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Flag-Burning Comments October-November 1995

Randy Black writes:
No one loves the American flag more than I do. Although it gives me no special authority, I am a descendant of William Baylis and Daniel Averell, who fought in the Revolutionary War, and a number of others who fought for this country of sweet liberty. I was a Star Scout and a patrol leader for many years. I love freedom.

I am opposed to an amendment to make flag burning illegal. The concept is subtle: that beautiful flag symbolizes our freedom, including, paradoxically, the freedom to destroy that symbol. Equally paradoxical, laws to "protect" the symbol of our freedom in fact diminish our freedom.

Making flag burning illegal to demonstrate our patriotism is like manacling oneself to one's lover to prove faithfulness: it should be unneccesary and therefore is a self-defeating gesture. As angry as it makes us, when reflection replaces visceral reaction, we should rejoice in the existence of the flag burners for they exercise our precious freedom in the self-contradicting act of destroying its symbol. Let them.

In the meantime, our country has numerous problems that demand our leaders' attention. I would hope that every citizen question the motives of politicians who support the amendment to ban burning the flag. This is one case when putting out a fire is creating a smoke screen.

Daniel "Ford" Sohl writes:

I just thought I'd toss this quote out. I'd put it in my own words, but I like how it is expressed here.

On June 28, 1995, in the United States House of Representatives, Rep. Beilenson (of California) said:

"[T]his proposed amendment to our Constitution would, for the first time in our Nation's history, modify the Bill of Rights to limit the freedom of expression, and is thus wrong, we believe, as a matter of principle. This is unpopular expression, but it deserves protection, no matter how much we may deplore it. That is the test of our commitment to freedom of expression, that it protects not just freedom for the thought and expression we agree with, but, as has often been said, freedom for the thought we hate.

"Second, and of great relevance, we believe there is no compelling case to be made that there is a need for this amendment. We thankfully see no great need for it. Infuriating as these instances of contempt for a symbol we all love are, they do not happen often. As the gentleman from Colorado [Mr. Skaggs] testified at the Committee on Rules, only three such incidents occurred in 1993 and 1994. Indeed, studies indicate that from 1777 through 1989, there are only 45 reported incidents of flag burning . There have been very few and isolated instances of flag burning in the past several years, and, frankly, there is every reason to leave well enough alone. Let these misfits who desecrate our flag remain in obscurity, where they deserve to be."

I might add that that figure is a very good indication to me of exactly how pressing a problem this is. 3 cases in the last two years? 45 cases in 203 years? So this is obviously a national emergency here. The Republican majority has seen fit, in their wisdom, to waste countless hours in the Senate, the House, and of the legislatures of (they hope) 38 states, to stop this pressing problem. It's *got* to be important, because it seems to be taking precedence over many other modern problems which affect far more than 48 people *every year*. I'm impressed by their level-headedness in keeping this country straight. Makes me proud to be a citizen of a country where they are in control of the legislature.

allen bukoff writes:

Everytime this inane amendment has been proposed during my lifetime, I have vowed, if passed, to prominently display PICTURES of burning flags in an effort to undermine and taunt this hypocrasy. You have taken this concept to the internet. Thank you. I wish we could think of some way to keep these little boys busy--they really are lost--and dangerous--without communism, aren't they?

Robert Reichel writes:

Great page. I was starting to think that there was no one around who had actually thought about how awful this whole thing is.

Jason F Cotter, in a previous response, is victim of a common misconception about the nature of the Constitution and the "will of the people". Does Mr Cotter really believe we live in a democracy? Does he believe, for example, that a state should be allowed to pass a law banning Jews/blacks/asians/whatever from residing in their state, simply because the majority of people in that state want to?

Mr Cotter, if the majority rules, why have laws at all? If I don't like something you do, I should simply be able to put it to a vote. No pesky judges and juries, simply take the majority opinion as to verdict and sentence. That's democracy, and it is a very harsh way to live.

The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the minority *from* the majority, not the other way around. The sort of mob-rule he and so many of the pro-amendment crowd espouse has no place in American society.

Neil writes:

As a Canadian living in the USA who happens to love this country, I agree with your Usenet post completely. It is a crime in our hearts to burn the American flag, but it should not be a crime in the courts. That would be a slap in the face to the millions of Americans who sacrificed in order to protect Americans' freedom of speech and expression.

Rick Muckey writes:

Granted, this is a free country, but,if you think this is such a bad country, try China or Vietnam.

