Flag Burning Amendment is a Terrible Idea
The Senate appears very close to having the votes to pass a Constitutional amendment banning flag desecration. If they do, the matter will move to the states for ratification.
First of all, exactly what problem is this solving? Has there been a rash of flag burnings across America that we haven’t heard about? The only flag burnings tend to take place in foreign countries. So, really, this amendment is purely symbolic. And that makes it all the more abhorrent.
What are we saying? That we are so weak a nation as to be unable to handle the desecration of our flag? Does burning a flag in any way touch our freedoms, damage our democracy? The flag is a symbol and a great one but our flag is not our country. You could burn a thousand flags on the lawn of the White House and not a single piece of a single freedom would change.
Flag burning is juvenile, disgusting and ridiculous but it shouldn’t be banned. This is America, where you are allowed to make a statement no matter how stupid or unpatriotic. And if you want to show your countrymen what a class A jerk you are by burning a flag, you have every right to do so. Just like the rest of us have every right to make a statement back by hoisting our own flags high and saying you can burn our flag but you can’t touch our freedoms.
But this amendment would touch our freedoms—not because anyone of us would ever dream of burning a flag but because true freedom requires wide boundaries. Because freedom of speech necessarily requires us to hear and see statements we hate.
If this amendment passes, it’s hardly the end of the world. American life will go on just as it always has. This doesn’t portend some great collapse of our freedoms or anything so dramatic. But that doesn’t make it any less stupid of an amendment.
Let’s not trash up our great Constitution with a pointless amendment. 65% of the American public think we don’t need this amendment. I would hope that the Senate would be equally as wise.