Make Flag Burning Great Again
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Politics

Make Flag Burning Great Again

Yet Another Annoying Hot Take On a Trump Tweet, Flag Burning

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Make Flag Burning Great Again
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what


President-Elect Donald Trump is very wrong here. From a constitutional perspective, a legal perspective and a common sense perspective. He may well be wrong from perspectives I've never heard of as well. I'll leave the legal and constitutional bit to Ken White over at Popehat. I'd also recommend Popehat to anybody interested in reading about the more ridiculous nuances of law, free speech and more.

The point therein is that burning the flag is a protected act of speech under the 1st Amendment, as it has been twice-upheld as protected speech under the 1st Amendment by the Supreme Court in two cases; United States v. Eichman and Texas v. Johnson.. (In case you need further persuasion, “If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag. But I am not king.” - Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice)

I think that about settles it. Though perhaps I misunderstand, and President-Elect Donald Trump would be happier if protesters burned one of those king-sized flags that fly above car dealerships. Bigly!

Oh, and it's worth noting that none other than twice-foiled presidential candidate Hillary Clinton co-sponsored legislation proposing jail time for protesters burning the flag.


I'd happily lend my pocket copy of the Constitution to either of them, but only one at a time.


What’s frustrating here is that our President-Elect (or his oft-foiled Democratic candidate) doesn’t respect, or likely even comprehend one of the core tenets of democracy.

This system, this idea, this American experiment only works if we as a people are willing to support even the most objectionable speech by those we disagree with. And that is a two-way street. It shouldn’t matter if the flag is American, Confederate, rainbow or foreign. They are all equally flammable, and subsequently equally protected speech in the eyes of the law.

Perhaps I am biased though; I must admit that my favorite part about flag burning is that it provides us with endless free entertainment.


Of course burning the flag is stupid; it's a poor source of heat and isn't really flammable enough to catch fire unaided by gasoline. Cooking over it would most likely render the food inedible at worst, and with a gross cloth-y flavor at best. Burning the flag is exactly, only and explicitly ever done to provoke discussion, and yes, often angry discussion. The entire point of the 1st Amendment is to protect speech, no matter how objectionable or stupid. Threatening to jail anyone for using their Constitutionally protected rights is ridiculous and laughable and should be treated as such.

Destroying your own property in an act of political or social defiance is absolutely, bar none, the most American thing one can do aside from going to war with Britain. If I wanted to paint a hypothetical painting of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan doing unspeakable things to each other and shoot it full of hypothetical holes from 300 yards as part of the celebration at a hypothetical friend’s same-sex wedding - that’s my right as an American, as protected by the First, Second, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, in that order. That's kind of the point of this place, this American experiment; that nothing is sacred, that no system of values shall be given legal precedence over another aside from those which are expressly codified in our Constitution and that subsequently the only way to change those values is to ratify an amendment to the Constitution.

If you'll excuse me, I need a beer. God Bless the USA. Now let's figure out what blatant act of corruption this tweet was intended to distract us from.

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