I came across a very good weblog called Electrolite that contained a discussion about the new amendment to the constitution that will allow Congress to pass laws prohibiting desecration of the flag. The amendment does not define what a flag is or what is meant by desecration. Could the image of the flag printed on someone's boxer shorts be considered a flag? What a flag is is open ended in this amendment. As is the word desecration. Disrespectful treatment of the flag or desecrating the flag could mean almost anything. The amendment is a bad idea and it is poorly written. I am not in favor of the amendment. In my opinion the passage of the amendment gives politicians a chance to wrap themselves in the flag and do a little grandstanding for the folks back home. I pity the poor souls who honestly voted against it. My congressman, Jeff Flake (D-AZ) did. They will pay for their honesty.
The author of the weblog agreed with this article by Andrew Reding that thought that word desecrate was a used by the amendment's authors in religious sense and started making all kinds of, what I thought were silly, statements about the separation of church and state in order to take some cheap shots at Republicans. I posted a comment saying that I disagreed with Reding's analysis as logical and well written as it was. Rudeness is not permitted on this weblog evidently because my post was 'disemvoweled' - all the vowels were removed from it making it impossible to read. I was rude. I am used to posting things on rough and tumble discussion boards where the posters call each other names. In the process of explaining all this to me the boards moderator was rude to me. I didn't have the capabilities to disemvowel her.
There are lots of sources of information about this issue. Most of what I have found is against the amendment. The arguments usually are based on the conflict between flag desecration and free speech. Colin Powell's 1999 letter to Senator Leahy. Senator Hatch authored the amendment. Survey about flag desecration amendments (read the link within the link titled called continuum activity. It helpfully tells teachers how to brainwash their students using 'facts' while 'teaching' them about controversial issues.). Senator Levin's speech about the 2000 flag desecration amendment. Texas v Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), is an important Supreme Court decision concerning flag desecration and is the reason why the constitutional amendment is being pushed. Cartoons, all against the flag amendment, from 1995.Discuss The Flag Desecration Amendment to the Constitution
Picture: The floral flag at Lompoc, CA