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.
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.
The legal profession is a depth of recondite detail the Supreme Court has the expertise firmly to deliberate.
The linguist I am — and a person opposed to burning the Flag — I analyze the wording and reckon.
The Supreme Court recognized the Flag as a symbol. What does a national flag generally symbolize? 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.
The Flag continues to symbolize them, too.
Further, can we have an act of burning for a speech act?
Wikipedia, Speech act
Is there a speech sound produced, if the human sits silently by a campfire, warming his or her hands? Is there any spoken, written, or printed language that flames alone might bring?
A national Flag symbolizes the language as-is and all-in-all.
Within, as well as outside the USA, American English is probably the closest association.
The First Amendment says that people have the right to the freedom of speech as the State provides. 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 may belong under legal limitations 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 are books on language.
I hope people reasoning together may bring legislation to discern physical and abusive behaviors from free speech and language; that national symbols may become allowed in the hands of the people: a general vote might resolve on the matter.