Is Flag Burning Illegal?

Is flag burning illegal? Flag burning isn't illegal, and can be used because of the first amendment. Burning the United States flag is not illegal. The first amendment protects every citizen's right to do...

Burning the United States flag is not illegal. The first amendment protects every citizen's right to do so if they wish. It is considered a form of freedom of speech. That doesn't mean all Americans agree with the constitution. According to an ABC/ Washington National poll in 2000, the United States is split on whether the constitution should be amended to make flag burning illegal. Joe Parish, President of Capitol Flag Company, in Austin, Texas, says flag burning is a controversial issue that has been lingering in U.S. history, since we became a country.


"At this point in time it is not illegal to do it, but I know they are trying to pass something at this point to make that illegal. It is still a part of freedom of speech. If you are out doing that in the streets, you better make sure there are no veterans around," Parish says.




Flag burning is a right our forefathers laid down in the constitution, but that doesn't mean you won't receive flack for practicing it. Yes. Many veterans who served time for our country see flag burning as a betrayal to the country. Still, we are protected by the words imprinted on the first amendment.

"It's not like it used to be. The flag code that was set forth in Congress back in 1700 states that when the flag is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be disposed of in a dignified manner, preferably by burning or burial. That is not the same thing as somebody burning the American flag. That is a form of protest," Parish says.

Parish says anytime you go out in public to burn the flag, people automatically assume you're a flag hater or disrespecting the U.S. According to U.S. Flag.org, the United States came close to ratifying the constitution against flag burning for protest. President George Clinton rejected the proposal; however, and it was defeated. Every year since then, many different organizations in the United States have attempted to change the law again, still to no avail.

In 2005, the House passed another anti-flag burning bill. The issue still hasn't been resolved. Will we see another bill brought to the House in the future? According to the Moderate Voice,a political website, this new wave of political protest against flag burning is arising due to 9-1-1victims and the Iraq War. The issue of flag burning becomes bigger when the United States is in war.

Even Senator Hillary Clinton co-sponsored a bill in 1995 that would make it a crime to destroy a flag on federal property under the conditions that it would be used to intimidate anyone or burning someone else's flag.

Whether you oppose flag burning or not, you are protected to do so if you choose. It all comes down to a matter of belief. While Americans may argue over flag burning for centuries to come, as of 2006 citizens of the United States are still able to practice freedom of speech, regardless of opposing opinions.

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