The Instigator
Yraelz
Con (against)
Winning
66 Points
The Contender
Conspicuous_Conservative
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points

Flag burning should be illegal.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/7/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,160 times Debate No: 2483
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (34)
Votes (22)

 

Yraelz

Con

I'm opposed. I think it should be legal as a form of protest. =) I have more arguments but I'm interested to see what you will say.
Conspicuous_Conservative

Pro

I would like to first thank my opponent for challenging me on this issue that is very sensitive to so many people, not just Americans. I would like to thank and encourage individuals to join in and leave comments because it fuels a good debate. i will make my first round concise to make it fair for my opponent and see where it goes from here I wish my opponent good luck and here we go.

I have heard many a debate on both sides of this issue, although I am not a huge bigot on the issue i still feel that we should not burn any type of flag whether it be American, Russian, Chinese or even the Confederate flag. The biggest argument I hear from supporters of flag burning is the freedom of speech or their freedom of expression. Yes that is true every American has the right to freely express themselves, BUT I was to Understand that it wasn't at the expense of other Americans. Often these flag burning displays are to show hatred towards Soldiers, Political leaders and groups affiliated with the flag. I find it also troubling that someone one resort to arson to advance their freedom of speech.

I compare flag burning to KKK groups burning crosses or hanging up dummies from trees simulating lynchings. I will go more into detail after I see if my opponent has a good reason for debating other than it is his freedom to do so. Can't wait to hear from my opponent or for the voter.

Sincerely,
SPC Rautert, Fred J
ASAR
Debate Round No. 1
Yraelz

Con

I like how your present the issue, it is interesting to say the least. However you act as if freedom of speech in itself is not enough of a reason. Thus I will focus my speech on this point while adding in other points.

Reasons for flag burning to be legal.

1. The constitution. You can dislike flag burning all you want, you can call it Un-American or anti-patriotic all you want, but at the point when you tell someone that they can't burn a flag you are the Un-American one. Even if I hated flag burning to its very core I would still have to support the right to burn a flag. This country was founded on the principles of freedom of expression. You being a conservative advocate for less government control, to advocate government control on this issue is to go against the principles of conservativeness. I sight the 1st amendment as the foundation of this point.

2. It is a more preferable form of protest than most. Where as our politicians are bombarded with angry letters from citizens daily, our soldier are slandered by the news, our president is hated across the world; flag burning doesn't actually do anything except for burn a piece of cloth. It has no harmful effects on anyone except possibly the burner if they are not careful. This makes it much more preferable than forms of protest such as crime, true arson, parades (potentially clogging traffic), and many others. Even civil disobedience has draw backs that flag burning will never have.

3. It fuels the American economy. Who produces the flags? We do. Let them burn our flags all they want. To burn, they have to buy. If someone is stupid enough to burn an American flag let them do it.

4. Takes power from our enemies. Look at all the people America despises that burn our flags. You've all seen it on T.V, Iraqi's parading the streets burning American flags. Wouldn't be nearly so fearsome if American protesters were already burning their own flags would it? When the government puts a stance on flag burning such as, "We don't care, burn our flags" it takes power from the act of flag burning. Everyone remember the story of Brer Rabbit? "No don't throw me into the briar patch!" And of course he was thrown in because the bear thought it would hurt him. But it was all a trick, Brer Rabbit wasn't hurt at all. Same thing in this situation, we trick everyone else into thinking that we don't care at all and they'll stop doing it.

Thanks.
Conspicuous_Conservative

Pro

I would like to really thank my opponent for making his very detailed and organized debate. It makes thing flow more smoothly and makes it easier for all people to understand the topic. I agree with some of the stuff my opponent has said more so then I usually would but he has stated a few questionable things I will address.

In my opponent first statement I do agree with my opponent to a certain point, I feel that we should curb the amount of power the government has in our everyday life. I will however like to state to those of you watching that I did not accuse any person who burns the flag of being unpatriotic nor will I ever. I stated that burning of the flag does nothing other than disparage a specific group. We have rights that we may express ourselves but by breaking arson laws and fire codes I just feel their is simply a better way. Why not verbally express yourself, or right your opinion on a poster. These two methods to me seem more sophisticated and could push your point better than feeding the flames of a heated topic (no pun intended).

