Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

House approves flag-burning amendment

  1. Jun 22, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politics/20050622-1641-flagburning.html

    What a load of bull. In this day and age, if this is important to the American people then things are worse than I thought. Not only is this all huge waste of time, which alone shames the House of Reps, but the right to burn a flag is the essence of being an American. What exactly is the flag supposed to represent anyway? It is the ultimate symbol of rule by the people. And that's what really bothers the promoters of this hogwash. They want a symbol that is bigger than the right of the people to express dissatisfaction with their government.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2005 #2
    I don't think there needs to be a constitutional amendment. In the only situations where it will matter you can already get them for inciting a disturbance. And an amendment to the constitution for this purpose makes about as much sense as an amendment banning gay marriage. The purpose of the constitution is to protect rights.
     
  4. Jun 22, 2005 #3

    SOS2008

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Oooooh, that's against the first commandment: "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me." I wonder if there is any controversy between the neocons and some fundamentalists on this one. Oh wait, if you take away the flag, then you can't say "under God" in the pledge. I guess they'll agree on it. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Jun 22, 2005 #4

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yah im sure the hundreds of thousands of men and women who died defending our flag looooooooove seeing when its burnt. What a society! We ignore the wishes of heros and build our nation around the demands of draft-dodging traitors.
     
  6. Jun 22, 2005 #5
    Yeah! Free speech is offensive to our patriots! Out with the 1st amendment! :devil:

    Seriously though, I don't understand whether the gop is seeking a constitutional amendment for this, or are they just writing a bill? Because in the first case they'd never get it past the states... and the other case I don't see how SCOTUS would reason their way around the 1st amendment...
     
  7. Jun 22, 2005 #6

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    When i first read about it, it was being presented as a bill and not an amendment. And people are as usual, exagerating about this destroying free speech. You could EASILY catagorize this as a special case such as the 'fire in a threatre' case or a few other situations where free speech doesnt apply (I find it far more reasonable to ban flag burning then it is to shut out 100% of free speech to K-12 students). Its odd that their burning the symbol that grants them the right they are burning the flag with however. Your basically saying NO to all the flag stands for but then you are trying to defend it with a freedom the flag represents. Kinda like waiving your rights when u get a speeding ticket :)

    PS I wonder how many people that will respond to this thread also are for gun control or believe the government should censor all religion (I guess the first amendment is a buffet type amendment) :-/
     
  8. Jun 22, 2005 #7
    I think Ivan nailed it.

    I really don't see it passing the states, but it does give the supporters an opportunity to label the defenders of the First Amendment as anti-American. I find the numbers disturbing, 286-130 in the House and only 35 senators oppose it. No one can speak for an entire group of people. I am sure many people including veterans hate to see the flag being burnt, but I also know people who have served who oppose this amendment.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2005
  9. Jun 22, 2005 #8

    kat

    User Avatar

    I'm not sure why people consider burning anything having anything to do with speech...even "Free" speech for that matter. No speaking involved with starting fires..unless you have really, really bad breath maybe?? I dun get it.

    Anywhoo...do we really need more laws? Can we just leave the freaking constitution alone, pulease?
     
  10. Jun 22, 2005 #9
    The thing is that it already is more or less illegal. If you want to just sit in your back yard and burn the flag then I doubt that it's going to be a problem or anyone is going to care. If you're out in public pissing people off or creating some sort of disturbance that, in and of itself, is against the law no matter how you go about doing it. You are legally allowed to say "Heil Hitler" if you want to but if you say it at a black panthers meeting you're going to get it for inciting a disturbance.

    And if there is to be a law against it then why should it be in the Constitution?
     
  11. Jun 23, 2005 #10
    Yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre endangers lives. Burning of flags, american, belgian, finnish or otherwise, does not, unless you're doing it in a crowded theatre or other closed space, which is especially idiotic. Burning of flags is also usually not a direct incitement to violence (although sometimes it could be). The other major form of protected speech is libel/slander with provable economic consequence, which of course does not apply. Am I missing something OBVIOUS, Pengwuino?

    Symbolic speech.

    I think it's virtually impossible that this thing passes the states... good thing the consititution was designed to keep this kind of thing from happening.
     
  12. Jun 23, 2005 #11

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Merely burning a flag isnt creating a problem because you can put it on a metal stand and set it on fire in an open area and its not endangering anyone. Thats how its done sometimes. Most of the time however , people are lighting it in crowds which is rather stupid.

