In defense of a terrible act: The Burning of our nation's flag

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

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Is it right to burn America’s flag? No, probably not. Should you have the right to do so? Yes.

America’s Constitution and Bill of Rights are a monumental step in our world’s history. Our rights protected by the government were some of the first extended to ordinary individuals on the planet. What does the Bill of Rights say? I don’t mean the actual words, but what does it really say about humans in general?

If you truly love America‘s history, and more importantly the ideas of the founding fathers, you probably know where I’m going with this. The constitution says that human beings have rights. It’s says that you were endowed by your creator with inalienable rights. They’re yours, and no one can take them away.

It says that not only do you have these rights simply because you exist, but that it is the duty of America to protect those rights. Remember, that’s the protection of “God-given“ rights, not “citizenship of America“ given rights.

Throughout America’s fairly short history, we’ve seen all the incredibly amazing things a government can do, and we’ve seen the incredibly terrible things a government can do. There has been no shortage of either.

One of the things that made our revolution possible was the ability to question, and ultimately protest, your government. Actually, step one in our country's founding was the inherent right of a human being to protest their government.

So how did we get here?

We now have an American President suggesting that your citizenship should be removed if you protest the government. A government, who’s founding document said that God gave you the right to protest, and it shall be protected.

Our flag is a symbol, but a symbol of what? After all, our country was founded on the idea that you have individual liberty, and that you should be able to live your live unimpeded as long as you are not harming others.

Our revolution was started because of taxation.

Maybe it will look better in all caps.


“Taxation without representation.” We literally overthrew the worlds most powerful government because they took money from us without our permission.

Many see burning the flag as a complete rejection of American ideology. Many see burning the flag as disrespect to our veterans. I can tell you that I don’t see it that way.

Veterans have fought, and died, to protect my rights. Among those rights is the right to protest my government. It’s true, some are doing this as a form of disrespect, but I see this situation completely different. Some are burning the flag in protest for their right to have socialism- which I obviously disagree with. Although, I will argue for their right to protest.

As a Libertarian, I see it as a complete rejection of what America currently is. A corrupt, bloated, beautiful thief.

My government takes the value of my labor away from me with ease (taxes). It takes. It spends. It steals more, it spends 125% of that, and then manipulates us into thinking it deserves more.

Quick question: How can you claim to be a supporter of what our flag represents, and also support taxation?

It regulates the trade between every individual. Regulating markets that would have been better off otherwise. Then it calls itself a protector of the “free market.”

It regulates the care of health between individuals, destroying the entire market itself. The constant erosion of our individual liberties are what have given rise to politicians like Bernie Sanders, and AOC. Our policies have led us to where we are today- at a point that we are seriously considering socialism.

Socialism is in itself a direct refusal of the ideas America was founded upon.

My government starts wars in foreign lands, sending my high school classmates to die in the interest of “freedom.” As if there’s a country 12,000 miles away the size and population of Nevada that seriously threatens the liberty of all Americans.

Our government imprisons millions of people for possessing a plant that existed millions of years before our government.

Don’t get me wrong.

I love America, and I love the ideas America was founded upon. Those are the ideas that men and women of the armed forces sign up to defend, and I greatly appreciate them for doing so.

I’m just wondering what those ideas actually are today.

A “love it or get out” attitude goes against the principles behind the revolutionary War itself. Does the American government still represent the same ideology it was founded on? Because if it doesn’t, why would you not burn the flag in protest?

Lets say every reason to burn our flag is completely wrong.

Shouldn’t you still have the right to do it? What kind of “free society” bans you from doing something that harms absolutely no one at all?

Final Answer

I agree, burning the flag shows a complete disrespect for the current condition of our country. But- Banning the burning of the flag shows a complete disrespect for American ideology itself.

When it all comes down to it at the end of the day, this is a piece of cloth organized in specific colors and patterns. Punishment for burning some sort of material without harm to others seems pretty hypocritical for a nation predicated on freedom, and individual liberty.