Burning Flag as Hate Crime
How it works
What really is a hate crime? A person does some things out of hate which we can see and call as a hate crime.
Not everything done out of hate can be called hate crime. For example, if a person speaks bad about other person that can’t be called hate crime. Therefore, not everything can be called hate crime because it has hate in it. Hating a thing is not a hate crime; but, being offensive towards it and going out of limits is a hate crime. In our case we have burning a nation’s flag as a hate crime. Now wondering what may be called offensive things. Offensive things are of many kinds, beating a person out of hate, killing a person out of hate, breaking something important of someone because of feeling jealous.
There is First Amendment which protects the speech no matter how offensive they speak towards a topic. This is also called freedom of speech or free speech. But this Amendment don’t protect the behavior of a person that crosses the line into targeted harassment or threats, or that creates a pervasively hostile environment. So, no matter what the person may get punishment for his/her doing things like such. Let’s see how flag burning doesn’t fit the definition of “Free Speech”, but the definition of hate crime instead. Free speech is only related when a person speaks, but burning of a flag is a action out of hate. The first amendment can only protect the speech not the actions done by a person by going out of certain limit.
Burning a nation’s flag is called a hate crime the reasons are here. It is called because why will anyone burn theirs’s or someone else nation’s flag without a valid reason. The reasons would be either they hate their nation, or something happened in the nation which they didn’t like and showed their anger by burning of the flag. There could be many reasons they did this crime. It’s a crime because we all love our nation’s flag and we won’t like anyone doing bad with it or insulting it. We all have patriotism in us, therefore, we can’t bear such things happening to our flag. No matter what happens but we should never do this bad thing to show any nation down. If someone have problem with something going in the nation, they have many other options to get the solution. They can write a letter or now email to the government to let them know the problem they have. And they may help the person out with it. Burning flag won’t give anyone anything but it will just hit their reputation.
Let’s talk about some cases which were on burning of nation’s flag. There was case of flag burning Texas V. Johnson in 1989. Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag outside of the convention center where the 1984 Republican National Convention was being held in Dallas, Texas. Johnson burned the flag to protest the policies of President Ronald Reagan. He was arrested and charged with violating a Texas statute that prevented the desecration of a venerated object, including the American flag, if such action were likely to incite anger in others. A Texas court tried and convicted Johnson. He appealed, arguing that his actions were ‘symbolic speech’ protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court agreed to hear his case.
Now the word comes out “symbolic speech”. What it really means and when can it be protected? It a conduct that expresses an idea. Although speech is commonly thought of as verbal expression, we are all aware of nonverbal communication. Sit-ins, flag waving, and demonstrations are examples of symbolic speech. While most forms of conduct could be said to express ideas in some way, only some conduct is protected as symbolic speech. In analyzing such cases, the courts ask whether the speaker intended to convey a particular message and whether it is likely that the message was understood by those who viewed it. To convince a court that symbolic conduct should be punished and not protected as speech, the government must show it has an important reason. So, just as there are limitations on the extent to which ‘free speech’ applies to the spoken word, there are restrictions on the actions that people seek to have protected as symbolic speech.
Think before taking any actions out of hate! Person can do offensive stuff and it may give them happiness for some time, but later they will regret the mistake they did. It may haunt them throughout life may be. They will later think they shouldn’t have done that. But then it won’t matter because the mistake is already done and now nothing can be changed.