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An Argument Against Burning The American Flag Essay, Research Paper

Having been called a bleeding heart leberal several times in my life, this is one issure that you could not accuse me of being wishy-washy about. The needs to be a constitutional amendment outlawing he burning of the Flag of the United States of America. In my mind, this is no debating this issue.

Recently, once again, Congress has voted down a constitional amendment that would have favored fedeal criminal penalties for the descreation of the American Flag. There is a feeble arguemnt that making it illegal to burn our flag would be setting a dangerous precedent with regards to placing unacceptable limits on free speech. This would not be possible if you defined this law quite specifically, for example, the act of desecrating or the setting of the American Flag on fire is against the law…….period. It would prove to be difficult and complicated to umbrella other issues under this.

From a formalist perspective, using Kants’ Notion of the Categorical Imperative which is based on the premise of “all or none”, we must consider if we, as a society, should look the other way or condone flag burning. I feel that a definite limit must be place on this issue. Flag buring is the epitome of the unpatriotic act. It has nothing to do with “an assault on freedom of expression.” The act is an insult for all those who love this country, who have fought for it, and given their lives in some cases. America has her faults and downfalls, but she deserves our respect. If we don’t feel respect for this nation, fine. Just don’t burn the flag. If in fact you feel that strongly against our nation, I would invite you to find a better country to live in. Now there’s an idea. For all the freaks that think it okay to burn our national symbol, Congress could pass a law giving them 24 hours to leave this country that they think so poorly of. It makes on stop and think, doesn’t it?

An Ethical Perspective on American Issues. R.J. Bruins, 1998 McGraw Hill


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