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A country is not just a landmass or not just the amount of people that live on it or the amount of money they earn. A country is the pinnacle of governance in history of civilization. Only when the people are united can there be any government. Representing such a great union is the mighty flag. A symbol that has been chosen to represent an entire civilization, and the multiple generations of great people born in the nation. When you look at our nation’s flag what do you see? Do you see 13 stripes and 50 stars? Do you see a nation that has been over many trials and obstacles and is still unified? Or do you see war amongst us? Do you see hatred? The American Flag is the fabric of our nation; millions of Americans have fought for the flag, it is more than a symbol of hope to many groups and people respect the flag. So a question worth pondering: why would anyone even think it is justified to be allowed to burn our flag?
Let us think about this for a minute. We must do everything in our power to protect the American Flag, for the flag holds so much more meaning than you think. What does the American flag mean to some people? While out asking people their opinion I came across some very unique answers, one of those people is currently an active military officer. When I approached him and asked him on his opinion he was baffled that I even asked if it should be legal for Americans to burn their nation’s flag. “No American should be permitted to burn the flag. The United States Military along with myself, defend the country along with the flag every second of every day to ensure their safety.” (Goldberg) Now with this being said how would you feel if your hard, dedicated work went to waste because some Americans cannot appreciate all that our military does for us on a daily basis.Â With men and women who would sacrifice themselves for our nation’s flag why would any American try to deface it by burning it to ashes?
However, in the First Amendment we as Americans, have the right to speak our minds freely (Freedom of Speech). In the year 1989, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the defendant in Texas v. Johnson. Texas v. Johnson, was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag enforced in 48 of the 50 states. Gregory Johnson burned an American flag outside of the convention center. (Persily, Citrin, Egan 2008). Johnson burned the flag to protest the policies of President Ronald Reagan. He was arrested and charged with violating a Texas statute that prevented the desecration of a venerated object, including the American flag, if such action were likely to incite anger in others (Constable 2005). With this being said, they let Johnson go scotch free because the act itself is saved under the first amendment. How far is too far when it comes to freedom of speech? A question only each individual can answer. With men and women who would sacrifice themselves for our nation’s flag why would any American try to deface it by burning it to ashes?
What kind of meaning does the American Flag have on themselves anyway? We must protect the American Flag at all costs. In times of crisis, the raising of the Stars and Stripes symbolizes perseverance and enduring strength. When September 11, 2001 occurred what did we do? Most looked up asking for help while others looked at the American Flag. Whenever America had a rough time getting everyone united together, all they would have to do is look up to hose colors on America’s flag and know that everything will be okay in time.
Many Americans fight for our flag every day, they fight, defend and unfortunately some become fallen. However this was their choice; their choice as American citizens to defend and PROTECT the flag. While it is the fabric of our nation, it is so much more than that. It is a symbol of hope and tranquility. I believe that the flag should have its own protection against burning and disrespecting. It shows that the culprit behind doing the burnings and disrespect will get punished. The American Flag is the fabric of our nation; millions of Americans have fought for the flag, it is more than a symbol of hope to many groups and people respect the flag. The flag is there because we are a united nation, we may not be as great as what we once were however when most of your hope is gone (for example: after 9/11) many Americans united together if not all and we turned to that flag as a beacon of hope.
Constable, M. (2005). Just silences: The limits and possibilities of modern law. Retrieved November 13, 2016, from http://site.ebrary.com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/lib/GrandCanyon/detail.action?docID=10364781&p00=flag burning
Goldberg, Bataya. “Blog: People Who Burn the Flag.” American Thinker. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
Persily, N., Citrin, J., & Egan, P. J. (2008). Public opinion and constitutional controversy. Retrieved November 13, 2016, from http://site.ebrary.com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/lib/GrandCanyon/detail.action?docID=10215791&p00=flag burning
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