No, It is not a crime. Yes, it is protected.
However yes it is also a symbol. Some people don't value symbols and patriotism and good on em, who cares they wont be coming to my 4th of July barbecue. They burn the symbol and desecrate what it stands for so I will never have any respect for them. It is within my free speech to tell them that I think they are the scum of the earth. It is simply rude, and while it isn't illegal I think it is immoral and that is enough of a reason for me to stand against it for I do not think that all that isn't illegal is morally correct.
I was brought up in a family that served our country and still does. We learned at a very young age to respect our country and our flag. We learned as toddlers to hold our flag up high and proud. Never let it touch the ground, that was disrespecting our Flag and Country. We were raised with values and pride !! So sad that anyone would want to burn our Flag !!
Yes, I am strongly against flag burning -- for myself. I would never burn a flag because I have family members who have fought and died what that flag stood for. The very idea of it is repellent to me. However, I am also against laws protecting the flag, because my family members fought and died for freedom of speech, flag burning is a form of speech, and if it doesn't cover speech I don't like, then that freedom isn't really free.
Although I think that flag burning should not be considered a crime, people should be allowed to do it. We claim this is a free country where we are allowed to speak our minds and let our creativity flow, so we should be allowed to let others express themselves how they choose.
Flag burning can be powerful in protests against government corruption. I would burn a flag, not to insult veterans, my dad is a veteran, but to insult the government that governs the said nation. I don't believe veterans fought for a FLAG, but for the lives of Americans, which are not being destroyed by the burning of a flag. No one puts their life on the line for a piece of cloth, there is more to it than that. My dad is a veteran but isn't opposed to the burning of the flag.
Flag burning isn't necessarily right, but it's a freedom of speech issue. A person should be able to burn a flag because they have the right to free speech and protest. Therefore, we should respect the principles of our own country and alllow people to engage in these activities today.
I am not strongly against flag burning. I think the thought of burning flags in stills a thought or feeling of unrest and war, but I believe that is the result of war propaganda over the years. When you drill it down to simple terms it is only fire and fabric and a burning flag isn't useful for much.
Freedom of speech was not made for the purpose of you being able to say how cute your kitten is. It was meant specifically for controversial matters. To empower individuals and to protect them from being censored. When and individual burns a flag they are trying to make a point, and point it does make. Assuming such expression does not lead to violence, in which case action in regards to violence must be taken, even hate speech should be permitted in a free society since they are legitimate opinions.
With that said, in NO WAY am I saying that flag burning or hate speech should be socially acceptable. Only in rare cases would I possibly consider it permissible socially, and I have not seen an issue like that arise in North America yet. Just because you have freedom of speech does not mean others do not. If you burn a flag and people profoundly disagree with such action they should be free to express that, again, provided it does not lead to violence.
People should be able to express themselves however they want. If that form of expression happens to be burning a piece of their own property, they can knock themselves out. It isn't hurting anyone, and I find it a bit ironic that people who love America for it's freedom are most offended by flag burning, but when they speak out against it, they are calling for a decrease in personal freedom.
As an American citizen I am not strongly for or against the burning of a flag. I personally have no reason to burn a flag and no matter how upset I was, I probably still would not resort to burning a flag. I believe a flag can by a symbol for a nation, but I don't associate so much symbolism that it would mean anything to me to see one burn.