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Should it be legal to burn the American flag?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2019 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 562 times Debate No: 120237
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
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Should it be legal to burn the American flag? Even though the Supreme Court ruled in favor of flag burning, I do not agree because you are disrespecting our Founding Fathers and all military past and present when you do that. There are a million other ways to show your disagreement with the government or people in power.

I am not referring to the proper disposal of the flag!


It should be 100% legal to do what you want with your property regardless of symbolism and its "hidden" meaning as long as you do not directly harm someone or someone else's property.
Why should your feelings dictate what I am allowed to do and why should I be fined and locked up for doing so?

In what way is burning a modern american flag a disrespect to the founding fathers and what context of the time shows that flag burning was considered a punishable offense? Most laws passed in regards to protection of flags didnt occur until the very late 1800s and 1900s.

As far as disrespecting military service members, THEY fought for peoples rights to do so and do not get to dictate conduct of individuals. It's my right to express my views and if that means expressing discontent with them or gratitude, That is my choice, Not the governments.

As for the context of the supreme courts ruling, It was a Revolutionary communist, Gregory Lee Johnson burning a stolen american flag to protest the Republican National convention in Dallas Texas in 1984 that resulted in him being fined $2, 000 and sentenced to one year in prison for "desecration of a venerated object". It was the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that overturned his conviction due to "Recognizing that the right to differ is the centerpiece of our First Amendment freedoms, A government cannot mandate by fiat a feeling of unity in its citizens. Therefore that very same government cannot carve out a symbol of unity and prescribe a set of approved messages to be associated with that symbol".

I would go into further case studies, However I have already reached my character limit.
Debate Round No. 1


I do not agree that it is a citizen"s right to burn the American flag even though the Supreme Court said it is. Just because the courts legalize something does not make it right. So, If the Supreme Court legalized arson just because it is your constitutional right to burn down your senator"s house if you do not agree with your senator, Would that be right? No! The American flag is a symbol of who we are as a country, And if you do not like it here, Or if it is so bad here, Or we treat you so bad, Why do you stay? Go to some other country and try to burn the flag, They would kill you.

I do not believe that you are military, Or you would understand the importance of the flag. The flag is what the military revolves around. There are so many ways to show your discontent with your country or people in your country or laws made by your country. Go march on Washington, Call your senator or rep, Flag them down until they listen to you, But do not go and desecrate the most sacred symbol in the country.


Its adorable how you fell apart and resorted to straw men and insane hypotheticals in the second round. You have no arguments to make, Do you?

There are differences between rights and privileges and destroying private property is generally seen as a legal right as long as you do not cause harm to anyone else or destroy your property for financial compensation (insurance fraud). The texas criminal appeals court and the supreme court ruled in favor of destroying the national flag because they didnt see the government could not discriminate in this manner based solely upon viewpoint and that burning the flag falls under symbolic speech which is protected under the first ammendment. What is your objection to this?

I will ignore your stupid analogy about burning a senators house.

The flag is just a piece of cloth with stripes and stars. The only thing it represents is the 13 original colonies and the 50 states, But also leaves out our colonies/territories and literally everything else about us.

If you don't like me burning the flag for whatever reason, Move to a country that takes its nationalism seriously like North Korea.

When you sign up for the military you take a vow to protect the CONSTITUTION and the mainland. Not a stupid piece of chinese cloth. I know for a fact that you are not in the military or smart enough to pass an army ASVAB because the military most certainly does not conduct itself around the 27th model of the flag made in 1960. The military operates under different laws than civies don't have and a little extra.

What I ask of you is to give me at least 3 REAL reasons as to why burning the flag should not be legal. Why should I as a private citizen be fined and imprisoned for burning the national flag. Spare me your faux jingoism and stick to substance please.
Debate Round No. 2


My objection is that the Supreme Court Justices interpreted the Constitution the way that would best fit their agenda, Instead of the way it was mean to be interpreted. This should not be acceptable behavior even if it legal! This is the same as abortion! Abortion is legal, But that does not make it a right behavior! It is still murder!
However, The most disrespect is saying that the flag is just a cloth, That piece of cloth allows you to be in a successful country and make something of yourself. The flag represents the many people who died and gave their lives to give you a peaceful night of sleep, Without the worry of intruders coming in your house and killing you.
North Korean"s are smart only in the way that they do not allow dummies to disrespect their country or flag, And as a matter of fact I am in law school, And going to be an attorney, So I am a tiny bit smarter than you think.
I do not believe that anyone should be fined or imprisoned for burning the flag. I will happily pay for their plane ticket to a country that will accept behavior like that.
Flag burning should not be legal because it is disrespectful to the country that takes care of you and allows you to do and be whatever you want to be.
Flag burning should not be legal because honoring the flag honors and gives reverence to the dead and the living members of our military.
Flag burning should not be legal because it is setting the stage for Communist and socialist to come into our country and take over. If you look up what has happened and what is happening to Communist/socialist countries they all are dying or in the process of dying.


