Friday, June 13, 2003

And while our attentions were directed elsewhere, dat ol' demon issue flagburning, rather whether it should be a Constitutional Amendment or not, passed the House:

In a country whose politics have grown increasingly partisan, certain media images are irresistibly inflammatory. So it is with flag burning. While the act is infrequent, it carries an overwhelming emotional impact.

This month, by a vote of 300 to 125, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a constitutional amendment to prohibit desecration of the American flag. It was the fifth time the House has passed the measure.

The Senate, recognizing the proposed amendment as an unwarranted infringement on the First Amendment right to free speech, has so far declined to send it to states for ratification. It should continue to do so.


Dissent is part of the foundation of a healthy democracy. It is more than a necessary evil; it is a necessary good. The nation can survive even repugnant expressions of dissent; it cannot survive the proposition that constitutional rights are negotiable depending on the prevailing public mood.