Desecration of our American flag has become a burning issue

Published 7:10 am Saturday, June 25, 2005

By By EMILY DREITZLER / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The American flag has been a symbol of our nation's unity and strength since 1776. The 13 horizontal stripes and 50 stars have become more than just material to so many Americans who see the flag encompassing one of the most important things our nation stands for - freedom.
Recently, the issue of making flag burning illegal has been in the news.
This past Wednesday, the House approved a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to prohibit people from physically destroying the American flag. This matter is now going to the Senate for a vote.
Some feel it would be unpatriotic to not support this amendment. On the other hand, isn't being a true patriot protecting the freedoms this country has to offer, such as burning the American flag?
In turn, local residents were recently asked the question; What are your feelings on whether flag burning should be made illegal and why?
While enjoying a day at the park, Dawn Hurteau, expressed her frustration over the burning of our nation's flag. "I can see how people say it's unpatriotic (to burn a flag). I think it's wrong."
Jim Martin, of Niles, also shared in Hurteau's sentiments. "When you think of all the lives lost, it just goes to show that we should respect the flag and people should appreciate it. We need some good old-fashioned patriotic feelings in this country," said Martin.
Buchanan resident Greg Vite feels the American flag should be held in high esteem.
Sandy Bogenrieder saw a different side to the symbolism of the American flag. "A flag is a material symbol and if somebody burns the flag, they should not be prosecuted for it," said Bogenrieder, as she arranged the floral displays at Shelton's Farm Market.
Tyler Duncan, from Niles, found disagreement with Bogenrieder. "A flag is a symbol that has meaning to it. People fought and died for this flag and I'm against burning it," he said.