Desecration Of The Flag Essay

Desecration Of The Flag Essay-24
During and in the decade following the Vietnam War, flag burning of American flags by American citizens in public protest became a near-celebrated thing, as plaintiff Gregory Johnson successfully defended a right before the Supreme Court to go unpenalized for such behavior (Texas v. A newfound right to freedom of expression (rather than speech) was suddenly found by a closely divided Court (5-4) within the hidden corners of the Constitution.Fast forward thirty-plus years, and others burning the American flag in the wake of Trump’s election to the presidency are reprising the role of Johnson among others —then protesting the election of Ronald Reagan.

During and in the decade following the Vietnam War, flag burning of American flags by American citizens in public protest became a near-celebrated thing, as plaintiff Gregory Johnson successfully defended a right before the Supreme Court to go unpenalized for such behavior (Texas v. A newfound right to freedom of expression (rather than speech) was suddenly found by a closely divided Court (5-4) within the hidden corners of the Constitution.Fast forward thirty-plus years, and others burning the American flag in the wake of Trump’s election to the presidency are reprising the role of Johnson among others —then protesting the election of Ronald Reagan.

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Expression is an utterance of feeling, Berns reminds, while self-expression — what is really meant by “freedom of expression” — is almost always angry, because it is in fact self-assertion — an attempt to acquire meaning only by asserting against others.

But a political community, especially one made up of citizens, can’t exist only by negating each other.

In response, Congress passed a national anti-flag burning law called the Flag Protection Act of 1989 sponsored by a House member from Texas.

The final bill approved by the Senate in October 1989 made “it unlawful to maintain a U. flag on the floor or ground or to physically defile such flag.” The bill, however, asked for an expedited Supreme Court review to consider “constitutional issues arising under this Act.” There were flag-burning protests the day the federal law went into effect in late October 1989.

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In our Interactive Constitution project, scholars Geoffrey R.

So understood, speech is good, which is why the Constitution protects it.

President-elect Donald Trump's recent comments about prosecuting flag-burning protesters has started yet another debate about the issue.

They need some measure of common speech—by the very fact of being a citizen, the citizen is obliged to think of his or her fellows, and “of the whole of which he is a part.” Besides, as Berns points out, it is speech, not self-expression, that requires a listener—it’s speech that requires conversation and, in the political realm especially, deliberation.

It is a means of arriving at a decision, of bringing people together, which requires civility and mutual respect; and in a polity consisting of blacks and whites, Jews, Muslims, and Christians, liberals and conservatives, and peoples from every part of the globe, civility and mutual respect are a necessity.

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