Desecration Of The American Flag
Flag burning, or any other physical desecration of the American flag: no matter what side of the issue people fall upon, the very concept sparks strong emotions. On the one hand are those who regard burning the American flag as a form of blasphemy – a sin against “civil religion” in America tantamount a sin against an established church.
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That the flag is regarded as a mystical, almost religious symbol is made manifest by the use of the quasi-religious term of “desecration” in legislative attempts to protect the flag. You cannot realistically desecrate a purely secular and neutral object.
On the other hand are those who, although perhaps appalled by the burning of an American flag, nevertheless regard such acts as forms of expression and speech – thus, protected by the First Amendment. For this reason they seek to prevent legislative attempts to ban flag burning just they like might seek to prevent attempts to ban neo-nazis from marching or other personally distasteful things.
And while the debates swirl around issues of protecting
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