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The first amendment includesThe first amendment includes "symbolic speech". Flag burning is a form of symbolic speech, like it or not, and has been upheld by the US Supreme Court with ruling like Texas vs Johnson (491 U.S. 397) in 1989 & US vs Eichman (496 U.S. 310) in 1990. This is also why the Flag Desecration Amendment has yet to pass in the Senate. I agree with you that it is very offensive & I personally believe there are more appropriate methods to make a point; it is a person's unalienable right to show their ignorance and disrespect. As far as your Marine situation, I would hope he/she would not respond with violence. 9 out of 10 times that just feeds the protester's point (right or wrong). I would like to think that instead, they would stand proudly while reminding the protester, the ONLY reason the flag can be burned as symbolic speech is because of their service/sacrifice to protect the people's rights and keep our government a democracy.

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