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Reply to Chuck Fisher

>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.

Yes, burning the flag IS a disgrace. But, as you say, this country DOES give one the right to bitch. For now. The purpose of the flag- burning page is not to wantonly destroy the symbolism of America, but rather to protest the impending change to the Constitution. That document grants us the unalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independance. The first amendment gives us the freedom of speech that the Supreme Court has stated covers flag desecration.

When Congress attempts to sidestep the decisions of the Supreme Court by amending the very document that grants us these rights, it is no longer a just nation. Any government that silences its critics can not be considered truly free. While you suggest I should burn the U.S. Flag in Iraq, I would much rather have the right to desecrate my property on my property.

I will never burn a U.S. Flag. Even if I did, I wouldn't burn yours. And I wouldn't burn mine in front of you. But I demand the right to burn mine on my own property. I'm sure, as much of a disgrace as that may be, you would support my right to do so in order to maintain your own rights to express your sentiments, for or against the government.

Chuck Fisher replies:

Your arguement was the Supreme Court ruling that the act of burning the flag was constitutional. Granted, I greatly respect individual rights, but burning the American Flag goes way beyond any nine member court of educated persons deciding for us unconstituionality. Anarchy would certainly break out if this were not so, but if they decided suicide was constitutional in the privacy of your own home would you do it? My point is this, a person who burns the American Flag in America is destroying the symbol for everything fought for since the American Revolution. This is my own opinion though, and it is also my opinion that people that engage in this activity are contradicting everything they live for being in this country. Although I do not agree, being an American I respect (for the most part) our government's decisions because we do have a say and it is a damn socialistic person who would threaten death, by the way. Now that is unAmerican. I am a young old fashioned believer in Mom, Apple Pie, and the American Flag. If one doesn't love it; leave it.

My Reply

The phrase "Love it or leave it" is used often when talking about political protest. And yet, I feel we should say "love it or work to change it." That's what I'm trying to do. I agree that flag burning is not a very meaningful way to protest. There are people in America who support the amendment to criminalize flag desecration. I respect their right to work for this change. I don't agree with it, but I would fight to the death to uphold their right to their opinions. Likewise, I uphold your right to your opinion.

I hope this law doesn't pass. I think if it does, you'll see a lot more flag burning. It's not an act that occurs often enough that we need to spend the time and money to change the Constitution over it.

Warren S. Apel