Burning our flag does nothing. If you don't want to show respect for your country, at least show respect for those that fought and died in the name of America. Alot of those that have died wearing the uniform of the U.S.military may not have believed in what they were fighting for, but they did what they were told,and they did it for us!!!!

Mike Caetano writes:

The older I get the more prone I am into revisiting St. Augustine's notion of original sin. Your list of additional criminal activities associated with burning the flag is great! as is the top 5 rating that your page has, as compared with the other jingoistic flag page. I wasn't thrilled with Feinsteins support of the amendment, and told her local lackey so. However, since it was after hours, he told me that while officially he had to cover for her, personally, he thought the whole thing was a waste of time.

I think it's all a dodge. "Let's avoid the problems we are too stupid or too afraid to solve and waste time on the trivial, our contributors might get upset if we pass legislation obligating them to seek profit in a manner that betters our common plight."

Dave Lane writes:

"People should not be allowed to burn the American flag, because it's a symbol of our freedom"
--paraphrased from a caller on a talk radio show this morning on WRKO AM in Boston. The guy didn't even see the irony in his statement.

nowodj writes:

I completely agree with your stand on the flag burning issue. If parts of the 1st amendment are taken away from us, then a domino effect could follow. I am a patriot who does not even own a lighter or match because I do not smoke. I would never think of burning a flag. But like you said, even though you or I would never burn a flag, just the simple right to be able to burn flags is worth fighting for. Restrictions already exist on burning flags, because a person can only burn his/her flag on his/her property.

Our founding fathers wanted civil liberties like freedom of speech protected. They also wanted private property protected. I think that adding an amendment that makes it illegal to burn flags is a tragedy that would go against the beliefs of our founding fathers. If it passes, I would think that more people would burn flags in response to the new amendment.

One of the great things about the United States is the freedom of it's citizens. There are countless issues in our country that need to be looked at and dealt with. I think the fact that flag-burning is an issue in an insult to the American people who expect much more from their representatives.

Aaron writes:

After reading Senator Feinstein's Open Forum editorial in the 7/27 Chronicle, I felt a need to respond.

There is no place for halfway measures within the concept of freedom of speech. The protection of merely some forms of speech is the protection of nothing at all as what is and is not protected can be changed. There can be no precedent for the prohibition of a few forms of speech; all forms of speech that do not directly hurt another person must be allowed. Senator Feinstein calls the flag "the preeminent symbol of our national consciousness". This is what makes it such a powerful symbol of protest. By no means is America a perfect country. It has made mistakes in the past and shall do so again in the future. People should and must have the power to protest these perceived mistakes. The burning of the flag is a very powerful way to do so.

Senator Feinstein continues on to say, "It is my belief that restoring legal protection to our nation's flag would not infringe on our long-standing tradition of free speech under the First Amendment." She justifies this statment by saying, "I view the burning of our national flag as conduct -- not speech...." This distinction would set a very dangeous precedent, however. Will you preclude other forms of "conduct"? Will you prohibit people from contributing money to certain orginzations as that is "conduct" and not "speech"? Will you prohibit people from publishing certain material because it is "conduct" not "speech"?

The concept of speech encompasses more than just mere verbal communication. One can speak through one's writings. One can speak through one's art. And most importantly of all, one can speak through one's actions. As the cliché goes, "actions speak louder than words." Should people be prohibited from acting on what they believe in? Its very offensiveness to much of the American population is what makes the burning of the flag such a powerful form of speech. Loving America is not a requirement for being an American citizen. If someone believes that the burning of the flag best expresses their beliefs, is it for you or I to decide that they are wrong and should not be allowed to do so?

I believe that Senator Feinstein is missing the point behind the entire concept of the flag. She states, "Our history books are replete with stories of soldiers who were charged with the responsibility of leading their units into battle by carrying the flag. It was an honor worth dying for -- and many did." While the flag may have been the actual material object that was being carried into battle, what is far more important is what the flag itself meant. The flag is a symbol off all that America stands for. However, that is all that it is: a symbol. Next to what it symbolizes, the fabric that constitutes the flag is meaningless. I believe the foremost thing that the flag stands for is freedom of speech, a right taken for granted in America, but one that does not exist in much of the rest of the world. Speech is the most powerful thing on the planet. If it were not for people speaking out against their countries, America would never have come to be. Thus, by seeking to protect the flag from physical harm, inestimable harm is being done to that which it stands for. This is the irony that lays at the heart of the flag burning amendment. A passage of this amendment, ostensibly to protect the flag, would do more harm to the flag than any one person with a match could ever possibly do on their own.

