This is Steyn, as usual brilliant, and I urge you to read the whole thing:
...in the words of one reader, ''it's not possible to 'torture' an inanimate object.''
That alone is a perfectly good reason to object to a law forbidding the "desecration" of the flag. For my own part, I believe that, if someone wishes to burn a flag, he should be free to do so. In the same way, if Democrat senators want to make speeches comparing the U.S. military to Nazis and the Khmer Rouge, they should be free to do so. It's always useful to know what people really believe.
I'm ambivalent on this topic. I respect the flag, I love the flag, every day as a school child I pledged allegiance to the flag, but I don't think Congress should be wasting their time on this.
But wait! What about Barbara Frietchie, who, when the Rebels marched into, I believe it was Frederick, MD (don't quote me on that) and shot down all the flags, waved her own flag and said:
"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag," she said.
I sort of admired the old biddy. She reminded me of a third grade teacher I once had.
I understand the sacredness of symbolic objects which shoould be treated reverently, such as the flag, the Torah--remember Hitler burning these?--and the Koran.
Still, I believe people have the right to burn flags. And I have the right to despise them.
And Congress should get busy about the people's business and stop showing off.