June 27, 2006


Amendment on Flag Burning Fails by One Vote in Senate (CARL HULSE and JOHN HOLUSHA, 6/27/06, NY Times)

The Senate today fell one vote short of approving a constitutional amendment that would have enabled Congress to ban desecration of the American flag.

The vote was 66 to 34. To pass, the measure needed 67 votes. [...]

[O]pponents, mainly Democrats....

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 27, 2006 11:44 PM

Mark Steyn said everything worth saying on this issue:

"A flag has to be worth burning"

"Banning flag desecration flatters the desecrators and suggests that the flag of this great republic is a wee delicate bloom that has to be protected. Itís not. It gets burned because itís strong. Iím a Canadian and one day, during the Kosovo war, I switched on the TV and there were some fellows jumping up and down in Belgrade burning the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack. Big deal, seen it a million times. But then to my astonishment some of those excitable Serbs produced a Maple Leaf from somewhere and started torching that. Donít ask me why Ė we had a small contribution to the Kosovo bombing campaign but evidently it was enough to arouse the ire of Sloboís boys. Iíve never been so proud to be Canadian in years. I turned the sound up to see if they were yelling ďDeath to the Little Satan!Ē, but you canít have everything.

Thatís the point: a flag has to be worth torching. When a flag gets burned, thatís not a sign of its weakness but of its strength. If you canít stand the heat of your burning flag, get out of the superpower business. Itís the left that believes the state can regulate everyone into thought-compliance. The right should understand that the battle of ideas is won out in the open."

Posted by: M. Bulger at June 28, 2006 8:55 AM

I'm surprised. I didn't think the No. 2 GOPer would vote No when the No. 1 Dem voted yes.

Posted by: Bob at June 28, 2006 9:39 AM


It violates the spirit of the Republic when you let a few elites on the Court overturn hundreds of years of law and tradition. I'd be fine with just passing laws permitting bystanders to set the flag burners on fire, but banning the burning is the mpost moderate approach and the one consistent with several centuries of history and jurisprudence.

Posted by: oj at June 28, 2006 10:05 AM

If something like that passed, the lawsuits about whether a specific object is flag will be amusing (if one of the stars is 6 pointed instead of 5, is it still a flag? What about one inverted star? How close to the official red do the stripes have to be?)

Plus, of course, burning flags has always been an honorable activity.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 28, 2006 1:08 PM


Exactly. There's nothing unusual about regulating treatment of the flag.

Posted by: oj at June 28, 2006 3:03 PM

Take the law against cross-burnings, which has been affirmed by the courts, strike the word "cross" and substitute the words "U.S. flag", pass it, and let the judicial games begin!

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 30, 2006 6:33 PM