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Flag Burning

 
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Flag Burning
 PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:25 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Recently Donald Trump tweeted the following:

"Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"

Thoughts? I stand by freedom of speech and expression and, even if flag-burning is a rather crude method of criticizing the government, it still is a form of expression and should be protected by law in my opinion. However, I would be curious to hear someone's reasons for wanting to criminalize burning a flag.

I mean, heck, in my opinion the Lord's name is sacred, but a flag isn't. If blasphemy is protected by law - as I believe it should be in a secular democracy - than so should flag burning.
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:26 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Does anyone really care? I just think it's so funny how people get mad at the most harmless things.

Suppose that we are vehemently against flag burning, OK. So how many people are there really burning flags that it is a crime that is worth passing legislation on, enforcing and carrying out sentencing?

And then there are the specifics. He said that you can't burn the American flag. Is that any variation of the flag or just the current one? Could I burn a flag with 48 states on it? Could I burn a flag that had 50 stars and 13 stripes, but the stripes were blue and yellow and the stars were red on a white field? Can I burn the state flag? Can I burn a picture of the American flag?

If I can't burn the flag, can I melt it under a temperature that doesn't cause combustion? Can I rub it together until it catches fire from friction? What if I freeze the flag and then smash it into a million pieces, that has to be legal right? That's like the opposite of burning it.

What if I own a factory that makes American flags and it burns down by accident? What if I burnt it down on purpose? Would I go to prison for a million years for burning a million flags?
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:54 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Laughing Well said.
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 PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:55 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Here's an interesting article about Constitutional law in regards to this issue:

https://popehat.com/2016/11/29/lawsplainer-why-flag-burning-matters-and-how-it-relates-to-crush-videos/

TL;DR: Flag burning isn't legal because it is Protected Free Speech, it's legal because making it illegal violates procedure for establishing what is and isn't applicable to Free Speech.

Congress can't just make a list of things that are not allowed under Free Speech. Basically they are never going to make any new categories for what isn't free speech, and anything that is restricted is going to be made so on the basis that it already violates existing laws.
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:28 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Sounds like a dumb idea. I mean even if you passed such a law, how would you define what an American flag is? Would burning a toy flag be illegal? What about a picture of a flag in a book? Would it be illegal to throw away an image of a flag? What if you simple painted the flag black or tarred and feathered it?

While there is some merit behind the idea, the more you think about it, the less merit the idea has. It would be a mess to try and define the law in such a way that it would cover the very thing you're trying to protect and would most likely end up being misused in all kinds of dumb cases. Best to just leave it alone.
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