The Flag-Burning Amendment's Red Flags
Flag-burning? We thought we had outsourced that to Pakistan, but apparently it's still a problem in the U.S., because, once again, the House has approved an amendment to ban it. Which is fine with us -- even though we freely admit it's kind of unAmerican, we're generally against all forms of public smoking. (The exception: celebrities should be allowed to smoke wherever they want.) Still, we wonder if Congress has fully considered the implications of its actions...
• As John Scalzi points out, the concept seems plagued with Old Glory loopholes: unless additional laws are passed, any number of flag facsimiles would still be legal kindling.
• A flag-burning amendment could have a devastating impact on the "Try to burn this flag" belt buckle industry.
• Where does it end? Will our most patriotic patriots start demanding similar protections for the official U.S. Christian flag, the rebel flag, the NASCAR flag?
• If the amendment passes, one of the most reliable grandstanding opportunities for elected officials and pundits on both sides of the issue will go up in smoke.
— GREG BEATO
House OKs ban on flag burning [AP]
Cracking the Flag-Burning Amendment [John Scalzi]