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Saturday, February 11, 2006 

A Warning to Flag Burners

Flag burning may be a risky act.
"We have experienced a rise in orders for the Danish colours," owner Robin Ashburner confirmed.

But he warned, "It has to be pointed out though that a number of modern flags are now made largely of polyester and when they burn they melt. That means if they are whirled around by a protester, his or her fellow protesters could be splashed by flying pieces of burning material. If it got into the eye it could do serious damage so we are about to issue a warning to this effect on our website."
The Denmark flag fights back! It's funny that they're going to put a warning on their website. But considering what a litigious world we have, I can easily see a blinded protester suing the flag maker.

Directing my gaze closer to home, the issue of the Flag Desecration Amendment seems to be one that won't go away anytime soon. Personally, I think that burning the American flag is an abhorrent, disgusting act usually done by attention whores who are willing to do anything to get a TV camera focused on themselves. Even so, I think that the amendment is a bad idea.

One problem is enforcement. What exactly qualifies as "an American flag"? Is it just the standard size flag or all sizes? Does it have to be flag-like in appearance or can it be in some other form, like a picture of the flag on a poster or an image of the flag on a shirt? What if a similar flag that looks almost exactly like the American flag is burned? Does that count too? These are court battles waiting to happen, and will probably end up with a more scatter brained set of rulings than our Free Exercise and Establishment Clause jurisprudence.

Another problem is the free speech issue. I think that free speech and expression are important parts of the foundation of this country. As I have said, I think flag burning is disgusting. That's also why I like the fact that it's legal. If you burn the American flag, you are sending a clear message to me about yourself. I will make my personal judgment about you accordingly. I would rather have that information (knowing who the flag burning types are) than not know. I believe that you have the freedom to burn the flag, and I also have the freedom to think that you are a scumbag for doing it.

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About me

  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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