The American Flag And Its Growing Controversy

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The American Flag And Its Growing Controversy Essay, Research Paper The American Flag and its Growing Controversy Step 1: Details The American flag, to many, is the symbol of life and liberty. Freedom from oppression and the ability to run one’s own life with minimal government intervention is what our country fought for all those years ago. The day after the SpanishAmerican War was declared, schools mandated the worship of the flag (Kaminer). So, when the issue of burning our great flag arises, everyone should be against it, right? Well, not exactly. The first amendment of the Constitution states that American citizens have the right to express themselves through free speech. Essentially, burning the American flag is speech without dialogue. Therefore, according to the

Constitution, flag desecration is legal. However, flag protectionists are not going to give up that easy. The main controversy surrounding this issue is whether an amendment forbidding flag burning would infringe on our first amendment rights. In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that flag desecration was protected under our first amendment rights. In 1995, a constitutional amendment that would have given Congress the power to ban flag desecration was introduced to the Senate and the House of Representatives (Kaminer). The amendment passed through the House but failed in the Senate by a mere three votes. In February 1997, a similar amendment was again introduced to the Senate and the House Sell 2 Of Representatives (Kaminer). It also failed, but it does show the growing concern about

the issue of flag burning. Protectors of the flag argue that burning an American flag is like spitting in the face of America and its democracy. On the other hand, flag burners argue that under America’s democracy, they were given the right to express themselves freely. Obviously, this issue may never be settled with a positive outcome. Some arguments that flag burners have raised in their own defense include such things as having a flag bumper sticker on a car. They believe that if they cannot burn a flag because it is considered desecration, then an old, faded bumper sticker should be considered desecration as well (Apel). This brings up a valid point. Who decides where the line should be drawn between desecration and patriotism? Step 2: Obligations, Ideals, and Consequences

As this issue continues to be brought up in our government, the obligations for everyone involved will continue to rise. Congress has the most important obligation of all. They are not only obligated to resolve the issue, but they are also obligated to American citizens in a way that is supposed to be unbiased. On the other hand, citizens are also obligated to understand and respect the government’s decision. Not everyone is going to be happy no matter what decision is made, so we as a society are obligated to respect each other’s views and morals. Ideals play a very important role in the issue of flag desecration. Ideals serve as the basis for actions. Obviously, social responsibility is an ideal that needs to surface when an issue is dealing with the Constitution. If an

amendment is ever added to the Sell 3 Constitution making desecration of the flag illegal, the public has to be ready to deal with it, and follow it. Our government, however, needs to practice the ideal of fairness and integrity when such an issue is brought up. They need to listen to all sides and decide which course of action will contribute to the greater good of the country. After this issue is finally settled, it will be interesting to learn what consequences are adopted for flag burning (considering it becomes illegal). It will also be interesting to find out where the line would be drawn for flag desecration. Who knows? I might be arrested for wearing my flag swimming trunks to the beach. Again, our government has to be prepared to back up their decision, and that includes