The Instigator
Deathbeforedishonour
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
jimtimmy
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Flag burning

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,925 times Debate No: 17493
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

Deathbeforedishonour

Pro

I will be arguing that the act of burning the national flag for reasons of protest is constitutional and should be legal.

I will begin by sharing a quote by Patrick Henry one of our nation's founding fathers. He once said, 'Id rather see a man rapt in the constitution burning the flag, the rapt in the flag burning burning the constitution.'

Now, the first amendment to our constitution grants us the freedom of speech, expression, and protest. Flag burning exercises all of these rights. Therefore, it should be legal.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reads as follows:


"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." [1]

From virtue of the First Amendment, flag burning should be legal.


~~sources~~

[1] http://www.usconstitution.net......
jimtimmy

Con

I accept.

I will be arguing that the act of Flag Burning should not be legal.

I look forward to this debate and wish you the best of luck!
Debate Round No. 1
Deathbeforedishonour

Pro

I will be arguing that the act of burning the national flag for reasons of protest is constitutional and should be legal.

I will begin by sharing a quote by Patrick Henry one of our nation's founding fathers. He once said, 'Id rather see a man rapt in the constitution burning the flag, the rapt in the flag burning burning the constitution.'

Now, the first amendment to our constitution grants us the freedom of speech, expression, and protest. Flag burning exercises all of these rights. Therefore, it should be legal.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reads as follows:


"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." [1]

From virtue of the First Amendment, flag burning should be legal.


~~sources~~

[1] http://www.usconstitution.net.........
jimtimmy

Con

My opponent's argument focuses largely on the idea that the flag violates First Amendment. As my opponent points out, this amendment reads:

"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."

Whether or not this includes the right to burn a flag is one of the main points of this argument. I argue that the First Amendment does not include this right. After all, not all forms of expression are protected by the First Amendment. The famous example of this is the fact that one cannot yell "fire" in a Movie Theatre legally.

Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William H Rehnquist summarized the argument for the ban on Flag Burning:

"The American flag, then, throughout more than 200 years of our history, has come to be the visible symbol embodying our Nation. It does not represent the views of any particular political party, and it does not represent any particular political philosophy. The flag is not simply another "idea" or "point of view" competing for recognition in the marketplace of ideas. Millions and millions of Americans regard it with an almost mystical reverence regardless of what sort of social, political, or philosophical beliefs they may have. I cannot agree that the First Amendment invalidates the Act of Congress, and the laws of 48 of the 50 States, which make criminal the public burning of the flag."

This is the fundamental point. Not all speech is protected by the First Amendment. Ever since the founding of the nation, there have been some limits on Free Speech. My argument is that a ban on flag burning should be included in these limits. Why should it be illegal to yell "fire" in a theatre, but be legal to burn the symbol that represents the first Free Nation?

The American Flag is not an ideaological statement and burning it is not exercising First Amendment Rights. The American Flag is a unique symbol of Freedom and Prosperity, and it should be treated with the respect it deserves.
Debate Round No. 2
Deathbeforedishonour

Pro

I thank my opponent for responding.

My opponent says that there are limits to the freedom of speech. This is true considering is example of not being able to yell fire in the movie theater. However, these limits are set if there is something that desturbs the peace. By yelling fire someone is probably going to get get hurt when people stat screaming and running out the theater, on the other hand what is the consequences from burning the national flag? There are none! Burning the flag is a peaceful way to say 'I hate the government' or ' i'm unhappy with it's choices'. Therefore, since it's not hurting anyone then it should be legal.


Mr. Rehnquist was wrong when he said this. When something goes wrong or the government is bad or when someone just disagrees with the government. They look at the nation as a whole. Same with other countries when they see the actions of our government they don't blame political parties they see the nation as a whole. What better way to say your unhappy with the way things are going then to burn the symbol of that which is making you unhappy?

My point is that even though we can't yell fire in the theater, this is because it has more severe consequences then burning the flag. Since burning the national flag doesn't hurt anybody it should be legal.


My opponent says that burnng the flag is not exercising the first amendment rights. This false because it is possible to speak wth one's actions, and if this is denied then the people's freedom of speach is denied. People have a right to protest, and people have a right to voice there distaste for the government. Not everyone loves the government or it's symbol anf they shouldn't be silenced. By outlawing flag burning we are doing just that, we are silencing people in a way. Our founding fathers wouldn't aprove.
jimtimmy

Con

the Pro made a number of good points in his last post, I will respond to his arguments and conclude my own here:

The flag is not just an symbol. Burning the flag is not voicing an opinion. The flag is a unique article. For Millions around the world, it represents the freedom that America promises. Public Flag Desecretion should be outlawed on the basis of the unique nature of the Flag.

The Flag is not just another idea in the marketplace of ideas that has made America great. The freedom that the flag represents guides this market place of ideas. People who dislike America's government have every right to peacefully dissent. However, they have no right to publicly disrespect the article that represents their right to dissent.

The flag is a unique symbol. When people think of the flag, they don't think of an ideaology, they think of the greatness of America and the freedom and prosperity that its people enjoy.

The flag does not represent the current government. The Tea Party disagreed strongly with the current government, yet they held up American Flags up proudly. Burning the American Flag is not dissenting on the current government, it is destroying a unique article that represents freedom and prosperity to the Billions around the world.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by alex0828 5 years ago
alex0828
Pro, if I came in to your house and burnt something very dear to you because I wanted to show you that I didn't like you, how would you feel? What if i burnt all the pictures of you?
Posted by SenorSwanky 5 years ago
SenorSwanky
Flag burning is hate speech. Its demonstrates abuse and violence directed toward people proud of their country. Anyone that burns the US flag should be declared an enemy and treated as such.
Posted by Deathbeforedishonour 5 years ago
Deathbeforedishonour
ooops soory wrong page...... I stupid..
Posted by Deathbeforedishonour 5 years ago
Deathbeforedishonour
I will be arguing that the act of burning the national flag for reasons of protest is constitutional and should be legal.

I will begin by sharing a quote by Patrick Henry one of our nation's founding fathers. He once said, 'Id rather see a man rapt in the constitution burning the flag, the rapt in the flag burning burning the constitution.'

Now, the first amendment to our constitution grants us the freedom of speech, expression, and protest. Flag burning exercises all of these rights. Therefore, it should be legal.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reads as follows:

"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." [1]

From virtue of the First Amendment, flag burning should be legal.

~~sources~~

[1] http://www.usconstitution.net.........
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
DeathbeforedishonourjimtimmyTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con makes some very good points about why flag burning is bad, but his argument does not refute Pros contentions about why it should be unconstitutional. Sources go to Pro as Con lists his source but does not provide it.
Vote Placed by CGBSpender 5 years ago
CGBSpender
DeathbeforedishonourjimtimmyTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro brought up the point that it doesn't hurt someone and so it is not comparable to yelling fire. This is fair and was never addressed. Con quoted a judge but failed to maintain why he was right. Pro didn't pick on this enough, but of course there is an ideological statement in a flag. That there should even be countries at all is an ideological statement. There should have been a greater word limit. This was a pretty oversimplistic debate.