The legal profession is a depth of recondite detail the Supreme Court has the expertise firmly to deliberate.
United States versus Eichman, United States versus Haggerty, Texas versus Johnson: all cases argued freedom of speech under the First Amendment. The Amendment says, Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.
- Wikipedia: Freedom of speech in the United States
- Wikipedia, United States versus Eichman
- Leagle: Unites States versus Haggerty
- Wikipedia, Texas versus Johnson
The Supreme Court holding on Eichman says:
“The government’s interest in preserving the flag as a symbol did not outweigh the individual right to disparage that symbol through expressive conduct.”
What is the meaning of a national flag? It symbolizes: the country, the people, and the language. The Flag does not correlate with the authorities only.
Even if you do not like anybody around, would rather live in a tent, make own clothes, and hunt for food ― all that to liberate yourself of American capitalism ― the nonsense of burning the Flag remains appalling, if to think about cause and effect.
There never would be the Constitution ― what follows, the Amendments ― without the people who fought for American freedom, also in Fort McHenry, about which the American anthem tells. The Flag continues to symbolize them.
Further, can we have burning for a speech act? Is there a speech sound produced, if the human sits silently by a campfire, warming his or her hands? Is there any written or printed language to emerge from the flame? Could the wood or coal crackling and hissing make stanzas, quatrains, epodes? Could we hear an anacrusis?
A national Flag symbolizes the language as-is and all-in-all, therefore I take the precedent for reasonable associations. The fact remains the Flag symbolizes, but it is not language, also unburned.
The First Amendment says that people have the right to the freedom of speech. The Amendment does not say, *”Congress shall make no law abridging expressive conduct in association with speech and language…” Fortunately: human expressive behaviors are a very wide spectrum part of which belongs under parental guidance and is not language at all.
At the same time, I would not uphold the term of “Flag desecration”. The word desecration suggests abuse on sanctity. I think flags are for people, as books and knowledge on language.
I have put images of the American flag on my American English grammar books, which are absolutely my human work.
I do not support the Supreme Court verdict. I hope time will bring legislation to discern physically abusive behaviors from speech and language, as well as allow national symbols in the hands of the people: it should be a public vote to decide on the matter.