Once again the flag burning amendment is making the rounds. This time with the Democratic Presidential candidates weighing in. Here is what I wish I would hear someone say to this issue:
The American Flag is strong. It needs no protection. The American Flag is knit of principles and ideals, it is not a construct of cotton or nylon. It is a symbol of something special in this world, a symbol of a country built on political ideas: of liberty, equality, of the freedom to speak ones mind. Mere burning or tearing it cannot harm it.
I love this country, I love what it stands for. One of the things that it stands for is that people have the right to protest, to express their ideas, to criticize the government or the people. Every time someone burns the American Flag in this country they are trying to make as strong a statement as they can to show their disdain, their contempt for America. And every time they do so and no sanction comes down upon them, America stands tall, it remains true, and it shows that it is truly a place that believes in the principles that it espouses. It is a moment of pride. The American Flag can take their contempt and rise anew from it. Simply put, it is better than those that would show it their anger and hate.
You want to hurt the American flag, truly hurt it. You undermine the principles for which it stands. You curtail freedom of dissent to protect the symbol not the substance. One cannot hold an ideal and abandon when it hurts. Principles come with a cost.