Let freedom yet wave | VailDaily.com

Let freedom yet wave

Alex MillerDaily Assistant Managing Editor

Wednesday, the U.S. House diverted its attention from the important business of running the country to approve an amendment to the Constitution banning desecration of the American flag. No doubt millions of Americans will cheer such a move, especially if it gets approved by the Senate.But what don’t people understand about the dangerous precedent this sets? We don’t like seeing the American flag burned or otherwise desecrated any more than the members of Congress who voted for this amendment. But we like the alternative even less: allowing emotion to override the Constitution. In 1989, the Supreme Court decided that flag burning is a protected free-speech right – a decision that shouldn’t fall prey to every wavering whim of our “Freedom Fries” Congress.Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York said it best: “If the flag needs protection at all, it needs protection from members of Congress who value the symbol more than the freedoms that the flag represents.” As Iraq burns, health care costs soar, the budget deficit goes through the roof and “Axis of Evil” members gear up their nukes, isn’t there something more pressing Congress should address than the exceedlingly rare case of flag desecration?

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