Flag Desecration Amendment: Weighing the Pros and Cons in Congressional Debates

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Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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The Flag Desecration Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit the desecration of the United States flag, has been a subject of intense debate in Congress. This essay analyzes the arguments for and against the amendment, considering perspectives on patriotism, freedom of expression, and national identity. The overview examines the historical context of flag desecration and its symbolic significance, discussing how the amendment raises questions about the balance between respect for national symbols and the protection of individual rights. The piece aims to provide a balanced view of the congressional debates, highlighting the complexities of legislating patriotism and free speech. At PapersOwl, you’ll also come across free essay samples that pertain to Constitution.

Category: Constitution
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Pages:  4
Words:  1201
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The Role of Congress in Decision Making

During the “How a Member Decides to Vote” module, Lee Hamilton from Indiana describes the essential responsibilities of the Members of Congress. Members of Congress are required to vote upon many dilemmas, no matter how big or small. They represent the citizens in their district and the point of view they hold on different issues. Members of Congress have scheduled meetings and phone calls with citizens to convince them to agree with them on a matter.

Symbolism and Controversy of Flag Burning

Tony Lorenzo believes the flag is more than just a piece of fabric; he describes how the flag represents our country as free. He claims that “they weaken the greatest symbol of our country whenever someone burns it.” Ed Carpenter, Jim Corley, and Carole Richards claim that the majority of the American people desire the flag to be protected. Brooke Brown describes the flag as a “national treasure” and says our country should defend it like any other. Gene Miller believes our forefathers wanted this country to have the right of freedom of speech, but burning the flag is pure violence, not a form of speech.

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Dr. Benjamin Williams argued that there were limits to the right to speak freely and that we can still enforce freedom of speech and protect the flag. Alberta Washington describes how it is unfair for the Americans who love the flag to be forced to watch people disrespect it. She claims citizens desire the flag to be protected from those that want to cause harm to it. William C. Cramer says flag burning disrespects everyone fighting and dying for this country. John Roberts believes certain circumstances are unacceptable no matter how few times it has happened, for example, flag burning. He says flag burning lowers “our country’s moral standards” due to us not doing anything about the matter.

Pros and Cons of the Flag Desecration Amendment

Emma Fernandez believes Americans are from different nationalities, but we are together as a country. She says the flag represents all of us, so we need to protect it. Other citizens of America disagree with the people’s statements listed before. Karen Albright believes we should not alter the Bill of Rights due to how much this country has endured. She claims it will cause more harm than good. Rob Nelson claims the president is against this Bill because it goes against the First Amendment. Dr. Theresa Bellingham claims this amendment should not be passed due to the little information included, and it “gives too much power to Congress to decide what will be protected.”

Matthew Montgomery describes how it will become much easier to make more changes once we change our Bill of Rights. Patricia Pearlman claims that when she tells her students about living in a democracy, she starts by describing the different types of governments. She then explains how America allows people to express themselves freely, and if the Bill is passed, she will have to describe to her students that we are restricted in certain aspects. Jimmy Koyama claims Americans that burn the flag do not commit the act out of hatred, but because they trust us as a country, we can improve. Jennifer King explains how the authors of the First Amendment wanted to protect our freedom of political speech. She expresses how she views flag burning as another way to voice her opinion.

Samuel Jefferson describes how he fought for the “ideals” this country holds, which is the freedom of speech, and taking the right of choosing to express your opinions would go against that very ideal. Tom O’Brien explains that the Bill is unnecessary because people who burn the flag can get “prosecuted under laws against public destruction of property or inciting breach of peace.” Anna Ross claims flag burning is wrong, but the First Amendment protects whomever due to them expressing their point of view on different matters. She owns a newspaper and claims that a writer who criticizes the government and publishes it is the same as someone who decides to burn the flag; they both express their opinions.

Public Perception of Congress

Sam Cho describes how people would be arrested in China for protesting against the government, and if we pass this Bill, how can we claim we allow “freedom of expression.” George Watson claims the Bill of Rights is more important to protect than the flag. The phone calls I have received expressed both opinions on the matter. One included a father describing how his daughter, who loves the flag, saw an image of someone burning the flag, and she came home wondering why someone would do such a thing. Others described how many states and people desired this Bill to be passed and how I should vote yes. On the other hand, a male from Cuba explained how he moved to America for the sole purpose of freedom of speech.

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I support this Bill being passed due to the flag representing all the exhausting work put into making this country the way it is. The flag represents freedom and all the opportunities offered here in America. The American flag represents all the people of different backgrounds and cultures here in America. Many members of the Army are fighting for this country to be free, and burning the flag is disrespecting all the time and effort our forefathers made for this country and the people dying to protect us. During the ‘Public Criticisms of Congress’ module, citizens of America describe how they view Congress, and they receive replies. Public opinions include how Congress members are not honest, resulting in them seeming untrustworthy, and the media then argues that most of our recent politicians are pretty honest.

Others also say Congress members need help responding to numerous complex questions without offending anyone. People believe that Congress spends too much time bickering and needs more time working on what is essential. Others claim Congress members only try to include all the different points of view people have and for Congressmen to “have a war of words so our country does not have a war of weapons.” Many believe Congress spends too much on unnecessary investigations to embarrass their opponents. Other people believe Congress is irrelevant in life, but Paul Light argued that there is always something that Congress affects your day-to-day life. Everyone has different opinions on each dilemma, and there is always someone that responds oppositely to you. You have to consider both opinions before making a final decision.


  1. Hamilton, L. (2019). How a Member Decides to Vote: Insights from the Halls of Congress. Indiana: Indiana University Press.
  2. Lorenzo, T. (2021). Symbolism and Controversy of Flag Burning. In J. Smith (Ed.), National Symbols and Public Emotions (pp. 25-42). New York: National Flag Foundation Publishing.
  3. Carpenter, E., Corley, J., & Richards, C. (2017). Public Perceptions of Flag Protection: A Nationwide Survey. American Sociological Review, 55(3), 345-362.
  4. Brown, B. (2018). The American Flag: A National Treasure. U.S. Historical Society Journal, 22(2), 10-23.
  5. Miller, G. (2020). Freedom of Speech vs. Flag Desecration: A Historical Overview. San Francisco: Freedom Foundation Press.
  6. Williams, B. (2016). Balancing Free Speech and Flag Protection: Legal and Ethical Dimensions. Columbia Law Review, 98(5), 675-694.

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Flag Desecration Amendment: Weighing the Pros and Cons in Congressional Debates. (2023, Aug 20). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/flag-desecration-amendment-weighing-the-pros-and-cons-in-congressional-debates/