So, in conclusion, I guess, if such an amendment does pass, I will go out and personally burn a flag as that will be representative of the irreprable damage already done to it. The flag would have already been burned by the people in power. All I will be doing is completing the action, and in this case, I believe that burning the flag is the most effective protest anyone could ever make.

Someone writes:

I personally believe that burning the American Flag is revolting and should not be tolerated. But neither should a Constitutional amendment be neccessary to prevent it. What is wrong with this nation when we can't even rely on people's good common sense and love of country to rein in their passions and we have to begin legislating everything to death. There is such a thing as all things in moderation and I fear that the American people have forgotten it. As Benjamin Franklin said, "Passion governs, and she never governs wisely."

John McDonald writes:

I know you get mountains of e-mail in support and from detractors. I just wanted to put in my two pennies to tell you that i hope you are changing some minds out there. The flag-burning amendment is far worse desecration of our country than the burning itself....

Scott Lanum writes:

I'm so pleased to see some intelligence displayed on the net. It certainly is not being displayed on Capitol Hill. More power to you in your endeavors.
I will write to Sen. Simpson and Sen. Thomas right away and urge them to vote NO on this silly amendment.
I'm afraid Congresswoman Cubin has already voted for it, the stupid moron. Simpson and Thomas will probably tow the Republiscum line and vote yes as well, but at least I can write and urge them not to. Thanks again for helping to bring this DESECRATION OF OUR FIRST AMENDMENT into the open. Maybe we should have an amendment to the Constitution that states "No amendments will be offered to this Constitution that erode and destroy the First Amendment". That would also take care of the Christian Coalition's attempt to pass an amendment that will make religious indoctrination in our public schools perfectly acceptable.
Supporters of a flag-burning amendment are guilty of Constitutional and Civil Liberties Desecration. Maybe that is what should concern America.

Neckroph writes:

Dont ask where this quote /saying came from I dont know

When they came for the fourth amendment I didn't say anything
because I had nothing to hide.
When they came for the second Amendment I didn't say anything
because I didnt own a gun
When the came for the Fifth and Sixth Amendment I didnt cay anything
because I had committed no crime
When they came for the first Amendment, I couldn't say anything

I call this the epatath of Amercia
Those that dont know what an epatath is just smile those that do agree and go on in blissful ignorance while they slowly lose what they once had, and yet even some get mad at me for saying something like that about this fine nation. They are the ones that I worry about.
He who can protest and does not is an accomplice to the act.

Jeff Granger writes:

Thank you for the valuable service you are performing with your attention to political hacks who concentrate on making religious icons out of sewn-together strips of cloth, all the while lining their pockets with corporate slush funds and ignoring everything and anything that might improve life for the average citizen.

It's always worthy to remember how many innocents have died in the name of "Old Gory". Long may it drag!

(Sung to the tune of "This is a Great Country").

This is a hate country, a hate country, the home of the corpo- rate crowd,
Take a look in your history book, and you'll know why we should be plowed.
Pants off to America, the home of the fat money bag.
What with our guns crackin' and our bombs droppin' can you think of a better flag to drag?

Wintroub writes:

I go to Kmart and buy a big rectangular piece of cloth. It's mine, not yours, not Bill Clinton's, not Roy Peters', not the Veterans of Foreign Wars', not the state of Alabama's, not the people of the United States of America's. MINE. If I want to use it to catch paint drippings, fly from a post in my yard, blow my nose or burn, I can. No legislative body, court, bureaucrat or elected public servant has the authority to interfere with my usage (let's ignore issues like air pollution or obscuring traffic at an intersection). If that piece of cloth has horizontal stripes, alternating between red and white, and a blue section with little white stars on it, NOTHING CHANGES. It's still my piece of cloth and I'm free to do with it what I wish.

zeke writes:

I cannot believe that anyone would take the position that you have. I've read your diatribes, consumed your discontent, and cringed at the volumes of feeble rhetoric you have published. I don't even want to engage in a debate with you and your kind. I'll tell you this much:

I spent six years in the Navy. I risked my life for nearly five years engaged in the act of submarine patrol duty. I risked death by potential drowning, and suffered (although not with the intensity of my forebearers who have seen actual battle) the agonizing ordeal of sensory deprivation to protect our shores from leftists scourge like yourself. I believe the enemy is within our borders. Your propoganda proves me right. As a final note I will leave you with this:

If I ever see anyone burning a flag, with or without the amendment currently being discussed in Congress I'll tattoo the offender with the closest object I can get my hands on. I used to think it couldn't get any worse than it already was but then sometimes I wonder why I am even surprised by it all. First it was putting a crucifix in urine and all the cultural elite called it "art" now your types want to detract from protecting the worlds most precious symbol next to that crucifix.

