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Letters to the Editor

Flag burning should not be permitted

Contrary to what liberal judges may say, the First Amendment in guaranteeing freedom of speech obviously refers to the spoken or written word and not to such heinous physical acts such as burning our national symbol. In addition, it has long been established that some speech is unlawful such as crying "fire" in a crowded theater or advocating by word or speech the violent overthrow of our government.

The flag has long been used to rally troops in battle. During the Civil War, it was considered a disgrace to let the flag even touch the ground so when the flag bearer became a casualty, the immediate objective was to grab the flag staff to insure the flag was not dishonored.

I just read of the $18 million dollar effort to preserve the original flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1813 and inspired Frances Scott Key to write the words to our national anthem. The flag being flown there is the flag that flew over the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

If the above is indicative of how the vast majority of Americans feel about their flag and because all 50 states have requested that Congress pass a flag protection amendment, why should we let a small number of grandstanders publicly dishonor it? After all, if sufficiently intelligent, protesters can get on a soapbox at the county courthouse, write letters to the editor, call talk shows, write their congressmen and fully express their views without becoming traitorous.

It is my uncompromising belief that a flag desecrater should lose his or her citizenship and be permanently expelled from our shores. Better yet, let a jury of combat veterans decide their fate.

- Jay Wagner

Stone Mountain