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Should it be a crime to burn a flag?

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posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 12:15 PM

Police chiefs are urging the government to make flag-burning a new criminal offence, as part of a drive to crack down on Islamic extremists and others preaching violence and religious hate, the BBC has learned.

The proposals also include action to ban demonstrators from covering their faces to avoid police scrutiny, and tougher powers to arrest demonstrators seeking to inflame tensions.

They have been drawn up by Scotland Yard, and submitted to the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, by Britain's most senior muslim police chief, Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur.

He is responsible for public order in the capital as commander of central operations.

I'm sitting on the fence slightly with this one. In one respect, I don't feel that making this a crime will change anything. People burn flags for a reason and it's the reason people do it that needs to be considered. What kind of punishment would you get anyway? Jail time? Fine? Deportation? All three?

On the other hand, I believe that burning a county's flag in public is an incitement to violence and shows huge disrespect to a nation and it's history. If you are protesting against the government of a country, by burning the flag you are saying that you have a problem with the nation as a whole therefore angering people from that nation who are maybe against the said government. Also, burning anything in the street is dangerous and should be frowned upon one way or another.

As for the part aboout covering your face while on a demonstration, what if it's cold out and you have a scarf wrapped around your nose and mouth, (as I've often done going to work). Can I expect a police van pull up beside me and ask me if I'm on my way to a demonstration?

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posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 01:30 PM
No, I disagree with the proposal of making the burning of the flag a crime. Covering one's face shouldn't be a crime either.

The flag issue is a matter of freedom of expresion, which should not be eroded.

However, I do think that the police should have much more leeway and less criticism when observing these crowds. Inciteful statements or actions which cause riots should be penalized. I think the police should be there with full camera gear for the gathering of evidence if a court case results.

People should be able to gather and express their views, within reason, i.e., screaming "Fire" in a crowded theater. But they should also realize that they can and will be observed.

posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 05:02 PM
No. Unless some unfortunate soul happens to be wrapped in it when it's burned, or someone does it with the intention of catching a house or building on fire. Otherwise, it is freedom of expression. It might also be freedom of expression when some patriot comes along and punches the flagburner, but hey. That crosses the line. A line worth crossing though sometimes- for some.

posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 11:13 PM
I hate it when Americans desecrate our flag. I don't really care what foreigners do to it. It's a symbol and as Americans we should respect the ideals it stands for, but we should also be able to distinguish the difference between a foreigner desecrating the flag and, say, bombing the Pentagon.

I was comfortable with local jurisdictions having laws against flag desecration, but the Supreme Court has ruled that such actions are protected by the First Amendment.

I am against a Constitutional amendment because the Constitution should be for enumerating principles, not for micromanaging behavior.

I would say that regardless of whether or not it is illegal to desecrate a flag, it is just plain wrong for American citizens to do so and the social consequences for doing so should be significant.

posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 05:27 AM
? Grady ?
But...the only way to properly dispose of a flag is to burn it.
So, its ok to burn it if you are disposing of it, BUT it you are trying to make a political statement its NOT ok?
Besides, and lets be honest here, America has been sold out.
Find an American flag that wasnt made by communist labor in China.

posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 11:35 AM
That does seem a bit contradictory, but burning a flag in a respectful ceremony is a far cry from trampling it and burning it in the street.

Besides, burning the flag really isn't a requirement for disposing of a flag.

posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 11:48 AM
Interesting that the only comments on this thread are from Yanks, no UK peeps have said a word. maybe no-one cares?

I mean, the only people we EVER see burning flags are Muslim protesters. I cannot recall a demo in recent memory where English protestors burnt a flag (I may be wrong on this, mind you, someone feel free to correct me if so)

Personally, I don't give a hoot. I don't burn flags anyway. If I felt stong enough about something, I would protest, but I would not cover my face or burn a flag.

It seems to me, that these proposed powers are aimed at one group in particular and we all know who they are... don't we kiddies? The ones who chant "Death to UK" in Londons streets, cover their faces and demand Sharia law. Those "people".

Go for it, I say. Ban it. No one but those silly bugger Fundamentalists do it anyway. It's a public nuisance, dangerous, disrespectful and not in the spirit of peaceful protest. It can also incite racial hatred, either against the country whose flag your burning or against the the flag burners by right-wing groups.

posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 12:26 PM
No. No more than it should be a crime to burn the trash or a book or a pile of brush. The same laws should apply.

A flag is a symbol of a country, it's not the country.