Now i really take issue to your second point. Although i respect your input i find it wrong on so many different levels. For example you feel that burning a flag is a better form of protest than writing letters to political leaders or protests solders with picket signs. I take from a person burning a flag that they either hate that group, country or the ideals they stand for where in a protest or letter one knows exactly what problems need to be addressed. The biggest problem I have with your second statement is the fact that you said the flag is only a piece of cloth that has no meaning to a person. Although I agree that civil disobedience is simply the next level of protest I find that flag burnings lead to a less peaceful environment, but if a flag only simulates a piece of cloth i can take your same example and say when solders at Guantanamo (whether it was accident or on purpose) kicked a Koran into the toilet the Muslims should have got mad because the Koran is simply a book, Right? That is ludicrous there are many people that feel that flags symbols and books are not simply bound to earth made material but are rather a living breathing extension of the ideal they hold true.

I really enjoyed that economical stimulus you correlated with the flag burning. I was not sure if you are serious or being physicists but it was humorous none the less. Honesty that "piece of fabric" as you so eloquently put it will hardly boost our economy out of the trouble it is already in.

Your point four I found fairly troubling. If we show our protest towards our own government it will steal the thunder so to speak from our enemies? I find this to be odd because I personally would work harder to finish of a county or organization that is not united because they are weaker and less likely to band together. One example of this is the basketball team I am apart of. We finished 4th in a tournament of 20 teams, not especially good but we knocked off the top seeded team because they where squabbling amongst themselves not paying attention to the enemy at hand. The squabbling came to a climax when the point guard and their star would fight over who controlled the ball so we continued to attack trying to further infuriate the two and we ending up beating a team far better then us. That is why I feel that your fourth point can not be farther from the truth.

Like I stated before although I disagree with your points I will fight for your right to have them but I feel that arson in the so called name of freedom of expression is childish and does not accomplish things any more effiecient then a strong worded letter or an organized protest can do better. look forward to your next response and happy Presidents Day.

Cheers,

SPC Rautert Frederick, J.
Debate Round No. 2
Yraelz

Con

For my final speech I will be covering the four points which I brought up in my 2nd round and proving each of them. From there I will give the voters reason to prefer.

1. My first point was simply that we should obey the constitution. I brought across the point that if one is truly of American values then one must support another's right to burn a flag no matter how much they disprove. My opponent agrees with this part of my first point when he states,

"I feel that we should curb the amount of power the government has in our everyday life"

However my opponent goes on to state that he feels there are better means to protest such as verbally or by writing your opinion on a poster. This is simply a red herring argument being used to distract the voters from the issue at hand. The resolution quite clearly states, "Flag burning should be illegal." To say that there are preferable means does in no way prove my opponents position. My opponent is advocating for illegality not the ability to prefer.

2. My second point can be summed up as, "preferable means of protest." My opponent obviously attacked this in my first point and once again attacked it here. So my first point against his attacks, my opponent drops my points saying that flag burning is preferable to true arson and crime. Thus I can only ask that these points be extended. Flag burning is far more preferable to arson and crime.

Secondly my opponent states in defense of his preferable methods that,

"Although I agree that civil disobedience is simply the next level of protest I find that flag burnings lead to a less peaceful environment,"

However this can be seen as a very fallacious argument. Flag burning in itself does not lead to a less peaceful environment and neither does halting flag burning. Its people themselves that lead to less peaceful environments, burning the flag in no way changes the environment. This in a reality gives other citizens a benefit as it allows them to pick out the extremists who are burning flags over every day citizens. If we make burning flags illegal then it becomes that much harder to avoid extremists.

Finally my opponent takes up an argument with me calling the flag a piece of cloth. He says,

"there are many people that feel that flags symbols and books are not simply bound to earth made material but are rather a living breathing extension of the ideal they hold true."

My answer to this is rather simple. It's there problem. If those people require a personification onto a flag, symbol, or book to uphold their ideals then perhaps they should find better ideals. The flag is a piece of cloth, and yes it does represent our country, but that does not somehow deify it. To say that there is something morally wrong with burning the flag is ludicrous within itself.

