>Restricting flag burning as a form of protest is not going to lead
>to Nazi storm troopers kicking in your door. On the contrary, it might, in
>some small way, help bring back a little respect for our national institutions.
I'm not paranoid about losing my rights. And I'm not expecting Nazi storm troopers. I know that certain forms of expression aren't protected by the first amendment. My point is, flag desecration has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Their job is to determine the consitutional status of laws. If they had upheld the right of Texas to enforce such a law, I wouldn't be protesting it now. But they didn't. Congress is trying to. That's not their job. Also, as more than a few people have said, the flag and our national institutions should command respect by themselves. Respect that is demanded and legally forced can never be honest. If people don't respect the flag or the institutions behind it, let's improve those institutions in order to regain the people's respect.
The flag is allegedly a symbol of freedom to do as you want. To deny the right to express freely with that symbol is hypocritical! If someone does not allow me to burn a flag, than that flag ought to be burned, because then it would be a symbol of a right that we no longer have. The argument that people died for that flag or their country is a lie. They may have fought for the right to maintain their way of life, and part of that way of life is "freedom" (whatever that means...). To not allow someone to voice their discontent is flagrant disregard for the "sacrafices" that were made. I heard this quote from somewhere: "When the symbol become more important than the values it stands for, that is the greatest travesty of all! We will do what ever we want!"
Warren S. Apel