraq and Iran
In 2004 many copies of the proposed new flag for Iraq were burnt (see Flag of Iraq). There have also been cases in both countries of Israeli and American flags being burnt, although no such examples of burning the national flags, even by political opponents, as both contain the words Allahu Akbar and so would be seen as a religious insult

New Zealand
In New Zealand, under the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981 it is illegal to destroy the New Zealand flag with the intent of dishonoring it

Panama
On January 9, 1964 a discussion broke out between Panamanian students and Americans living in the Panama Canal Zone over the right of the flag of Panama to be raised next to the flag of the United States, at this time a contended territory between these nations. During the scuffle a Panamanian flag carried by Panamanian students was torn. This sparked four days of riots that ended with 22 Panamanians and four Americans dead, and with Panama breaking diplomatic relations with the United States

Portugal
Currently, according to article 332nd of the Penal Code, "who publicly, by means of words, gestures or print publication, or by other means of public communication, insults the Republic, the flag or the national anthem, the coats of arms or the symbols of Portuguese sovereignty" shall be punished with up to two years imprisonment. In the case of the regional symbols, the person shall be punished with up to one year imprisonment or a fine of up to 120 days.

Saudi Arabia
The flag of Saudi Arabia has on it the shahadah or Islamic declaration of faith. Because the shahada is considered holy, Saudi Arabia's flag code is extremely strict and even the slightest violation amounts to desecration not only of the flag but also of Islam itself. This has led to several incidents of controversy. In 1994, McDonald's printed carry-out bags bearing the flags of all nations participating in the FIFA World Cup, while Coca-Cola did the same on cans of soda. Because of Saudi outrage, the companies stopped producing those items. [2] Saudi officials protested against printing the flag on a football during the FIFA World Cup citing that kicking the creed with the foot was totally unacceptable.

Venezuela
Government and ruling-party officials insist that these demonstrators are desecrating the flag, manipulated by the enemies of the people. An official video sharply criticizing this practice as disrespectful and traitorous was produced, and private TV networks have been ordered to transmit it for free.
Debate Round No. 2
blond_guy

Con

"Then if a serial killer or pedophile is being judge on his crimes, you want to be able to enter at any time and yell at everyone that you love ring dings."

It's hypocritical situation. :/

"Even Islamist extremist, do not burn their flag. They do however burn our flag often. Do you want to join them!!!!"

No I do not want to join them. What's your point?

"A Doctor wanted to show patriotism by displaying the flag. He displayed it backwards….. Fidel gave him 3 years in prison."

What's your point?

"Well that sounds like something a six year old would say. "I didn't did it it""

Actually why are there courts in this country? Because many grown people still say "I didn't do it"

"**What Law?"

The law you propose we should have.
rock022

Pro

"Then if a serial killer or pedophile is being judge on his crimes, you want to be able to enter at any time and yell at everyone that you love ring dings."

It's hypocritical situation. :/
----Your statement, not mine.

"Even Islamist extremist, do not burn their flag. They do however burn our flag often. Do you want to join them!!!!"

No I do not want to join them. What's your point?
----They hate us, so they burn our flag. (As far as joining them I was trying to be sarcastic, but don't know how to write it)

"A Doctor wanted to show patriotism by displaying the flag. He displayed it backwards….. Fidel gave him 3 years in prison."

What's your point?
-----You mention the burning of the Cuban flag. I just gave you some communist FYI.

"Well that sounds like something a six year old would say. "I didn't did it it""

Actually why are there courts in this country? Because many grown people still say "I didn't do it"
-----That is right, innocent until proven guilty. But the statement remains childish. "It was an accident; I dropped a lit match on my United States flag".

"**What Law?"

The law you propose we should have.
------I did not propose any Law, I just stated "For those who want to light Old Glory on fire, stomp all over it, or spit on it to make some sort of "statement," I say let them do it. But under one condition: they MUST get permission from three sponsors." It is not a Law… It is called respect.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by rock022 9 years ago
rock022
Title: Flag burning. Illegal?
My point: not illegal, but firmly believe we should respect Old Glory.