3. My third point was economic stimulus my opponent simply responds with,

"it will hardly boost our economy out of the trouble it is already in."

I fully agree with my opponent when he says it will not dig us out of our current hole but that does not change the fact that it will still help us. If someone is dumb enough to waste their time burning our flag then let them, it gives us, at least, some money.

4. My fourth and final point was aptly articulated by my opponent as,

"If we show our protest towards our own government it will steal the thunder so to speak from our enemies(.)"

This is true. My opponent argues that if we are not a unified country then it will make it easier for us to be overthrown or more likely for people to attack us. This is false and can be seen through empirical examples. Our country has protests and rallies every day in order to change many different parts of our government. In fact, there are protesters that gather once a week only a few blocks from my house. Whether they burn the flag or not does not somehow increase the amount of protesters or show our country to be any more divided than it already is. Our country is divided right now between democrats and republicans and people protest both sides all the time.

Once again, like I said in the first argument: It is people who do these things and not the ability to burn our flag that does them. People protest our government and will with or without the ability to burn the flag. When Americans are allowed to burn the flag themselves and do so it essentially steals the thunder from un-Americans doing such an act. As we cannot control what people in other countries do this is a good thing.

Finally, in conclusion, my opponent has attempted to give many reasons why we should not prefer flag burning but this quite simply isn't what the debate is about. The resolution states, "Flag burning should be illegal." my opponent however actually advocates that he stands for the right to burn the flag. Thus there is no feasible way to vote for my opponent, I can see nothing but I vote for Con. Thank you.
Conspicuous_Conservative

Pro

Well unfortunately this debate has came to an end it has honestly been one of the more enjoyable debates it is a change of pace from the barrage of crazy ones I have been a part of. I have a really intelligent and respectful opponent that I enjoyed engaging so without further a due I will conclude my portion.

Although I have a great deal of admiration for the view points of my opponent I feel that he has miss quoted me on a number of occasions and also used a number of my quotes out of context. In this debate I feel that my opponent only has one issue in which he can claim victory and that is the establishment of another government controlled program. My opponent basically labeled me as a hypocrite when I suggested alternative means of protest. Now I too have my right to free expression and I ask my opponent if he would be against a vote on this issue pertaining to the people of a country at the state level. I feel that destruction of any symbol is wrong but that is just me I just ask the voters to think about this when it comes time to vote.

Now my opponent stated that I wrote that I felt flag burning was preferable to arson. Which is not what I stated I said that flag burning is only done as a show of hate during a protest. There is no peace of mind when people commit arson. Now think about this when adults go and purposefully destroy property we are telling children that is OK to burn things in public.

Once again you reiterated the fact that the Flag or any other piece of material fits in the same category is only material with no meaning what so ever. I stated that many people have emotional attachments to various pieces of fabric and the burning of such objects leads to anger and hatred. Because of the constraints of time and obviously man power I cannot really organize a flag burning rally or anything of this nature but with the power of Youtube I can link you to a few videos. Now in the following links I would like you to watch and simply read the hate felt comments. You must remember these people are not all at the same place and are not exchanging words so at least things cannot escalate but one can only imagine. What about the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, you have grossly downplayed the importance of material.

http://youtube.com...

I really find it funny you chose to bring up again the fact that the burning of property is something that is economically beneficial. If that where the case why don't we continue to do things that infuriate other countries, or better yet start wars with as many nations as possible so they purchase American flags in order to protest. Common, do you honestly believe that the purchasing of a few flags makes any sort of dent in the stock market or the flag producing companies?

My opponent stated that if people in the US would result to flag burning people around the globe would not want to do it because if a nation hates itself what is the fun in hating that country. He try to cover up his tracks by misquoting my "stealing of thunder" quote to mean that the US would be easier to be overthrown. Now I did not say anything of the sort. I agree that this country has been divided many times and for many years and we have not been overthrown in fact when we are attacked and have a united front we tend to be a more admirable opponent to other countries, but US burning the flag would not result in less flag burning across the globe it would result in more because people will think hey if the Americans do not respect their government then why should we respect the government of America.

