Flag Desecration

Flag Desecration

What exactly does "desecration" mean? Is it just flag burning — or does it also include smearing the flag with dirt? How about dropping it on the ground? And why should law enforcement get to decide who to arrest for such desecration? Free expression and the right to dissent are among the core principles which the American flag represents. The First Amendment must be protected most when it comes to unpopular speech. Failure to do so fails the very notion of freedom of expression.

Our democracy is strong because we tolerate all peaceful forms of expression, no matter how uncomfortable they make us feel, or how much we disagree. If we take away the right to dissent - no matter how unpopular - what freedom will be sacrificed next?

Additional Resources

Burn the Flag or Burn the Constitution? (2011 blog): Sadly, Congress is once again considering an amendment to the U. S. Constitution banning desecration of the American flag and, in doing so, testing our political leaders' willingness to defend what is arguably one of America's most sacred principles — protecting political speech.

Flag Amendment Defeated, First Amendment Stands Unscathed (2003): On June 27, 2006, the Senate voted down the proposed Flag Desecration Amendment by the slimmest margin ever.  The vote was 66-34, just one vote short of the two-thirds needed to approve a constitutional amendment.

Reasons to Oppose the Flag Desecration Amendment (2004 resource): Talking Points on Opposing the Flag Desecration Amendment

Background on the Flag Desecration Amendment (2004 resource)

Fight for the Flag - Resources (2006 resource)

Most Popular

In Their Own Words: Compendium of Veterans' Quotes Against the Flag Desecration Amendment (2004 resource)

ACLU Says House Approval of Flag Desecration Amendment is Loss for Freedom, Urges Senate to Stand Ground and Reject Measure Once Again (2005 press release)

Veterans Group Opposes Flag Constitutional Amendment; Joins ACLU In Call To Reject Censorship in the Constitution (2004 press release)


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