Ironic isn't it: People want to burn the flag that gives them freedom! Then they can feel free.
Posted by friar_zero 9 years ago
friar_zero
First off, stop misspelling illegal. Second of all, I am not claiming that it is illegal. I am making my thoughts known on future legislation. Third, I will not and should not have to get permission from anyone. Just as I do not have to get a vegans permission to eat beef, a christians permission to have sex, or a republicans permission to vote democrat. That is an absurd notion that you put forward simply to appeal to emotion.
Posted by rock022 9 years ago
rock022
Respect is an assumption of good faith and competence in another person or in the whole of oneself. Depth of integrity, trust, complementary moral values, and skill are necessary components. Respect is the term used to value oneself or others. It also could be applied to taking care of oneself, others or the environment. It adds general reliability to social interactions. It enables people to work together in a complimentary fashion, instead of each person having to understand or even agree with each other every time. Respect is very important to communities because it helps people get along with other people.

On your profile says that you are Homosexual, Liberal, Atheist form the Green Party. I respect that. Is your choice. The statement clearly said, go ahead burn it, but get permission from a Veteran, a Legal immigrant and a mother who has lost a son fighting freedom. Wouldn't that be respect. And besides It is not ILLIGAL!!!

President Woodrow Wilson, 1917
This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choices are ours. It floats in majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices, whether in peace or in war. And yet, though silent, it speaks to us — speaks to us of the past, or the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it.
Posted by friar_zero 9 years ago
friar_zero
Rock, you presented no research for why I should respect the flag. You gave your opinions, or more specifically the idea of someone whose article you posted. First you have to define respect in scientific terms and then give my sociological data that flag burning leads to civil problems.

Burning a flag is unpopular. Popular speech and popular freedoms don't need to be defended. Freedom of speech and liberty are fundamental concepts of our democracy and this includes the freedom to do what you will with your property. it includes the ability to verbally attack the government or an "effigy" of it.

Aside from emotional response, there is no reason to believe that flag burning hurts our society. Let's get the government out of our heads and let them focus on what matters, securing our safety liberty and prosperity.

And don't forget a great west wing quote: "Is there a rash of flag burnings I'm not aware of?"
Posted by rock022 9 years ago
rock022
By the way, you showed me no research on the issue. It is just your opinion, I provided you with research. I have to say your point was not informative at all, it was just you wining about something not illegal. I just pointed out why you should respect the flag.
Posted by rock022 9 years ago
rock022
Don't you realise there is no Law! So why keep arguing if is illegal? IT IS NOT ILLIGAL!!!!!Give it up. I showed you how many countries think about their flag. If is not broke why fix it. Seems to me you are trying to make it a law. Do what you want in this free country. By the way lets debate about gunpowder and freedom!
Posted by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
aceofelves, I'd love to debate you on your belief that there are soldiers currently burning gunpowder to protect me. And if you're referring to our soldiers in Iraq, you're funny.

rock022, you showed me there is no law for this. How does this support your point? Secondly all I got on your opinion is you don't think someone should burn the flag. However, you didn't give me your opinion on why you think it should be against the law.
Posted by rock022 9 years ago
rock022
If you want to go at it again, just set it up. Your opening statement is your opinion, I gave you mine. I showed you there is no Law for this. I even provided an old case. What else you wanted?
Posted by aceofelves 9 years ago
aceofelves
If one wants to protest american policies, he should do it another way then burning the flag, unless he wants to buy a foreign made american flag AND leave the safety of our country before burning it.

Burning a flag while soldiers are burning gunpowder to protect you is a dishonor.

If it gets to the point where you feel the only thing you can do is burn a flag in protest, leave the country and burn it, and don't come back.
Posted by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
My argument got cut short for some reason, but you didn't even give me a reason as to why flag burning should be illegal, you just quoted me on stuff and said other things that didn't pertain to the debate and were 0% productive.
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