I am sad and ashamed at your conduct as a human being.
My reply

Someone writes:

without the freedom to manipulate your personally owned american flag anyway you see fit, no other freedom would mean a damn! personally i do not care if they pass a law against it, as this would be just one more law that i would choose not to obey!

Tony Case writes:

Great page. No matter if you support of disaprove of the burning- the page certanly makes you think- and thats >ALWAYS< a good thing. On to the comments:

To all the 'Love it or Leave it' folks out there- a piece of graffiti I saw around Seattle once: "I love my country, I fear my Government". That about sums up my feelings on THAT matter.

And a thought- since burning the flag is a show of disrespect, isnt it also disrespectful to, say- fly a Russian Hammer and Sicle (sp) flag outside your house on the 4th of July? Well, better start calling the government and outlawing that too, if thats the case. The act could certanly be view just as ligitimate a protest as torching a flag.

You know, the funny thing is- until this law was proposed, I had even given any though of burning a flag. If it goes thru, however- I'm going to be spending a lot of time in jail.

DelfinMainegra writes:

He who burns a flag should be burnt with it.

AntinoreEM writes:

I know it's a little late to be writing this, but if you look in the official "flag code" on how to handle the american flag, it states that the proper disposal method of a "descrated" flag is to burn it.

Ray Koziel writes:

I really like your anti-flag burning amendment page...probably because I am against the amendment. I've already written my senators -- Sam Nunn and Paul Coverdell (GA) requesting they vote against it. Senator Nunn's reply was he would vote in favor of the amendement, for all those who fought for our country and the flag. Hey, I have nothing against those who fought to defend our freedoms but for a politician to wipe away these freedoms Americans died for is detestable. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I think you have a great page, and I hope I'm one of the many who do not want our freedoms further infringed.

I think many Americans feel it is a worthless task of writing their Congress critters. Of the two senators here in Georgia, I have only heard from Nunn and he openly stated he is for the amendment. I have yet to hear from Senator Coverdell. I wonder if there is anything that can be done through the state legislatures.

Yukio Ono writes:

I am strongly encouraged by your flagburning page (and enjoyed too). I'd like to do same to Japanese 'meatball' national flag. Japanese government has been forcing every school to raise national flag on the occations of ceremonies. Japan's largest teachers union - NIKKYOSO, organizing nearly half of all the public system teachers in Japan - has been opposing, but the government is winning.
Not to mention the freedom of the ideas of students, I hate Japanese national flag because it has bloody history. During the world war two, about 20 million people were killed under the flag, and in the name of the Emperor. Yet Japan did not abandon the flag, and still maintains the emperor system.
Our opponents often refered to the Americans' attitude toward American national flag (and national anthem, as we can see in sports programs), saying every American respects Stars and Stripes. Now I found that at least not 'every'.
I hope you can stop the flag amendament.

Michael MacInnis writes:

As a proclaimed anarchist (NJ) I enjoyed the burning part. I also appreciated your feelings about government, etc. While I dont' like government, and don't really wish to get into an argument about whether a government is right or wrong, especially with an Eagle Scout (I almost became one, but was denied it when I was basically browbeaten into admitting I was an atheist.) ! :) I especially enjoyed your transcript of the conversation on the House floor between Talent and the other fellow. I suppose we were to assume that the topic of that speech was eventually going to be flag burning, but it sounded to me like an old man's war stories. I like(d) hearing war stories from my grandpa. From my Rep in the House, no.

I think it is unfortunate that people like the good Doctor commit a fatal error, namely that they begin with an assumption and back up their arguments with facts, truths, half-truths, hearsay, accusations, etc, giving their argument the _appearance_ of an intellectual discussion on a topical subject. What do they miss? Another commenter already mentioned it. The Doctor assumed that you, in rallying against the Flag-Burning Amendment, supported flag-burning and lit your barbecue with Old Glory every Sunday. He then proceeded to jump ahead and launch into a full ballistic attack on your views, your intelligence, and your personal well-being, which is where most of the less-intelligent (read:less careful) ones end up going. Yeah, include Jesse Helms in there. Anyhow, he makes a good point about how burning the flag is an assault on the belief systems of many Americans. To them it represents freedom, apple pie, grandpa's war stories, etc.

