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Author Topic: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning  (Read 4337 times)

danhynes

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New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« on: June 23, 2005, 01:45 AM NHFT »

I am wondering how a protest of burning a flag would be recieved by members of this group. I was originally going to try to do something like this when Bush gets his patriot act permanently passed but as the vote to make a constitutional amendment to prohibit the flag from being burned is about to go up the time now seems relevant. There are a couple things for me to consider. One is that NH already has a law against flag burning, but the Supreme Court has held that flag burning is a free speech issue. Therefore the law on the books in NH is illegal and invalid. I would like to associate the flag burning with a freedom of speech debate so it could be well recieved. If there is support for this I would like to do a non-violent protest like the manicure and russells TSA thing to show a law is wrong and should not or can not be enforced. I would try to go about being arrested for burning the flag, however I would plead not guilty. I will be going away to europe for law classes, one being taught by justice Kennedy, for the month of july so I would not be able to do this until early august. But this is enough time to send out letters to people to try and gain support. I would like to know if people believe this to be a positive thing or a negative thing for nhfree.com I would waive a NH flag while burning the american one and take peoples other ideas into consideration. Please leave feedback so I can make an informed decision as to whether this would help or hurt our cause. I believe the publicity would be high, and free speech is a good cause, but I also see how people would see it as wrong. Any feedback recommended. Thank You, Dan Hynes
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KBCraig

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2005, 04:03 AM NHFT »

I am wondering how a protest of burning a flag would be recieved by members of this group.

First, I thank you for your concern about how such an event would be perceived, and how it would be received. I have great reverence for the flag, because of what it represents.

I believe flags are pieces of cloth, but "The Flag" is an ideal. It stands for what American should be, not necessarily what it has become.

I believe that burning a flag is a constitutional right. I also believe that I'd probably punch square in the nose anyone I saw burning an American flag for political purposes. Feel free to cite me for a failing of objective rationality; I plead guilty.

My feelings are that: "feelings". I admit that I'm swayed by the intent of the flag-burner. I'd be first to flick my Bic to protest being told I couldn't burn a piece of cloth that I owned. But when I see flags being burned out of intentional disrespect, when that flag represents the ideals that allow political protest, especially when the "protest" is against anything American, then my blood does begin to boil.

NB: UN flags are fair game. ;-)

Kevin
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ravelkinbow

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2005, 08:22 AM NHFT »

I respect your right to do as you please however I disagree with burning the US flag.? It is a symbol of freedom and not the current government.? I would support the burning of a UN flag.

In regards to the Confederate Flag, I have to disagree with you in that it is not a symbol of slavery as the public school history books would have you believe.? Here are some facts to back up my statement.

The people who followed this flag never wanted to overthrow the American government. They wanted to establish their own government, as their fathers had done in the first revolution.

Those knowledgeable of the reasons for secession and the ensuing War Between the States realize that the slavery was not the consideration, but because of unfair tariffs levied against southern businesses by the northern-sympathetic congress. The battle flag became the symbol and rallying point of the southern forces when the north invaded to force us back into the union.

Gov. Zell Miller of Georgia says the current flag "exhibits pride in slavery." As a professor of history, he should know that 90% of the soldiers in the Confederate Army didn't own any slaves and that Lincoln, between 1861 and 1862, didn't free any slaves in Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, or Washington D.C.; places where he had the power to do so.

Both Blacks and Whites served under the banner which some would now banish.

3,000 armed Blacks were with Stonewall Jackson in Frederick, Maryland, in September 1862. They served in an integrated southern army struggling for an independent nation.
To the estimated 93,000 blacks who served the Southern cause during the war, the battle flag represented their hope for freedom in a free and independent nation.

The truth is that Black Yankee regiments were segregated units and generally ostracized by the regular and volunteer forces. However, Blacks in the Confederate Army were integrated in existing regiments, treated with dignity and respect, served along side and received the same accommodations as their white counterparts.


