The House has yet again approved an amendment to ban flagburning, so I figure it's time to yet again link to my criticism of the amendment. Here's an excerpt:
"Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States, and the flying of the Confederate flag."Click here to see the rest.
OK, so that's not exactly how the proposed flag protection amendment reads — I've added the Confederate flag phrase. But this little thought experiment helps show that the flag protection amendment is a bad idea.
After all, burning the U.S. flag and flying the Confederate flag are similar in many ways. Some people argue that flagburning shouldn't be protected by the First Amendment because it isn't "speech." Well, burning one flag and waving another are pretty similar on that score. I think both are traditional terms in our political language, and should be constitutionally protected; but if I'm wrong, then both should be unprotected. . . .
Thanks to reader Spencer Macdonald for the pointer.