Thursday, June 23, 2005

Land of the Free?

Last night I read the news of the House approving a constitutional amendment that would ban any desecration of the American flag. As we all know from Civics class, it has to approved by 2/3 of the Senate and 38 states in order to be officially adopted. This amendment comes up every few years and apparently never makes it past the Senate but some pundits say that this could be the time. I certainly hope not though.

For a few years now, I have been of the opinion that I can't think of any amendment to the constitution that would pass because of the amount of approval needed. And I don't think that this situation will be any different but it does beg the question of why so many people feel that banning flag burning is so important. To ban flag burning would be ironic to say the least. The flag is a symbol of freedom and to ban the burning of that symbol would be in stark contrast with the freedom that it is supposed to represent. I don't agree with the statement of flag burning and I personally think that it is a pretty cliched and boring way to protest the government but it does no harm to the freedom that we have and it really serves to show just how much freedom we have in this country.

People throw around the word censorship, inappropriately I think, but this would be a true form of the government sponsored control over a certain type of speech. I'm all for patriotism and for love of country, but a flag is a piece of cloth that is a symbol of freedom and not freedom itself. I don't particularly like to see a flag burned but I don't think that a constitutional amendment is the answer. To amend the constitution to prevent the practice goes against everything that the flag stands for.

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