Justifications Given To Acts Of Flag Burning Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Subject: Government Type: Term Paper Paper: #18119937 Related Topics: Freedom Of Speech, Nation Building, Freedom, Symbolism
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … Flag Burning

Over the years, growing tension concerning freedom of speech governed by the bill of rights in the constitution of many countries' and the act of flag burning has surfaced. In as much as there is a need to protect and guarantee the citizenry rights, its s imperative also to protect the national symbols that accord a country respectful status and a sense of identity. Among the world countries, a country's flag symbolizes an identity of the peoples of the country. Its significance is rooted in the symbolic nature that the flag accords to the country.

The flag is a symbol of the people's culture, their customs and values and to some countries, religion. The worldwide greater participation of individual and groups in the fight for human rights has seen to the spiking up of the number of demonstrations and group actions. Among the demonstrations include acts of flag burning an action that has raised concerns relating to individual freedom and respectful conduct.

In as much as the countries constitutions seeks to guarantee the sovereignty of its people by upholding and observing their rights, there is need to ensure that these rights do not facilitate unwarranted desecration of national symbols such as those of flag burning. Freedom of expression being a basic fundamental right in a majority of the world legal frameworks should have limitations and scope. Owing to the very dynamic nature of fundamental human rights, the scope and limitations of freedom of expression is not comprehensively matched with a specific definition. This compound the challenge of coming up with strict cutoff off points as to whether flag burning should be allowed as a protected right or whether the flag as a national symbol should be protected from any form of disrespect.

National flags being a symbol of a nation's sovereignty should be accorded the desirable respect by those it stands to represent and more so by other nations with the intention to maintain conflict free association with any given country. Flag burning has over the years yielded concerns as to whether the actions are an expression of rights or an act of treason. In some cases, flag burning is a seen as an expression of a political statement for personal or group reasons that are not necessarily connected to any political consequences. This does not necessarily mean that...


The troops undertook their missions with the flag as their sense of identity and devotion to their country. During war with an enemy, the capture of the war enemy's flag was seen to be honorable seizer signifying the end of the war since the capture of the flag was a sign of stripping a country its identity. In modern times, flag burning indicates a desecration of a country's identity and disrespect. At other times, a national flag serves to indicate a time of celebration, a sense of authority and a time of mourning. These attachments and symbolisms have elevated the flag significance not only to the people of that nation but also to other nations relating together.

Human cultures all over the world are based on symbols, and the national flag represents a symbol of national culture observed by people of a nation. In some nations, the national flag represents the symbol of their religion, to some the belief and to others a dedication. From the symbolism associated with flags and the significance nations and citizens have for their respective flags the act of flag burning is not likely to be condoned. This is regardless of the message that the activists or protestors are trying to send across. Although different country's constitutions grant the citizens the right to demonstrate and hold public rallies, this rights should be restrained to the extent of acts of disrespect, damage to property and disruption of normal proceeding indirectly linked with the course of action.

In some countries, the national flag stands out as venerated object while, in other countries, it is a religious symbol, especially in the Middle Eastern countries. In countries where there is civil unrest, flag burning has been used to demonstrate the citizenry height of discontentment with the existing regime. These actions have necessitated further amendments on judicial decisions and policies made. Of relevance to the decision taken is to ensure that a balance is struck between the two maintaining restrictions on rights and not limiting the same rights. The seemingly need to guarantee civil rights and respect to national symbol place a limitation on parameters of actions needed.

Having no motive at all and undertaking to burn a flag may have a minimal consequential impact, and it is likely to attract any protection from the freedom rights expression. The likelihood of occurrence of such a casual act is almost next to impossible. There is a chance that different persons or groups will take up action to burn a flag in protest of different action or non-action on the part of the government or international bodies. In these instances, different countries have different actions and legal measures to follow to resolve the actual desecration of a national symbol the flag. In some cases, flag burning falling under freedom of expression complicates the matter limiting action to punish or reconcile between the two. Trying to draw a boundary where respect is desirable to a national symbol and freedom of expression is not an easy task. As a country grows in population and as it increases its relations with other countries the two aspects are likely to conflict. These create the need to observe…

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