THE STARS & STRIPES #3
Curiously, while the US Code recommends that worn-out US flags be destroyed by fire, the burning of the Stars and Stripes remains controversial and legally ambiguous. Although 43 states have laws that protect the flag (and Congress passed the 1989 Flag Protection Act), since 1969 the Supreme Court has twice narrowly ruled that flag desecration is a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment: "We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents." A number of attempts have been made to amend the Constitution to protect the flag. In June 2006 the Senate failed by 1 vote to achieve the two-thirds majority to send an amendment to the individual states for ratification; a CNN poll in the same month showed that 56 percent favored some Constitutional protection of the Stars and Stripes.
Laurence J. Peter (1919-90)