    A more obvious example would be getting a bunch of people to stand infront of say, a welfare building to protest welfare reform or whatever. The police are going to come and kick you out. You could also walk up into a library and start a mass fart :D Or something more intelligent like a protest. The police will come and kick you out even though you are obviously displaying free speech. Theres certainly even more examples where the publics wish does trump free-speech if you put your mind to it.

    It certainly is a disgusting act to burn the flag that guarantees you the right to do jsut that... but after thinking about it, i suppose its a matter of principle depending on who sees the situation. Look at it as a matter of honoring people who died and what a country has done for you and its dispicle but look at it from a law schoolish 'what can i get away with to piss people off' view and it certainly can fall under a requirement of the 1st amendment
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2005
  13. Jun 23, 2005 #12

    honestrosewater

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  14. Jun 23, 2005 #13
    No one died defending the flag!!! People have died defending the ideals of this nation and the ideals of the constitution but not the flag. The flag does not define this nation, the constitution does. The flag is a piece of cloth. The constitution is the greatest legal document ever created and is what gives you the freedom to actually open a book instead of blindly buying into this idea that the flag holds a mystic meaning when it doesn't. When you join the military and take the oath you recite an oath to defend the constitution----no mention of the flag (I took this oath in 1990 and I don't recall a mention of the flag) http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/faq/oaths.htm

    Your Neocon assertion is emotional at best and dead wrong with no basis in the document which military personel defend at worst. Join the military if you don't believe me. Take the oath. Defend the 1st amendment and not the flag.

    The flag is flashy piece of cloth. The constitution is what gives you everything, and I mean everthing, you have as an American.

    PS. did you serve? If not then by your argument my wishes are more valuable because I did serve and I value the tattered yellowing document under glass more than a piece of cloth sold at wal-mart for a dollar on a stick.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2005
  15. Jun 23, 2005 #14

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well people like my uncles and grandfather do feel the flag is important because it symbolizes a country. Your argument is dead wrong at best and yoru emotional knee-jerk reaction is silly at best. The Constitution is a piece of paper, no one died defending a piece of paper. That piece of paper merely symbolizes what this country stands for. No piece of paper has ever stormed a beach or parachuted into enemy territory, people did. People know that piece of cloth represents freedom, justice, etc just as they know that piece of paper represents freedom, justice, etc.

    And your logic with the piece of cloth sold at wal-mart is completely illogical. Many copies of the Constitution have been made for various reasons, academic or not. There was a 'first' flag... i dont understand why it wouldnt represent the same thing to you.... It was a symbol of our nation, there was an original; you claim you will defend the Constitution solely because its a symbol and it was an original but not the flag... odd...

    And oddly enough, someone just posted why you respect a flag of the United States... sure you want to base your opinion on a small oath instead of the US Code?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2005
  16. Jun 23, 2005 #15

    honestrosewater

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Actually, the code says:
    The bill is aimed at flag burning as a form of protest, making it clearly a First Amendment issue.
     
  17. Jun 23, 2005 #16
    Sorry this arguement doesn't seem to be adding up right here.
     
  18. Jun 23, 2005 #17
    open a book and find out what flags were first used for. I've highlighted some of your own points.

    NO ONE DIED FOR THE CONSTITUTION!!! That has got to be the dumbest thing I've heard this week!!! I know a few people who died for the constitution because they died serving their country. They did nNOT take an oath to flag!!! They took an oath to the constitution and to the ideals which it embodies. You my ill-informed fellow human are sorely mistaken. Spend some time on a sub or on a target or in the field before you preach about what people decide to defend.

    PS no flag has every done the things you said above. The constitution empowered people to carry a flag into battle. The flag was carried. The flag was carried. The flag was carried. It did not storm. It did not act on its own. It does not think or feel. It does not give you the freedoms you enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2005
  19. Jun 23, 2005 #18
    Perhaps if you didn't combine the thoughts of three people into one omnibus thought things would add up a little better.
     
  20. Jun 23, 2005 #19

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The Constitution did not do anything either and it did not give you freedom. The PEOPLE give you teh freedom defined. Anyone can come and rip up the Constitution and burn it and you know what? We will still have the ability to go to church, own a firearm (ok lets be simplistic here lol), elect our leaders, etc etc. The Constitution does not empower people. People empower people. People decide to go out and risk their life for an ideal, not a piece of paper.

    You are attempting to use the same logic to defend the Constitution as im using to defend the flag yet you are saming my logic is wrong. Im sorry that you need a lesson in logical discussion, but i am clearly using the same logic as you.
     
  21. Jun 23, 2005 #20

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Hes saying that its a hypocritical stance. You say one thing they contradict yourself perfectly.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: House approves flag-burning amendment
  1. Amendment XXVIII? (Replies: 180)

Loading...