Flag Burning! Bad!
December 2, 2016 (Fault Lines) — This week, President-elect Donald Trump reminded America that decriminalizing flag burning is a wrong we need to right. More specifically, Trump tweeted “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag, if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” Damn right with the exclamation point.
The flag is an important symbol of this country’s freedom. From the Revolutionary War through Iwo Jima through the current Global War on Terror, the flag has been seen everywhere Americans fight the forces of evil. And the removal of the American flag represents a loss of freedom, like when Saigon fell and the embassy was evacuated.
More than that, school kids pledge allegiance to it every morning. Without that pledge, they’re on a slippery slope into communism. We begin sporting events with a rousing song and a salute to the flag. Some enthusiastic flag-loving Americans even entertain other Americans while wearing the print of the Stars and Stripes. And politicians everywhere frame their faces with Old Glory. It’s a critical symbol.
Once the wall is built, these flag burning ne’er do wells can be ejected from the country and kept out with the rest of the riff-raff. A year in jail is sufficient too, so long as it isn’t that Martha Stewart federal country club where they do crafts and the Jets and Sharks are the only prison gangs. It needs to be like the tent city jail that America’s First Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, used to run, complete with pink jumpsuits. But one can imagine the loss of citizenship being imposed on repeat offenders.
In fact, there is a law on the books that would prevent most flag burning:
(a) (1) Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
(2) This subsection does not prohibit any conduct consisting of the disposal of a flag when it has become worn or soiled.
So, unless you are properly disposing of a flag, no flame should touch it!
You might ask yourself then, why is this law not enforced. It’s all due to the Nine Nazgul Justices of the Supreme Court. Hillary Clinton murder victim, Justice Scalia lamely said he doesn’t approve of it, but he’s not king and can’t do anything about it. Instead he blames the First Amendment.
The very same First Amendment that doesn’t fully protect any obscene act you’d like to stream, Justice Scalia says protects desecrating the U.S. flag. That’s difficult to comprehend. These nine unelected lawyers can make the Constitution say whatever they want it to say, including imprisoning an entire ethnic group based on national origin.
Nowhere is free speech defined by the text itself. Why not, then, afford the flag full protection? Congress criminalizes pretending to be a decorated veteran, and you cannot just go around killing Bald Eagles—the nation’s other major symbol. It’s inexcusable that the Court refuses to save the flag desecration statute the way it saved Obamacare.