Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Trump Suggests Revocation of Citizenship, Jail Time for Flag Burners

Calling flag burning "speech" is ridiculous.  It's just another Leftist distortion of the plain meaning of words.  With Trump's new appointments to SCOTUS some sanity may return

Trump spokesman Jason Miller told CNN this morning that flag-burning is not constitutionally protected speech. "Flag burning should be illegal," Miller said. "The president-elect is a very strong supporter of the First Amendment, but there's a big difference between that and burning the American flag."

The Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. Johnson (1989) and United States v. Eichman (1990) that flag-burning was free speech protected by the First Amendment. The latter case ruled that a congressional bill to ban torching the Stars and Stripes was unconstitutional.

Late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who referred to himself as an "originalist," defended the right to burn the American flag.

"If I were king, I would not allow people to go around burning the American flag -- however, we have a First Amendment which says that the right of free speech shall not be abridged -- and it is addressed in particular to speech critical of the government," Scalia told CNN in 2012.

"I mean, that was the main kind of speech that tyrants would seek to suppress," he added. "Burning the flag is a form of expression -- speech doesn't just mean written words or oral words -- burning a flag is a symbol that expresses an idea. 'I hate the government, the government is unjust,' or whatever."



Bird of Paradise said...

Start with that Gregory Johnson reptile ten to the OWS reptiles and on to collage idiots

ScienceABC123 said...

Those who burn the US flag do so as a symbolic display to show that they hate the US. My response is if they hate it so much, move to another country. No one is forcing you to stay here.

Anonymous said...

Trump is fucking the 1st Amendment in the ass.

Anonymous said...

Calling flag burning "speech" is ridiculous. It's just another Leftist distortion of the plain meaning of words.

It is interesting that Mr.. Ray's stance on this is contrary to the Texas v. Johnson (1989) case cited in the article, a portion of which he himself quotes on the sidebar:

"HATE SPEECH" is free speech: The U.S. Supreme Court stated the general rule regarding protected speech in Texas v. Johnson (109 S.Ct. at 2544), when it held: "The government may not prohibit the verbal or nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable."

Additionally, the men who wrote he Bill of Rights were well aware of the meaning of "speech" and associated actions to convey messages. After all, burning the King or local governors was against many colonial laws yet that is what happened to convey an idea.

There are many Americans who believe that the flag should be protected and certainly they have the right to believe and argue that point. However, the Constitution protects others from their beliefs becoming actions against protected speech.

Thank goodness for that.

Anonymous said...

Scalia was right, while abhorrent to most Americans flag burning is an expression of free speech. Trumps is also right, he and most Americans want it criminalized. The needed detail is that you have a right to burn your personally owned American flag but law enforcement can then check to make sure that you are in compliance with all the often conflicting laws in the United States and enforce those you are not in compliance with.


Spurwing Plover the Fighting Shorebird said...

I wonder how those miserable little maggots would respond if you burned a United Nations flag in font of them?

Dman said...

I'm a patriotic American and veteran. I hate the idea of people living in the U.S. desecrating the U.S. Flag.

But I hate it mostly not just because it's a symbol of my country (haters gonna hate), but because it's one of the most in-your-face forms of hypocrisy. People who burn the flag are burning the symbol of the very thing that allows them to burn the flag! It's basically stating that you hate the country that's given you the freedoms that you're currently abusing.

That said, I don't think flag burning should be banned. That's what dictators do. Where does it stop? Should we make illegal to burn the constitution? After all... it, too, is a symbol of our country. Should we make it illegal to burn a photo of our dear leader, POTUS, who (like him or not) is the head of our Executive Branch? How about speaking out against the government? Can we ban that, too?

That said, I also believe that those who burn the flag are fair game to non-governmental retribution. If I'm your employer and I catch you burning the flag, you won't be my employee much longer. If identify you working in a business you won't see my business any more. You want to sit down during the National Anthem... guess which team just got boycotted?

But to any would-be flag-burner I say: The nice thing about America is the door is always open. The exit door...

ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N said...

With you there Dman.

Burning the flag is a physical act - an "expression" - not "speech". Many countries have a right to free expression and speech, until it becomes particularly noxious.

Although they may have that right, they don't know what they themselves are promoting while doing it. "People who burn the flag are burning the symbol of the very thing that allows them to burn the flag!". Pure hypocrisy by flag burners.

Doing so should be a promise to leave the country ASAP.

Anonymous said...


By your reasoning, publishing a newspaper is not speech, it is an expression. Wearing a t-shirt with an image on it is not speech, it is an expression. By your reasoning the government could shut down a protest because it is an expression and not speech. An artist could be told to stop or arrested for painting a picture critical of the government because that is not speech, but expression.

The list goes on and on.

As to "pure hypocrisy by the flag burners," the same point could be made against those who seek to criminalize the burning of the flag. If the flag stands for freedom, why oppress the act? To me that seems hypocritical as well.

The first amendment is not there to protect popular speech, but speech that is unpopular. If we allow mob rule to determining what is acceptable speech and actions (assuming they do not harm anyone) we have abandoned the principles of America.

I understand the opposition to the burning of the flag. (And I am against it's burning, but know it to be protected speech.)

To people in the military, it is a symbol. When stationed in foreign lands, it is a symbol of home. When a sailor sees the flag flying from the mast, he sees the freedom in which we believe. Color guards and standard bearers in the military are the best people in the outfit. There is a pride in being chosen for that job. At the same time, there was a time when "rally 'round the flag boys" truly meant something.

But in the end, the flag is a piece of cloth, just as my Bible is a bunch of printed words on wood pulp. The veneration of the flag comes from within - not from without.

It is what the flag stands for that is important. The ideals of freedom - including the right to express unpopular ideas - lives not in that cloth, but in my heart. People could burn every flag in the country and I would still stand for and hold dear the United States and the ideals upon which it was founded.

We can't say "we believe in freedom" and then say "we want to oppress people that exercise freedom."

Anonymous said...

Reading most of the comments above has reinforced my view of this website.
Most people here actually believe in an support the First Amendment - even when JJR the site administrator does not.
Of course flag burning is protected speech. There is no act more obviously an expression of political communication, no act more likely to offend, and hence no act more deserving of protection under the First.
Bravo to all those who stand in its support.

Anonymous said...

It might be difficult to define what is the flag being burned, as the slightest variation made to it by the flag-burner, could be used to claim it was not actually the official US flag, and therefore no offence had been committed. Then it would be the difficulty of legally defining how much variation and in what way before the flag in question can still be regarded as the US flag and that an offence had been committed. Just saying, well it looked like the US flag could be challenged in court, and it is the flag-burning that is the issue and not the flag-burner's other behavior and statements.

Stymphalian Bird the man eating bird witha brass beak and shoots his feathers said...

Burn a efegee of Bill Ayers that dirty no good weather underground bottom dwelling muck sucker and a efegee of Gregory Johnson as well

ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N said...

Anon 4:51: "If the flag stands for freedom, why oppress the act? To me that seems hypocritical as well."

If the flag stands for freedom of expression, why burn the flag? There's the hypocrisy. I never said I'd want to oppress the act, but those engaging in it should see how college-student stupid they look. It's like crapping their own bed because they can, which they should IMO.