Back on June 20th, I explained why a proposed amendment to ban flag burning was a bad idea. Two days the later, the House passed that amendment and I wrote a post entitled House Votes To Restrict Liberty. Surprisingly though, in spite of a Supreme Court decision stating that flag burning was free speech, Tennessee apparently still has a law against flag desecration and a Tennessee teenager was recently arrested for violating that statute. Like I have said before, I don't like the idea of someone burning a flag. In fact, the thought of someone doing that makes me downright angry. But the first amendment protects that kind of behavior and any restriction on flag burning or any other form of protest is, in my view, a restriction on liberty. By arresting this kid for flag desecration, the state of Tennessee has urinated on the most fundamental right that this nation was built on.
S-town Mike put it best, when he commented,
"It is only small people who are threatened by burning cloth. That which the American flag symbolizes is indelibly stamped already in the American heart and cannot be burned away by those who hate the symbol. And it is precisely the largeness of the American heart that accommodates dissent even if that dissent destroys cherished symbols to make its statement. Paradoxically, the freedom that makes flag-burning possible is what makes this country great. The Flag Burning Amendment only narrows the distance between us and the countries who squash dissent."
S-town Mike and I have disagreed on many things in the past and some of our exchanges have even turned a little nasty, but every time I read the above comments, I get chills.
Hat tip: Sharon Cobb.