That is exactly what the purpose of flag burning is.

It is an assault on the paradigm of 'my country right or wrong'. WHY did grandpa go off and fight? Why didn't Uncle Joe go to Vietnam? Why is the government so great? Are we really the most free of all countries? That is the point of flag-burning. It is an attention-getting symbol of how the burner has a distaste for what the government is doing...because the flag indicates, by its nature, the government. What if some of these fellows who found themselves under the fascist government I am sure they have accused you of supporting? Would they still believe in the sanctity of the flag? Probably. The problem is a correct interpretation of what the flag stands for. The American Flag DOES stand for the following:

The United States of America at the present day. The Federal, State, and Local governments of said country. The officers of said government, i.e., Senators, Reps, the President.

It does NOT represent:

The U.S.A. in 1945, 1812, 1776, or whatever year you feel most akin to. John Wayne, Lee Marvin, NOT EVEN Sergeant York. The American People. The "Religion of America."

You can keep adding things to the list however many times you want. The point is all these men who died or were wounded (that includes BOTH my grandfathers) were NOT FIGHTING FOR THE FLAG. They were fighting for their government at the time, and against the governments of Germany, Japan, and Italy, and anyone else who happened to get in our way. I am not in any way defending Hitler or whoever, just illustrating what was going on.

The important thing we must all do is to listen to the arguments of the officers of "our" government and try to find the first point that they "make" and base the rest of their argument on.

A good deal of the time I am sure you will find it is an assumption. It is rather like looking at someone the wrong way on the street and getting into a knife fight, is it not?

Jim Goldman writes:

If you don't mind my saying so, I praise you for your fortrightness. I haven't yet had the chance to read other people's comments on your page, but I agree with most of the details you bring up. (And after I send this email, I will read them.) I, personally, feel as though burning the flag is not the best way of "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances," to quote the first amendment, however, I do not see it as harmful as some of the more conservative leaders of this country would have us believe. Perhaps what I find more morally repugnant than burning the flag is the amendment. Based on its wording, anyone who would (1) fly the flag at night, (2) fly it during a rainstorm, (3) fold it improperly, or (4) do just about anything that is not "standard protocol" for using the flag. Sadly, this probably accounts for more than 90% of Americans at one time or another in their life. Maybe we'd just be better off wording the amendment, "Thou shalt not burn the flag." (But even then, how would we dispose of an old, ragged one?)

More than that, I question why we stand so stubbornly behind what is nothing more than a symbol for the country? It was Americans who hunted the Bald Eagle to near-extinction. It took the Endangered Species Act to intervene on behalf of that symbol. What makes the flag any better?

And as always seems to happen, I end up with more questions than answers. I could probably type for hours adding even more point to this argument, when, to be more concise, I just think that there are more pressing issues facing this country than the flag...

Daniel Bucci writes:

I do respect your feelings on this issue. I think the entire issue was used as a pr move and as a tool in coming elections. Also, it is a fact that an overwhelming majority of the population supported the legislation. However, I think you have acted a little overzealously. The main people they were trying to target are the "professional protesters." Our children will still be safe and so will Old Glory. I know that is a statement that you are glad to hear. God Bless America.

steve lz writes:

A message to all those who think that a person who would burn a flag should get out of this country: That's exactly why the U.S. was founded in the first place. This nation stands on being able to criticize(note:criticize not critisize) the government and the leaders We elect. Just because they are elected does not mean they are free of criticism. In that light, if we take a look at where the government is headed, we must become vocal in our outrage.

To all those believe it is a waste of time: The government is glad you people exist. Your petty excuses of complacency allow them to weild power of you!
To all those who have served in our military: So have I, I would gladly burn a flag. The heroics of men in battle have nothing to do with our rotting system. Patriotism is a form of Nationalism. An evolving world needs to rid ourselve of these self imposed boundries. The U.S. was built on great principles-these principles no longer are the reality. The reality is greed and corruption. If you do not believe that- you are living in a fantasy world.
To generalize all of us who reject this law as hippies, lunatics commies, etc. Nevermind because you will not listen anyway
There is a growing group of people who have no voice. Elections are futile\ petitions are senseless. Burn a flag because I saw a cop in NY kicking a home less 3yr hispanic girl-----hell yes---- maybe somebody will listen to people who see the deteriation of this country.

