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Comments Archive: 4-10-95 - 4-15-95

Received on 4-15-95:

Bobby Laverga writes:

Your page is a thought-provoking exercise in patriotism, in the true sense of the word, while a flag-burning amendment is just an exercise in mindless nationalism.

Received on 4-14-95:

Centurion 5 writes:

I wish you the best. And it is true, the Stars and Stripes symbolizes our freedoms (which many take for granted), therefore why can't we exercise a symbolic-gesture by burning it, in dissent of what our government does, or intends to do, or for what ever else reason. Americans should protect this manner of free-speech.

People should look deeper into their own hearts to see that "We the People," and not -symbolism- is what is most important in this matter concerning this great nation's liberty & freedom.
I suppose not many have read the book, Red Badge of Courage.

Ken Manatt writes:

Is not the only proper way to discard an old or worn flag by burning??

What we need are fewer laws. Laws that make sense. Laws that are enforceable. Laws that the people support. Not the current crop of law of the month for the special interest groups.

Chuck Fisher writes:

I'll start out by saying, "This is my country too, and if you want to burn the U.S. flag do it in Iraq." My point is this, the Constitution gurantees us "uninalienable rights", not whatever right you demand. Burning the flag is a disgrace, and shows no respect whatsoever for the country that gives you the right to bitch in the first place.
My reply

Received on 4-13-95:

Jan Bogue writes:

I believe in Free Speech, the Constitution, etc. After all, that is one of the things that Aggies fight for when they defend their country and others. However, in believing in the Constitution, one must also protect the icons that stand for all of the freedoms that we have in the US. One of those icons happens to be the US flag.
My belief is that when you burn that icon, (Uncle Sam, the flag, any other US symbol), you in essence are saying "screw you" to the US. We must remember that if we don't like what the government officials are doing in office, we either run for office ourselves, or we elect someone who does support our views.

I suppose I understand your right to keep your page up on the www, even if I don't agree with your point of view. You seem like a very learned person. I hope that one day you might see and understand my point of view.

Just out of curiosity, how old are you? Sometimes ages make a difference in point of view. (like a teenager who stays out late just to make his parents mad... and an adult who thinks *everyone* in the world must be exhausted by the time the Letterman show comes on... etc...) I thought maybe our age differences might account for our differences in opinions.
My reply

Steve Mansfield writes:

I find this page a bit intriguing. I heard of it first after a spamming about the anti-flagburning page. I took a cursory glance at your page, and a more throrough look at theirs, and thought both pages to be incredibly distateful.

Having looked more thoroughly at your page however, I must say "Good job." I've read through your several debates with opposing views, and the postings you've included from people with pro and anti comments. I think you are fighting the right fight here, and I'd be happy to add my support. I'd personally never burn a flag, as I think there are other, better ways to speak out against congressional limitations of our freedoms, but yours, and those who really burn flags, have just as much right to speak out in their own fasion. Should the ammendment pass, Ibelieve we will still have test cases, and I wonder what the Supreme Court will end up deciding about the parodox which would be in the Constitution, which would have a limitation of free-speech in it, as well as a statement that congress will pass no law abridging the right to free speech.

John Basia writes:

RE: Congressional Record

My God, We're all doomed.... if this is what the most powerful body in the world considers learned discussion, I'm moving to Italy, where they don't delude themselves into thinking that their government is just and right... doomed....

5th Centurion writes:

I applaud your bravery, and convictions in regard to the Constitution and Freedom of Speech. By doing this, you have raised the attention to this matter to another level. And if I were 20-years younger, I would have, without a doubt, flamed you. But being much older, and wiser about this subject, I thought I would just tender you kudos!

Nanda writes:

If I decide to buy a flag, it is my property. What I choose to do with it is my choice, and only mine. Laws which ban flag burning will only result in an exponential increase in flag burning. Debates will be heard, students will converge, and the law will be overturned.

Received on 4-11-95:

Major William Apel (USAF Ret. - My Dad!) writes:

Over two hundred years ago, our Founding Fathers wrote some of the greatest documents ever conceived in the area of personal freedoms and liberties: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Initially prepared to secure the rights of free men, these documents became the foundation of the greatest government ever to appear on the face of this planet.

Recently, these freedoms have found expression in extreme modes. The Supreme Court has decided (by a split decision) that the most unspeakable form of child abuse (abortion) is a form of constitutionally protected right to privacy. The Supreme Court has also found that the burning of an American flag is a form of constitutionally protected freedom of speech. Neither of these decisions need be considered the last word on either subject. More will be written. Over one hundred years ago, the Supreme Court also found (by a unanimous decision) that slavery was indeed legal.

In situations such as these, one is forced to weigh which factor is most important. As an American who dedicated over twenty one years of my life (USAF) to the protection of the Constitution, I look at flag burning from a prospective most people cannot comprehend. Flag burning is abhorrent. Period. Yet as abhorrent as it may be, it MUST be protected in order to preserve the freedoms that WE THE PEOPLE have loved since the founding of our country. Sometimes the defenders of Constitutional liberties must defend an act that they personally find repulsive in order to keep intact the liberties that allow it. Many newspaper journalists and editors find pornography repugnant, yet defend publishers such as Larry Flynt and his Hustler magazine in order to keep First Amendment liberties for all.

Likewise, defenders of the Second Amendment are equally adamant about maintaining their rights from any infinitesimal intrusion. Defenders of the First and Second Amendments (people seldom are in both camps) both realize that the smallest breach of either liberty will allow further encroachments.

Often when defending the liberties that we love, we come across those who are intolerant of our position. Ironically, these people are usually the ones who know so little about our freedoms. It happens more often than not that when asked about them, these people misidentify words from Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto with the Bill of Rights. Or when given situations where a defendant's Fifth Amendment rights are violated, they feel that the law is wrong. (Many would remove the Fifth Amendment.)

The first thing I did when I saw this web page was to read the purpose of the display. Obviously, this person cares about the First Amendment. I don't think he would actually burn an American flag. NOTE: The person who constructed the web page never burned a flag, he only enabled others to do it. Who is guilty?

Patty writes:

The United States of America flag represents our rights and freedoms as Americans, including our right to burn it. Make it against the law and there will be MORE flag burning.

Dale writes:

Thank you so much for putting this web page together. Those who would make laws against the burning of a flag are the very ones whose flag deserves to be burned.

Received on 4-10-95:

An anonymous phone call on my answering machine:

...I'm encouraging your protest. I think it's great, and that you have the guts to do it. Our government is renegade, it has nothing to do with this country anymore. The freedom to burn the flag is the absolute reason. . . that's the thing to celebrate, not the flag itself. The flag's a piece of cloth - we can make more flags. Anyway, thanks a lot, I appreciate your guts in doing that.

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