Symbolic Burning Is More Than speech.(LETTERS)
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Court cases and cross burnings in Virginia have rekindled the smoldering debate on just what should - or should not - be considered constitutionally protected speech. It's an interesting discussion that has columnists, correspondents and constitutional academicians agog with opinion, nearly all of which makes a correlation to flag burning.
Interestingly, three camps of opinion appear to be emerging. There are those who believe neither cross burning nor flag burning merit constitutional protection; those who believe both acts should be protected speech; and those who, like Bruce Fein in "The unique evil of cross burning," (Commentary, Dec. 24), want it both ways.
Mr. Fein opines: "Cross burnings may resemble expressive conduct like flag burning that have received free speech protection, but a few pages of history is worth volumes of logic in justifying a distinction." Really? In Texas v. Johnson (1989), Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist argued against the legalization of flag burning by recalling the history of the flag of the United States, how it had been protected for so long a time, and why. …