I commented on this at Kerry Haters.
I believe the argument that this involves freedom of speech is ridiculous. The flag is property of our government, and thus belongs to everyone. This is true with our money and our monuments. So I ask, should the person who wants to burn the flag be able to deface the White House? Should they be able to destroy monuments? Wouldn't that, under the assumption of burning the flag, be the same thing?
I believe the most relevant comparison is with US currency and the flag. It is a federal offense to destroy MONEY. And I have yet seen any attorney successfully argue that a person has a right to destroy money as a basis for freedom of speech. Sure, if I burn a twenty, I probably won't go to jail. But it's still illegal. And if there were rampant money burning in a time of economic crisis--then the law would be enforced.
This would be true with the flag burning amendment. If we are all at piece and some hippie at a college wants to desecrate the flag for an art project--so be it. But if a person in a time of war wants to incite riots and blowback by burning the flag to demoralize our troops and to balk at our nation, then that law should be enforced.
What do you think of that comparison? Let me know in the comments.