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Lloyd Danforth

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2005, 08:41 AM NHFT »

I believe that if I own a flag of any kind, it is mine to do with as I please, including burning it. ?
I also understand that the flag is an histerical symbol to most of the population and, believe, burning them would get us lots of negative attention.
If I were going to consider doing it, I would have a bunch of pre-1860 flags on hand, and burn only post 1860 flags and/or representations of them, leaving the pre-1860 flags pristeen, to use as an object lesson about how the United States that most people think they live in, began dissolving around that time.
Even this is too deep for most to understand. I don't think burning US flags is a good idea.
We can burn oversizerepresentations of the patriot act, national id cards, tax forms and, perhaps an effigy of George Bush, dressed as George III, and get plenty of attention without alienating ourselves, from any, but, the most sensitive.

And, of course, we can double up on burning U.N. flags ;D
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foreverfree

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2005, 08:48 AM NHFT »

I am wondering how a protest of burning a flag would be recieved by members of this group.

First, I thank you for your concern about how such an event would be perceived, and how it would be received. I have great reverence for the flag, because of what it represents.

I believe flags are pieces of cloth, but "The Flag" is an ideal. It stands for what American should be, not necessarily what it has become.

I believe that burning a flag is a constitutional right. I also believe that I'd probably punch square in the nose anyone I saw burning an American flag for political purposes. Feel free to cite me for a failing of objective rationality; I plead guilty.

My feelings are that: "feelings". I admit that I'm swayed by the intent of the flag-burner. I'd be first to flick my Bic to protest being told I couldn't burn a piece of cloth that I owned. But when I see flags being burned out of intentional disrespect, when that flag represents the ideals that allow political protest, especially when the "protest" is against anything American, then my blood does begin to boil.

NB: UN flags are fair game. ;-)

Kevin

Finally!  We see eye to eye on something!  ;D
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Kat Kanning

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2005, 08:52 AM NHFT »

 The Government Wants You To Desecrate the Flag

by James Leroy Wilson
http://www.lewrockwell.com/wilson-jl/wilson-james27.html

Unbelievable. Of course, when I say "unbelievable" that should not be taken literally. Anything politicians do and say is believable. Their willful ignorance and pettiness know no bounds. But still.

According to USA Today last week:

    Scenes of foreigners burning American flags may be common on TV, but such desecration is rare in this country. The Citizens Flag Alliance, an advocacy group that supports a constitutional amendment, reports a decline in flag desecration incidents, with only one this year.

You wouldn?t know that by Congress. On Wednesday, the House passed a constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration. USA Today's report says the Senate is within one or two votes. If it passes the Senate, it will require ratification of three-quarters of the states to become part of the Constitution. Presumably a cinch, because "[e]very state legislature has passed resolutions urging Congress to send them a constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration."

All this for declining incidents ? for just one incident this year?

I confess, however, that in one sense I am kind of sympathetic. The cause of the controversy, 1989?s Texas v. Johnson Supreme Court decision that struck down a Texas law against flag desecration, was wrongly decided. This is true regardless of whether flag desecration constitutes "speech" or not. It is also true even though the law, creating a "crime" where there is no force or fraud, is wrong on moral grounds.

The reason Texas v. Johnson is wrong is that the Supreme Court?s position that the 14th Amendment applies First Amendment guarantees against the states is fallacious. First, the 14th Amendment doesn?t say such a thing. Second, police powers to "keep order" are necessarily local powers. A word or action that might instigate a riot in one part of the country, may not have any effect in another. As a libertarian, I believe in the right to "desecrate" the American flag. But federalism and decentralization is a necessary libertarian tenet: what the Sovereign giveth, the Sovereign taketh away. To protect the individual, then, sovereignty must be as small and close to the people as possible. Broad Supreme Court rulings proclaiming non-existent "rights" violate that tenet. A flag desecration law in Texas, where I don?t live, shouldn?t be any more my business or problem than a similar law in Nova Scotia, Nigeria or Mars.

And the record indicates that Supreme Court decisions such as Johnson are not really about expanding individual liberty, but rather about eviscerating states? rights and local government. Gonzales v. Raich, the recent decision to overrule state laws permitting medical use of marijuana, is an example of the Supreme Court attacking state?s rights even when the state attempts to defend individual liberty from the federal government. The Court strikes down state flag desecration laws, while it upholds in McConnell v. the FEC the power of Congress to prohibit "issue advocacy" ads within 60 days of an election ? precisely the kind of power the First Amendment was written to prevent.

