The Pros And Cons Of Flag Burning

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Arriving at the Dallas City Hall in 1984, demonstrator Gregory Lee Johnson doused the American flag with kerosene and set it ablaze (Texas v. Johnson). All through history, protestors have participated in many different actions to get their point across. The question stands: Have protestors gone too far by burning the flag? The flag is a national symbol, but by burning the flag a person is not harming the country in any way: therefore flag burning should not be illegal. Flag burning has been used to portray a protestor’s strong, negative feelings towards the American government. In 1984, protestor Gregory Lee Johnson marched to the Dallas Texas Convention Center. He stood on the front steps; the American flag in one hand, and a bottle of kerosene in the other. Exasperated by President Reagan’s policy, Johnson ignited the flag. Convicted by the Texas court, Johnson was charged with the desecration of a venerated object. Johnson claimed that burning the …show more content…

Burning the flag could not harm a citizen in any way except incite anger. Burning the flag is a representation of a person’s feelings: therefore it is considered “symbolic speech.” In order to amend the Constitution how might Congress define their view of a flag? Since a flag is only a symbol; would that make it illegal to burn a drawing of the American flag? In the Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson, Justice Stevens argued that “the flag’s unique status as a symbol of national unity outweighed “symbolic speech” (United States Courts). If justices are using the flag as a national symbol to dissent against the majority, shouldn’t it be illegal to burn a map or drawing of America? A map or drawing of America is a direct representation of the country; yet there is no controversy over burning it. So why should burning the American flag cause such

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