Like I have stated many times throughout this debate I respect the opinion of my opponent and I fight for his right to have his freedoms, I will have to state that I feel flag burning should be illegal. His only valid point is the fact that government should be reduce even though on his profile he would like to expand the government on issues that are advantages to him. Now I have stated that we need not give nor ask for the power of the government the expand to make things illegal. I study criminal justice and many laws in this country are societal based, for example shouldn't people be able to pay for sex I mean doesn't it fall under the right of an individual for the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So since in most cities of the nation prostitution is legal I feel that we should vote in a state by state manner in order to outlaw the burning of flags. God bless the soldiers who fight for our rights and all the people that fight to make things fair and moral for the rest of US. If you believe in a moral society and feel that flag burning has no positive qualities you must feel in your heart to vote Pro!

Sincerely,

SPC Rautert Frederick, J.
USAR
Debate Round No. 3
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Yraelz 7 years ago
Yraelz
Those are all good points dude. I'll make sure to make them next time.
Posted by thereal_yeti 7 years ago
thereal_yeti
I think there is a BIG reason to be against outlawing flag burning, that I have yet to hear..

IT IS NOT AN ISSUE!

YES it is offensive, but how many times have you actually seen someoen burn the flag?

If you make it illegal, how many times do you think you will see it happen? I bet you it will happen, I know if they made burning the flag illegal, I would do it.

Simply for the shock and awe factor, that "OMG he broke the law!"

Which brings me to another question. ENFORCEMENT..

If I wen't to a party, and BURNT a flag while bystandards watched. Would it be worth the time and resources, for the bystandards to call the cops on me? Than how would they proove i did it, the evidence is DESTROYED..

So.. would the law even be enforceable, or would it be merely symbolic? If it were enforceable, would it be worth it for the cop to stop doing USEFUL things and assist in your complaint?

Sorry, I am picturing the dispatch call now, it is rather pathetic:

Dispatch-911 what is your emergency...

caller;Omg.. Omg that son of a bitch..I can't believe..

dispatch- Whats the matter?!

caller:He burnt!.. he burnt!

dispatch: Your penis? .. Your family pet?

caller: THE FLAG..
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
Conversly, the U.S. exports to China most of the country's fourtune cookies, something that everybody would think that China makes
Posted by alexthemoderate 9 years ago
alexthemoderate
I don't know if anyone has said this before, but I will.

To the con: I agree with you, even though I hate flag-burners and would never burn the American flag myself, people certainly have the right to protest. Agreed.

However, you said that there was an economic reason for burning the flags--uh, okay.

That's fine, but the thing is the I heard a statistic that 65% of the American flags in the U.S. are made in China.

Sad, sad day.
Posted by kage209 9 years ago
kage209
wow why do people want to burn things so damn much it is crazy
Posted by brittwaller 9 years ago
brittwaller
Listen to Yraelz. It is a legend on the site that he has the minds of at least three people;)

Britt
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
No, you vote for who did the better job at debating their side of the resolution. Voting on what you personally feel moots the point of debate. If you want to do that, do an opinion poll, not a debate vote.
Posted by das_kapitel 9 years ago
das_kapitel
Oh I see. Well I apologize then, for appearing ignorant. I misunderstood what you said and took it for something different. The reasons why I voted PRO is because I do agree with what he is debating, I do think that he did very well in the debate, and also because I debated about the same subject and debated that flag burning is wrong. So if I watched another debate, and voted opposite than I myself had debated, then that would be hypocritical of me, unless I had changed my mind about the subject, however I have not.
Posted by brittwaller 9 years ago
brittwaller
Yes, how about reading, as in what I said? You either didn't read it correctly or didn't understand. Either way, LMFAO!

Me: "Also, you *don't* vote for who you AGREE with, but who was the better debater."

You: "I did vote for who I agree with. The PRO was against flag burning, and so am I. That my friend, would be an agreement."

Forget the idea of reading; try on reading *comprehension*
Posted by das_kapitel 9 years ago
das_kapitel
Um, no not really, how about the idea of reading. I did vote for who I agree with. The PRO was against flag burning, and so am I. That my friend, would be an agreement.

Nice call on the Bush comment. However personally, even President Bush (as much as I support him) is a bit too soft in my opinion, but that's a whole different debate.
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