Reading the Times in California

In which I read the New York Times by myself on the west coast, and react to the news.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Free as in speech, flag-burning

I thought it was already settled that one could burn the flag with impunity. Well, in these kneejerk-patriotic, post-terrorist times, apparently that's up for debate again.

Apparently my impression was correct, though, at least since 1984 (when I was too young to remember anything different):

... the Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. Johnson that a protester who had burned a flag at the 1984 Republican National Convention, in Dallas, was protected by free-speech rights.

What I didn't know, though, is that all 50 states have some kind of "resolutions against debasing the flag." Really? How does it then follow that you can burn a flag in any state, and, while you're not held accountable federally, be accountable on the state level? It seems kind of weird.

Why this is all upsetting is that I completeley agree with Rep. Ackerman of NY:

"The reason our flag is different is because it stands for burning the flag," Representative Gary L. Ackerman, Democrat of New York, said in a speech on the House floor, wearing a flag-print necktie.

(It's unfortunate that he followed that comment up with one about "small men with press secretaries.")

I hope this goes nowhere. I'm not going to go out and burn a flag, but I want the freedom to do so, if that's how I want to express myself. Jesus. This seems so fundamental.


Anonymous Scotto said...

It could have an upside.

01 July, 2005 12:24  
Blogger nori said...

Ha! Awesome.

01 July, 2005 13:04  

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