People who burn the American flag lack respect for themselves, America, and the many people who have died to preserve our every day freedom. The people who desecrate the American flag have no right to call themselves Americans. The people who burn or mutilate the American flag are unpatriotic, two faced, cowards, and worse of all un-American. To be patriotic a person must love and defend his own country against all foreign and domestic threats. (Webster’s Dictionary)
These unpatriotic people are two faced because they live in America with all of its freedoms and yet desecrate “the most important symbol which holds America together” (qtd. Citizens’ Flag Alliance, Inc. ) The way flag burners go about desecrating the American flag shows that they are nothing more than spineless cowards. Flag burners commit a morally unjust and hateful crime by desecrating the American flag. They then yell, “first amendment, first amendment! ” For people to say they have the right to burn the American flag because of the first amendment of the United States Constitution have some kind of warped sense of expression. Would a starving person bite the hand that feeds them?
I hope that they would not, but that is what is happening when a person makes the choice to burn the American flag. If people continue to desecrate the American flag, it will lose its significance and value. From 1968 to 1989, Politicians understood how important it was to America to respect the American flag. Congress passed a law in which prohibited desecration of the American flag in 1968. (US Constitution)
According to Warren S. Apel, it was illegal to cast contempt, either by word or act upon the American flag. The federal law, 18 USC Sec. 700 states, 1989 – Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 1-131, Sec. 2(a), amended subsec. Subsec (a), Whoever knowingly casts contempt upon any flag of the United States by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling upon it shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both. Subsec (b). Pub. L. 101-131, Sec. 2(b), amended subsec.
Subsec (b), The term ‘flag of the United States’ as used in this section, shall include any flag, standard colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance . by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, standards, colors, or ensign of the United States of America. In simple form, the law says that the American flag is to be revered and not abused in an act demeaned as unprofessional. The law 18 USC Sec. 700 was very strict and to the point. For twenty-one years the federal law stood uncontested. This was until the Supreme Court case of Texas v. Johnson in 1989, when the courts deemed the federal law was unconstitutional. (Texas v. Johnson) Texas v.
Johnson was when a group of protesters in Texas burned the American flag. The people involved were protesting the Reagan administration, which was exploiting third world countries. (Texas v. Johnson) Gregory Lee Johnson was the individual placed under arrest for desecrating the American flag. (Law Enforcement Database) A person can engage in a heated debate in politics and clearly make a logical point without disrespecting America’s fallen veterans or the United States flag. I learned to respect the American flag through my grandfather Jess B Powell.
We attended my Uncle Doug’s funeral in San Diego, California. I had never really met the inspiring man who has now passed on. All I really knew was my grandfather and Uncle served in the Navy and fought in several battles ranging from WWII to the Korean War. Although I did not know him as the rest of my family did, I will always remember that sad day. The day was cold and gloomy. Light gray clouds filled the motionless ski. Our caravan of limousines and cars passed a major construction site on its way to the cemetery.
All the hard working construction workers stopped what they were doing, removed their hard hats from their heads, and placed them over their hearts. This was the first time I saw compassion and respect on such a wide scale that it gave me shivers up and down my spine. When we reached our destination, it took a little over two hours for the three thousand plus people together around the memorial service area. In the middle of the service area lay my Uncle Doug’s coffin covered with the American flag.
After all respects were paid, four fully dressed men in white military uniforms proceeded to fold the American flag, which previously had been laying over the coffin. The officers systematically folded the flag until only one officer and a tight triangle, showing only the blue section covered with stars, was left of the flag. The officer slowly carried the flag to my Aunt Ethel, Uncle Doug’s daughter, and placed it into her slender arms. Everyone started to cry from the soldier to my grandfather. My grandfather is a person who I have never seen cry or show any emotion of pain.
There was no sound or movement from my grandfather, as the guns fired their twenty-one round salute, there was just the lonely tears falling from is sorrowful eyes filled with pain. He then mumbled a few words and saluted the flag. That is when I felt the greatness of Old Glory. Old Glory has come a long ways on hard and rocky road. “On April 24, 1778 John Paul Jones, in command of the US Army Rangers, became the first American Officer to have the American flag recognized by a foreign power. ” Published by the Evolution of Old Glory.
Seventeen Seventy-six, provides the information that the colors of the flag have specific meaning. “The bright Red for valor and hardiness, the White indicating innocence and purity, and Blue standing For Justice, preserverance, and vigilance”. (par 2) In addition, “that the United States flag is the only flag which flies over a planetary body besides Earth. ” (par 3) There is more to the American flag besides the red, white, and blue; it is a symbol of America’s achievements over the last two hundred and twenty three years.
A new country was formed called the United States of America. From the American Revolution of 1776 to current bombings of Kosovo, there has been many different battles fought by America. Some of these battles cost several thousand people their lives. America has been leading the space race in exploration of the earth’s moon to Mars and beyond. (par 2) America has so many different accomplishments, which were achieved at great cost. This is why we should be proud and hold the American flag up high.
No other symbol crosses the political, cultural, and ideological patch work that makes up this great nation and binds us as a whole. ” (Citizens’ Flag Alliance, Inc. ) Since 1776, the American flag is carried high the air when going into battle. The flag symbolizes the unity of the colony states against the British Government. (Sons of the Revolution in State of California Inc. ) America has a cultural diversity from Caucasians, African American, Hispanics, Asian, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans, and even Eskimo’s.
The ideological beliefs from religion to common dreams help keep America as whole. (Citizen’ Flag Alliance, Inc. ) America “Land of the Free” or “America the Melting Pot” are phrases I have heard though out my life that describes the United States. As a melting pot, America has many different kinds of people. I believe that our founding fathers foresaw America to be a diverse country when they were making the laws that would govern this land. I do not think that the founding fathers could have imagined the disrespect that people have shown to this country by desecrating the flag.
I am positively certain that our founding fathers would have never fought so hard to obtain the freedoms that they did if they knew how people would mistreat America today. People who burn the American flag should be banned from the United States of America, until they learn to respect their fellow peers, America, and themselves. Once flag burners realize that desecrating the American flag is morally wrong and very disrespectful will they be able to understand that the world does not revolve around them. Only a true Patriot has the right to call themselves an American and to enjoy America’s FREEDOM!