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Should people who burn the American flag be stripped of citizenship?

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Rjupudi18 has forfeited round #2.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 566 times Debate No: 97921
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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First of all, I would like to say that I dislike people who burn American flags. But the First Amendment guarantees the right of free speech, so we must put up with it so free speech is not endangered.

My first reason to be against labeling this a crime, as I have said before, is free speech. If we make one way of expressing one's self illegal, who is to say that someone in the future could not make something else illegal? Anything that will be in the way of our right of free speech should be seen as a threat to our freedom.

Additionally, stripping someone's citizenship is a harsh punishment, especially when you consider that no other crimes have this punishment. Once someone has citizenship, they have a constitutional entitlement to it. This means that it is unconstitutional to strip someone's citizenship against their will.

In conclusion, I hate it when people burn flags, but they have the right to do it so we should just calm down and let them do what they want to do.


The First Amendment guarantees free speech. However, this has a certain limit. Since the Constitution doesn't give a list of what is okay and what's not in free speech, we can't use just the First Amendment to resolve the issue. Burning the American flag is not free speech. It's hate speech. If I burned someone's car and said free speech, would I be okay with the law?

Burning an American shows a great act of rebellion, treason and disrespect for the United States of America and I firmly believe anyone who hates their country should not be a part of that country. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we shouldn't criticize the government or its actions but burning an American flag is not an act of criticism towards the government but an act of hate towards the nation, its history, and everything it stands for.

"Additionally, stripping someone's citizenship is a harsh punishment, especially when you consider that no other crimes have this punishment". Actually, you can get stripped off your citizenship for acts of terrorism if youre a foreign-born citizen or went to a foreign country like Iraq to join a terrorist organization.

In conclusion, it is wrong and should be illegal to burn an American flag becuase it is Ana ct of treason which we should definitely not allow.
Debate Round No. 1


I do not think that burning someone"s car is the same as burning a flag. Of course, if you burn someone else"s flag, you should be given the same charges as you would for burning their other possessions. But you can burn your own car as long as you do not violate state laws or do it unsafely, so the same should apply to flag-burning.

I agree with you in that it is disrespectful to burn an American flag, but it is not treason. The constitution says this: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." Unless the flag-burner says that they intend to go to war with the United States, this is not treason.

In conclusion, people who burn flags are in no way subject to be stripped of citizenship. If they hate America enough, they can renounce their citizenship. Many people do this to prove to others that they are fed up with the direction of the country, and although I think it is not a good way to do that, they should not be punished by the law.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by KCG 2 years ago
Apologies. I'm new here and only wanted to comment. It appears that I should not have said something that interferes with the debate? And it's just my luck that there isn't an edit or delete. Sorry, once again, and I look forward to reading more of the debate.
Posted by KCG 2 years ago
Just my two cents...

The key to the answer is that illegal acts are acts that infringe on others' rights. Sights, words, and personal disgust should never be reason enough to make something illegal. We just came out of a period in time where we've learned that. People rebel!

So we are at the place where we ask: how is it treasonous? Who gets hurt? I could never burn someone else's property, but I can always burn my own. Why should the flag be any different? Any reason other than it is a symbol of a country whose first Amendment promises free speech? And we can't tell others how to think or speak or express themselves because we don't want anyone doing the same to us. When there is a greater risk than personal disgust, then we should consider this.
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