Commentary – Flag Protesting in the Most Grotesque Way

The American flag is a symbol of freedom and many men and women have fought to defend it. People in other countries that are hostile to America in the past and today have videos of setting a DIY American flag on fire, but they were met with our military. Today after a hard election and many people left in shock, our flag has been burned by our own citizens who are mad at our government and say burning the flag is a protest.

While our American Constitution’s First Amendment is freedom of press, speech, religion, petition and peaceful assembly, the protesting that has happened now and in the past has not been very peaceful on both sides. The flag  was not involved in all of the protests neither was it  always burnt. The times the flag was involved, however,  it was most of the time stomped on, ripped up, burnt and recently was used as a mat for someone’s feces.

According to Fox news and CNN President elect Donald J. Trump has posted on twitter “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016

Trump has talked about pushing to make  burning the flag an illegal practice that can result in serous consequences. This talk actually has people who agree on  baking  the practice of  flag burning during protest. Even students at SHS agree.

Montana Anderson (11) said, “I’m for because the flag stands for people who died for our country.”

Grace Murphy (10) said, “ I’m for it because it’s disrespectful and rude.”

Trump’s suggestion, however, is not likely according to the Supreme Court who can interpret what the amendments mean. The Supreme Court has also decided a case involving a man by the name of Gregory Lee Johnson who said that his right to protest was violated when he tried to burn the flag. This case was ruled in his favor 5-4 meaning he had  the right to burn the flag.

The people of the government, even  the president, also can’t  make a law banning the protest. According to  “ “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Therefore President-elect Donald J. Trump cannot enforce a law to ban the burning of the flag.  There are also people who don’t want this to become a law.

Nick Bartoch (10) said,  “I’m against it because America has the right to disrespect the flag.”

Allí Hall (9) said, “I’m against, not because I think it’s not disrespectful, but it’s a right.”

This, however, doesn’t mean that Trump can’t push for an amendment that will prohibit the use of burning the flag during protests, which would keep our flag from being disrespected by angry protesters not getting their way. The First Amendment does say that our government shall not make a law taking away any freedoms that include speech, press, religion, petition and peaceful assembly. That doesn’t mean the people can be violent in the protesting which includes burning the flag. Today the word peaceful has been ignored in that amendment which causes protests that disrespect our flag and harm our people who put their lives at risk for us. Thankfully, the law enforcement helps with punishing the criminals for the violence, but  only for the violence the protesters cause and not for their disrespect of the flag. This year, however, the protesting may be cleaner than it was in the past because of our flag being protected by a amendment or the flag will continued to be abused in the protesting of angry people.  

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