View Poll Results: What do you think of flag burning?

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  • It is always acceptable.

    15 19.48%
  • It is never acceptable.

    23 29.87%
  • It's acceptable to express disagreement with the government, regardless of ideology.

    9 11.69%
  • It's acceptable only if the flag is created or used by an anti-nationalist regime.

    15 19.48%
  • It's only unacceptable if done by foreign nationals.

    4 5.19%
  • Other.

    11 14.29%
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Thread: Your Thoughts on Flag Burning?

  1. #1
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    Your Thoughts on Flag Burning?

    Inspired from another forum , but I'll change the poll options a bit.

    What is your opinion on flag burning? There are generally two instances it happens in:

    a) when nationalists are disgusted with their government.
    b) when foreigners are protesting against a country over "racism" or some other treatment they disagree with.

    Is flag burning acceptable in any of these instances, and when? Does burning your country's flag signify treason, because country =/= government? What about when the flag symbolizes something you disbelieve in, like the UK flag for Scottish or Welsh nationalists, the US flag for secessionists/Confederates, the FRG flag for national socialists, the Austrian flag for Austrian Germanists, & so on?

    I am not offended by it in instance a), but it's totally unacceptable in instance b). Foreigners should have no right to burn the flag of the country they reside in.

    PS. Interesting, there is a proposed amendment about flag burning:

    The Flag Desecration Amendment, often referred to as the flag burning amendment, is a controversial proposed constitutional amendment to the United States Constitution that would allow the United States Congress to statutorily prohibit expression of political views through the physical desecration of the flag of the United States. The concept of flag desecration continues to provoke a heated debate over protecting a national symbol, protecting free speech, and protecting the liberty represented by a national symbol.

    While the proposed amendment is most frequently referred to colloquially in terms of "flag burning," the language would permit the prohibition of all forms of flag desecration, which may take forms other than burning, such as using the flag for clothing or napkins.

    The most recent attempt to adopt a flag desecration amendment failed in the United States Senate by one vote on June 27, 2006.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_Desecration_Amendment

  2. #2
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    I would say it is acceptable when citizens of the country are fed up with the government. Like Americans fed up with the flag burrning amendment.

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    I do not believe burning the American flag should be acceptable, under any circumstance. It is disrespectful towards our founding fathers. Those who wish to burn an American flag to express political disagreement should think twice and read about its history before doing that. I believe there are other ways to express protest than burning the symbol of our nation. It is not the fault of the American flag that the current government is corrupt.


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  4. #4
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    I don't have a high opinion on it - I'd consider someone who burned the Swiss flag out of so-called German nationalist feelings an idiot - but , I believe in freedom and I am against restrictive laws. The trouble with these laws against desecration of symbols is that you end up not being able to criticize your government without facing consequences. It's the beginning of the end for free speech. Freedom of speech means that you might be offended by something too, but you have the right to your opinion, and to disagreement too.

  5. #5
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    Oh yes, FYI, in Germany it is not acceptable:

    In Germany Section 90 of the Criminal Code concerns 'Disparagement of the State and its Symbol'. It provides that

    Whoever publicly, in a meeting or through the dissemination of writings (Section 11 subsection (3)):
    1. insults or maliciously maligns the Federal Republic of Germany or one of its Lands or its constitutional order; or
    2. disparages the colors, flag, coat of arms or the anthem of the Federal Republic of Germany or one of its Lands,
    shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine.

    Whoever removes, destroys, damages, renders unusable or unrecognizable, or commits insulting mischief upon a publicly displayed flag of the Federal Republic of Germany or one of its Lands or a national emblem installed by a public authority of the Federal Republic of Germany or one of its Lands shall be similarly punished. An attempt shall be punishable.

    The expectation is that prosecution will address "efforts against the continued existence of the Federal Republic of Germany or against its constitutional principles".

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    I don't think it should be illegal, but I think it is in poor taste to burn a flag with origins from when the country was not ruled by an anti-nationalist regime. I wouldn't burn an American flag or an English flag, but don't see the problem with someone in Germany burning a Schwarz-Rot-Gelb flag since they didn't become the national flags until the post-world wars periods when the occupying powers disallowed the use of the traditional black, white and red.
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  7. #7
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    The flag has nothing to do with whatever politicians or political parties that are currently in power, it's a symbol which represents not the political system but the country. I think burning it, or desecrating it in some other way should be illegal.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrioten View Post
    The flag has nothing to do with whatever politicians or political parties that are currently in power
    Sometimes it does. Examples of political national flags:







    To those who voted it is never acceptable, should this be illegal?


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    In my view it shouldn't be punishable only in extreme circumstances, as when the regime is overthrown and a radical political change happens. As you exemplified, like when communism failed. But even then it's not necessary to burn a flag. In Romania, the communist symbol was cut out from the flag, as it shows:



    Hmm, I think it also happened in East Germany? Because the colours of the flag had remained the same, it was only the symbol from the centre which bothered. It's also enough to make a political statement, that communism was removed.

    Other wise, in my view, the burning and desecrating of national symbols should be illegal. The national symbols are:
    -flag,
    -national day,
    -anthem,
    -coat-of-arms

    Criticising the government and political parties is allowable in my view, but there isn't a reason to burn national symbols of the country.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todesengel View Post
    Sometimes it does. Examples of political national flags:


    To those who voted it is never acceptable, should this be illegal?
    I only care about my own flag, the Swedish flag, what other people do with their flags in their countries is of no concern of mine. If some political party were to impose a new flag, their flag, on Sweden then naturally I couldn't feel any allegiance towards it and so I would not care about it being burned or not, it would not have the same value as a national flag.

    Also, laws against flag burning are nationalist in their nature, they are meant to protect the nation's flag against desecration, it is not meant to be universal or internationalist.

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