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Flag Burning Defeat Piece Missing Its Bite

Reported by Judy - June 28, 2006 -

Fox News paid its obligatory homage to the flag burning amendment on Wednesday (June 28, 2006), noting that the measure lost by one vote in the Senate, but the piece was missing some of its zing -- because a Republican senator opposed it.

The proposed amendment banning flag burning is a made-to-order Republican (and therefore, Fox News) issue -- a chance to get all red-blooded patriots whipped up with indignation at the thought of some ungrateful citizens daring to desecrate our national symbol, blah, blah, blah, and the right to dissent be damned.

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, did his best to sound outraged at the thought of someone burning the flag, claiming that flag-burning is not a first amendment issue since it is an "action" and not speech. He compared it to defacing the Lincoln Memorial -- an inaccurate comparison since an individual can buy and own his or her own flag but we all own the Lincoln Memorial.

Nevertheless, Fox News could not do much with the issue. It was hard to make partisan hay over it when Democratic senators like Harry Reid voted for the amendment and a Republican like Mitch McConnell voted against it, saying he did not want to tinker with the first amendment.

Well hooray for him.

And as a commenter on another thread has noted, now Americans are free to dispose of their old flags in the legally prescribed manner, which is to burn them.