Dave Swenk writes:

I think that people who decry the passing of the flag burning amendment as a lo ss of "Free speech" is stupid! It amazes me how people look to overemphasize th ings. You scream about not being able to burn the flag as a violation of your r ights under the first amendment. However most rights crazy liberals then whine about the need for gun control because they believe in violating the 2nd amendm ent. You can't pick and choose what right you want to champion depending on you r personal beliefs. As for me, I don't believe a flag burning amendment is nece ssary when we have millions of loyal Americans who will gladly pound the crap o ut of someone who does! I think you should spend your time drooling about issue s that matter in this world like hunger, the environment, and spcae travel!

Pam Raver writes:

Great job! The GOP is really destroying all the things the constitution was meant to protect. Hang in there. I heard about your page via a fellow subscriber to the Phil Och discussion list, No-More-Songs.

Rob Baden writes:

I was raised in the North, and am now living in Texas. Also, I grew up during the part of the civil rights movement when the Stars and Bars was used as a symbol of seggregation, so I have rather strong feelings about THAT flag as a result. I recently saw it flying at a historical farm here by a re-enactment group, and was surprised by my emotional response to it. Since it was a flag of rebellion against the United States, and a treasonous symbol, maybe flying it should also be banned.

Jennifer B Pinck writes:

I don't want to burn the flag either. My dismay is the time and energy being taken up over the issue. there are certainly issues of greater importance that could, if addressed, make a greater difference in our lives. Just another ole hot button issue. They're eay. Pick yours up today!!!

mad dog writes:

As our country continues to deteriorate and our constitution continues to be treated loke toilet paper, we can always thank butthole reno and her battalion of suit wearing gorrilas.

Paul Welch writes:

A friend has 'flag' cushions in his car. Getting in his car, I always pause and seriously contemplate the morality of my action . And I never, never break wind while riding in his car. Surely that would be against the law.

AcmePsych writes:

Excellent job protecting freedom for all of us (even for those who would allow their freedom to be abridged to prevent an act they abhor). Wasn't it one of the supreme court justices who said the speech we must protect most vigorously is that speech we we find most offensive (or some version of that)?.

A few comments. First, I don't think the amendment, as it is written, could apply to VIRTUAL flags, could it? The amendment states "physical desecration". Is the imaginal "burning" of electrons across the information highway "physical" desecration?

Because of this and similar difficulties in definition, like defining and outlawing pit-bulls, or designer drugs with chemical formulas which vary before the ink is even dry on the page of the law, I think the very definition of the thing itself--in clear, precise legal terms--is impossible. Therefore a law protecting a "flag" will be forever too vague, broad, hence unconstitutional, if not uneforceable. Will that fourth of July cake with stars and stripes on it be considered a flag? Or is a flag made only of cloth? Or electrons?

Second, I note in your written interactions with those who support the amendment, that you appeal to them for evidence, for logical arguments. The problem there is (beyond the probability that some individuals could not produce logical reasoning), that this is inherently an EMOTIONAL issue. People are for or against because of how they FEEL, not because there is any logic one way or the other. E.g., it disgusts some to see the flag burning, or elates others to have that much freedom of expression. Ultimately again this is why laws against flag-burning are promoted, or fought against...because it arouses the passions. The appeals to logic are only after the fact, as RATIONALIZATIONS for justifying the feelings. Therefore, appeals to logic will are meaningless, as people ultimately come down on one side or another on the basis of their guts. Fortunately, for law-making, laws are not based on what feels right or wrong. That's another reason why specific laws have not worked in this area. As with laws to lock up unsavory street people simply because they offend some others, a law cannot be based on how emotionally offensive (or wonderful) an event is.

But that is what makes the possibility of a constitutional amendment all the more dangerous. That just could be the way around the problem for those on that side of the issue. I think the fight will be at the individual state legislature level now...and at that level I am concerned that the fight is in serious trouble...

From March to December of 1995, while this amendment was being considered in Congress, this page collected a large volume of comments from the public, all of which are on display in the Comment Archive.

The Flag Burning Page generated quite a volume of email. Most of it was posted right here. Messages like "Why don't you do the Nation a favour and kill yourself." (actual quote) would just clutter up this page. People who send flames like this one are given a chance to rewrite their thoughts before they get posted to the Flag Flames Page

Warren S. Apel