And the Supreme Court?s assault on federalism has provoked heated and endless backlash. Instead of removing controversial issues from the political process, they have been politicized all the more. That?s why, after all these years, we are still bickering over abortion and public prayers.

So I am sympathetic to the Amendment in the sense that I loathe the Supreme Court. Once we have one amendment overturning a Court decision, momentum could build for further reform. Perhaps Congress will propose more blanket amendments better safeguarding the right of states to make their own laws. Perhaps it will begin to exercise its authority in Article 3 section 2 of the Constitution and protect state laws from federal interference.

That said, this is unbelievable. I would have no problem at all with an amendment that restores federalism, or an amendment that imposes more limits on the federal government and protects individual liberty. But this Amendment does none of that. The proposed Amendment states:

    "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.''

This doesn?t even overturn Johnson. Rather, it overturns United States v. Eichman, a correctly decided 1990 Supreme Court decision. After Johnson, Congressional nincompoops thought that they could resolve the controversy by imposing a national law against flag desecration. Now this really did violate the intention of the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court predictably thought so. In any case, the law violated the Ninth and Tenth Amendment because Congress assumed a power not given it in the Constitution.

The Amendment gives us the worst of all worlds: it fails to protect state sovereignty, it diminishes individual liberty, and it grants more power to the federal government. All to "solve" a non-problem.

In an age of imperial war, police-state crackdowns, imported and illegal labor, exported jobs, and universities controlled by far-left radicals, you would think that anti-government demonstrations and acts of flag desecration would be on the rise. But no. Flag desecration is legal and tolerated, yet we almost never see it.

Which makes me think that the proposed amendment has sinister implications. A decade ago, in a relatively more peaceful and prosperous time, a Flag Desecration Amendment could be seen as a petty cause from the Stupid Wing of the conservative movement. Even if the Amendment got passed and was ratified by Congress, it would seemingly have little effect on most people?s tranquil lives. But today, as the intellectual and moral basis for the government?s policies crumble and things are getting worse, force is its one remaining weapon to maintain the people?s "support." Conformity and compliance that can not be achieved through persuasion will be imposed through force. Opponents of war and tyranny will question the legitimacy of the federal government itself, if they haven?t done so already. The feds know this, and are seeking new ways to marginalize and silence their opposition.

Flag amendment supporters do not want to get rid of flag desecration. If they want a society with no flag desecrations, they are already as close to that ideal as could be imagined. Instead, they want to increase incidents of flag desecration. They want to increase violence and turmoil. They want to do what it takes to provoke previously peaceful, non-violent radicals. This flag amendment?s purpose is to alienate opponents of the federal government and its policies. Up until now, radicals have rarely resorted to flag desecration, largely out of patriotic respect for a country that was at least free enough to allow it. Flag desecration would have hurt their own cause ? protesters would have been seen by the people as failing to appreciate living in a free country.

The Flag Desecration Amendment, however, would remove such self-restraint. Flag desecration would, in the eye of radicals and other protesters, be an act of civil disobedience to signify that the flag of the United States government no longer stands for freedom. Whether one agrees with flag desecration as a tactic, in substance they would be right.

Flag amendment supporters ? particularly the ones in Congress ? are well aware of this. "Desecrating" the flag does not mean "down with America and Americans" but rather, "down with the government and its politicians." And the government will not tolerate that.

Government wants to sow discord among the people. It wants to turn moderate dissenters into radicals, and radicals into anti-government revolutionaries. So that at the first sign of conflict, the government could crack down on "dangerous extremists" and pass laws to increase its power still further.

The Flag Desecration Amendment is not about patriotism, or respecting freedom, or honoring those who gave their lives fighting under the flag of the United States. It is about identifying and arresting critics of the government. I can?t imagine a true patriot supporting it.

June 23, 2005

James Leroy Wilson [send him mail] is a columnist for the Partial Observer and blogs at "Independent Country." He currently resides in eastern Washington State.
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ravelkinbow

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2005, 10:37 AM NHFT »

If you look at it that way then can you name one country where things of that nature have not occured and would that then make each countries flag a symbol of hate and racism.
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Ron Helwig

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2005, 10:47 AM NHFT »

Just to add my 2/100ths of an ounce...

I have a lot of better things to do than burn flags. However, that will change if it becomes illegal to burn the flag. I will most certainly be spending time doing it.