So you have made it perfectly clear that you are a mental invalid and i will try to dumb down this final argument for you.

Why would a country that values individual liberty use the power of government to control our ability to voice opinions? If you don't like this liberty then move to an authoritarian regime where idiots take symbolism too seriously. Leave symbols for the simple minded.

In a country where the Westboro Baptist church has the religious and speech liberty to say their disgusting crap, What's a little bonfire?
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Country-of-dummies 3 years ago
@kwbc, You are disgusting. . . Wish I would have seen your nasty comment earlier. . .

Freak. . .
Posted by BiggsBoonj 3 years ago
@kwbc that girl is a complete nutcase. Comparing burning a flag to burning down a senator's house and abortion. . . Just insane
Posted by kwbc 3 years ago
It seems everyone who has a boner for the flag and takes symbolism too seriously don't know how to read. Thank you for making my point
Posted by Country-of-dummies 3 years ago
I do not have the slightest idea how "pro" can even talk about the original colonies as if they fit right in with the analogy. You are talking about our heritage! Don't you realize? I mean, Yes, That seems like only 13 colonies, Who cares right? But, You are talking about colonies that started out to be only few numbers, Then hundreds, Then Millions of colonists by 1775. And, I seriously doubt any of them would have put up with burning the flag, As we do today. The first flag was made in 1777, So, Its pretty old right? But that is the ideology of modern society, Do away with history, Stomp on old values, And screw everything that might actually mean something in this world. You can take the flag, Burn it, Curse it, Or wipe your butt with it, But it STILL FLIES! If not in your yard, In mine. Everywhere you go, You will have to see it, And just try to disrespect, Burn, Or do anything to my flag. See how far you get before you get my shot-gun shoved up your long nose. And on top of that, I doubt seriously that the military service members fought for you to burn the flag. They defended and died for the very flag you burn moron. What else would they give their lives for? They gave their lives for a country with laws! Not a lawless republic that would fall apart during the first 100 years. They fought for a country that would stand the test of time, Too bad people like "pro" couldn't see that. Burning the flag symbolizes a country that is divided and cannot stand, Opposite of the unity the flag stands for. United we stand. Divided we fall.
Posted by Country-of-dummies 3 years ago
Defining issues such as burning the flag should be defined as a moral issue, NOT a political issue, Since, No one is satisfied no matter what courts say. Although the Supreme court has ruled on this issue, I think it is really an issue with corrupt people who don't deserve to be in our country. Now, Having said that, Burning something in this way is a great sign of hate, Hate for America, The government, Fellow Americans, And everything that has to do with America, Because that is what the American flag represents. If the flag represents the government, Which is does, And you burn that flag, Then you are literally separating yourself from that government, Saying that you do not like your government and really want to disown it. Therefore, I do not think that the VERY same government that you BURNED the FLAG of, Should have to protect your stupid butt from getting the living snot beat out of you. If you want to disown the government, Then please, Do so. Just don't expect our tax-dollars to pay for the police, Paramedics, And hospital bills after real Americans chafe your hide. On top of all that, Freedom of expression is not what the constitution even protected against. The constitution protects freedom of speech, Religion, And the press. However, People do not burn the flags in their mouth, So that is not freedom of speech. Burning the flag is not a religion, So it does not fall under freedom of religion. And, The only freedom of the press that is being used is the stupid news media that gives people TV publicity for burning the flag! Freedom of expression could mean anything really, It could be interpreted any way you like. Is it my freedom of expression to run around naked? Nope, And ya'll don't want to see me do that. Just like I do not want to see you burn the flag. My personal thoughts on this are, If you don't like the flag and the country, Leave. Go somewhere where they will allow you to burn the flag, If you can find that place. America the tolerant!
Posted by Lisa1999 3 years ago
You are very right and thank you for pointing that out, But I cannot change right now because it is in the first stage, But I do want to clarify that we are not referring to the proper disposal of flags when they are no longer fit to be flown.
Posted by squeakly54n6 3 years ago
What about when you retire flags? You need to clarify what type of flag burning you're talking about.
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