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Transcript of Flag Burning
The first Federal Flag Desecration Law was passed in 1968 in response to flag burning as protest against the Vietnam War.
In 1989, all laws banning flag burning were struck down by the Supreme Court (Johnson vs. Texas).
Later that year, the Flag Protection Act was passed as protest but was also struck down.
Since then, Congress has made several attempts to make an exception to the First Amendment to allow flag desecration to be banned. but have not succeeded.
This amendment serves as a tool to "keep the peace".
Some believe that flag desecration could prompt violent responses from people opposed to the practice of flag burning.
For the New Amendment
Against the New Amendment
Flag burning is protected under the first amendment as a form of free speech.
It would be difficult to enforce; flag burning is also a method of respectful disposal.
It has been years since this form of protest was popular, so this amendment would not have a significant impact.
Why is this amendment needed?
Flag burning should be prohibited because of its unpatriotic nature.
Burning the flag shows flagrant disrespect for the country; it sends out a message to the people that the person burning it dislikes the country or the principles it was founded on.
This practice is extremely offensive not just to the people, but to the country itself.
Johnson vs. Texas, 1989
In 1984, Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag outside of the Dallas City Hall in protest against the Reagan administration.
He was sentenced to a year in prison and a $2000 fine for destruction of a venerated object.
The conviction was reversed and sent to the Supreme Court.
The Court ruled that Johnson's burning of the flag was protected under the first amendment as a form of free expression.
To burn the flag is to burn the symbol of your right to burn the flag.
By protecting our flag, we protect our freedom.
" I love the freedoms we got in this country, I appreciate your freedom to burn your flag if you want to, but I really appreciate my right to bear arms so I can shoot you if you try to burn mine. "