And you can't legislate feelings (like respect). Making it illegal to burn a flag "because it's disrespectful" doesn't change the feeling of the one who would burn it in the first place. He would still FEEL the disrespect. Making it illegal for him to show disrespect does not eliminate that disrespect.

posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 12:39 PM
I agree with you BH, a flag is just a symbol of a country, nothing more. I personally don't care if they burn our flag. Sure, i like britain, but thats mainly the physical beauty more than the government.

Basically I don't mind if someone burns a GB flag, so long as if no one gets hurt doing it.

posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 11:36 PM
Actually, the proper way to dispose of a worn out flag is to burn it. This is also done by the United States military if they need to replace flags that are worn out. Why would they want to outlaw something that actually serves a purpose for the military?

posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 11:50 PM
Should it be illegal to burn the flag?

No, no it should'nt, I agree with the supreme court that it is free-
dom of expression, and therefore never should be disallowed,
simply because it erodes even more of our freedom.

A flag is simply a piece of colorful designed cloth meant to be an
identifier for a group/government/society., it's not meant to be
anything other than that.

When it comes down to it, we (society in general) need to stop
arguing on whethere burning the flag is illegal, and look at what
has happened to the principles that it's argued that the flag stands
for, those being Freedom, Democracy and Justice.

posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 11:57 PM
Yes it should be a crime to burn your nations flag.

But it should be in with the context of which it was done, if you have an old tattered flag laying around your house and throw it the fire obviously this isnt a crime.

If your standing in a protest chanting death to America, then this should be a crime and be dealt with to the fullest extent of the Law

Actions speak louder than words.

posted on Nov, 1 2006 @ 07:43 AM

Originally posted by NumberCruncher
Yes it should be a crime to burn your nations flag.

So according to you we should make it a crime huh?
Even though the only way to dispose of a flag is to burn it, it should be a crime?
From Gradys link above
"The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning"
Perhaps you should live in a communist country where they pass law after law restricting the rights of individuals so that there is no 'free speech' and nobody dares make a 'political statement'.
I think China would be a good place where you can find other that think like you,
because evidently you dont understand the ideals behind America.
We used to call it the 'land of the free', where any person is free to do anything as long as it doesnt harm anyone else.
So how is buring a flag hurting you?
How is burning a flag hurting anyone?
There is a certain poster on here that uses a certain avatar that is very
disgraceful to the flag. Should he be arrested? Perhaps he should be waterboarded to see what he is planning? Or is it ok to use the flag as a poncho, a nightie, a blanket or whatever else you choose, as long as you dont burn it?
You cant legislate morallity, or respect, and your liberty quashing belief that criminalization is the key directly contradicts the very principles that the United States of America were founded on.
You are engaged in double think.
Fear not though, if you want you can educate yourself as to the contradictions in your head and learn to overcome the mental manipulation that you have been subjected to.

posted on Nov, 1 2006 @ 07:47 AM
Bravo you obviously read the First line of my post then hit the "go balistic Button".

Go on, be normal, read the rest of my reply, then "go ballistic", better still just edit your post then ill respond to it.

posted on Nov, 1 2006 @ 08:02 AM
oh I read your post. Context means everything to you.
Its all in what the flag burner was THINKING when the flag was burned, according to you.

I pointed out that it is a victimless crime. What say you to that?

Are you proposing that flag-burners are thought criminals?
I pointed out that communist countries have laws like the ones you are proposing.
What say you to that?
I pointed out that YOU have the right to do anything you want, as long as it doesnt hurt anyone else. What say you to that?
Do you believe in the ideals of America, or is the flag the most important thing?
You see, it IS just a piece of cloth, and if you think it should be illegal to burn a piece of cloth, punishable by jail or worse, then what you are doing is putting the value of a piece of cloth above the value of a human being.

Again I ask, who is the victim when a flag is burned?

posted on Nov, 2 2006 @ 08:38 AM
So I take your silence to mean that you understand now that the very priniciples embodied in the flag make it acceptable to burn it for a political statement?

I knew you could wrap your head around that double-think!

Just once though I would like to see somebody say 'You know what, I never really thought about it like that, I see what you are saying and you are right!"

Because after all....I AM right. Atleast about this.

I believe all victimless crimes should be abolished, but thats another thread.

posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 07:36 PM
Are KKK organizations banned? If not, why the hell are we even talking about this?

I don't like the KKK and I don't like flag-burning for the purpose of showing hatred, but I'm not about to put these thought crimes into the law books, much less the Constitution.

What have we come to if we're even entertaining this question?

Ever since hate-crimes have been established, more and more people think it's alright to create more thought-crimes!

As much as I love Europe and its secularism, their muzzles hurt like hell. Their understanding of the concept "free expression" is completely askew.

I want a secularized America without the muzzles, please. Thanks.

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