I don't give a damn about the flag or any other 'false idols' people may worship. Ideas matter, flags don't.

Besides, why should we care if someone wants to burn the flag of that traitor Washington? (You do know that the Stars and Stripes were designed from his family coat of arms, right?)

Now the Gadsen, that's a flag a patriot can admire!
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ravelkinbow

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2005, 11:05 AM NHFT »

I am curious that is the Gadsen??  As I said I support someones right to burn a flag, I personally don't go along with it.  But that is an example of why this group works we respect each others right to do as we see fit regardless of if we agree or not.  The point is to not have ANYONES rights controled by the powers that be.
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Michael Fisher

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2005, 11:10 AM NHFT »

This is the ultimate civil disobedience event that would require enormous spiritual strength and the will to suffer to the death for freedom.

Martin Luther King Jr and his fellow protestors KNEW they would be beaten if they protested, but they did it anyways because they knew it was worth it. ?Brutal racism plagued the land, and making the injustice of this violent racism apparent to all Americans on national television is how they created outrage across the country.

If the amendment banning flag burning passes, and if we subsequently burn a US flag on national television (in an innocent manner), we WILL seriously suffer for the cause, and it will make the injustice of this violent nationalism apparent to all Americans. ?We could even be killed by overemotional nationalists. ?We will be protesting against irrational violent emotions that have been exploited repeatedly and have ruined our country for countless years.

But if we are not going to fight against blind nationalism, then who will? ?If an evil in society is not corrected, it will exist forever. ?And if anyone thinks Americans will see us being beaten on national television and feel no sorrow for us, you are mistaken.

"The hardest heart and the grossest ignorance must disappear before the rising sun of suffering, without anger and without malice."
-Gandhi

Such a protest, if it worked properly, would be a historic event equivalent in importance to the civil rights marches.
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GT

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2005, 11:29 AM NHFT »

Just a thought. Why not send a couple of letters to your US Senators and tell them to vote against the amendment?
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foreverfree

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2005, 11:57 AM NHFT »

This is the ultimate civil disobedience event that would require enormous spiritual strength and the will to suffer to the death for freedom.

Martin Luther King Jr and his fellow protestors KNEW they would be beaten if they protested, but they did it anyways because they knew it was worth it. ?Brutal racism plagued the land, and making the injustice of this violent racism apparent to all Americans on national television is how they created outrage across the country.

If the amendment banning flag burning passes, and if we subsequently burn a US flag on national television (in an innocent manner), we WILL seriously suffer for the cause, and it will make the injustice of this violent nationalism apparent to all Americans. ?We could even be killed by overemotional nationalists. ?We will be protesting against irrational violent emotions that have been exploited repeatedly and have ruined our country for countless years.

But if we are not going to fight against blind nationalism, then who will? ?If an evil in society is not corrected, it will exist forever. ?And if anyone thinks Americans will see us being beaten on national television and feel no sorrow for us, you are mistaken.

"The hardest heart and the grossest ignorance must disappear before the rising sun of suffering, without anger and without malice."
-Gandhi

Such a protest, if it worked properly, would be a historic event equivalent in importance to the civil rights marches.

Gimme a break...You do this because you think it's cool.  You're such a rebel....nice picture by the way...
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JonM

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2005, 12:00 PM NHFT »

Burning a flag is the proper way to retire it.  So basically the law has to make your intent in the manner in which you burn it illegal.  Looking solemn as you burn it in a respectful appearing manner is fine.  Waving it around while it burns is not.
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Pat K

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2005, 12:33 PM NHFT »

The countrys broke, the supreme court just ruled you have no right to property and the president lied us into war.

Thank god congress is doing something.

What Jackasses.
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Michael Fisher

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Re: New possible civil protest? Flag-burning
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2005, 01:25 PM NHFT »

Burning a flag is the proper way to retire it.? So basically the law has to make your intent in the manner in which you burn it illegal.? Looking solemn as you burn it in a respectful appearing manner is fine.? Waving it around while it burns is not.

Then be respectful toward all people, but wave it around while it burns.

It's just a piece of cloth.   ???  This is a fully legitimate protest and I'm sure we would have a lot of support if a flag burning amendment passed - the second time in history the constitution will be amended to actually RESTRICT individual liberty.
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