Do people in countires other than the US burn their own flag?

I’m guessing they do all the time when there are armed rebellions going on. Yugoslavia, Somalia, Sudan, etc.
But what about more peaceful protests? Did Canadians burn the flag to protest NAFTA?

Come to think of it, has there been a US flag burned in the US since the Viet Nam war ended?

Some guys at my college posted pictures of them doing just that. Nedless to say, their student accounts were promply deleted (it was also a stolen flag).

We might also ask the related question: “CAN people in countries other than the US burn their own flag?”

It’s a protected form of expression in the US (for now, anyway). If it’s outlawed in other places that may be why we’re only aware of it in the US.

The Palestinians regularly burn the Israeli flag. I’m sure the Jewish flag store owners really clean up on the racket.

??? Needless to say?? Maybe I don’t understand what “posting” or “student account” means, but one the face of it this does not seem like sufficient grounds to “delete” anyone’s account. (Perhaps the “stolen flag” part would make it sufficient grounds, but Pygmy Rugger implies that they would have had their accounts deleted anyway).

Unless I am missing something (please clue me in if I am), this sounds like an ACLU-assisited victorious lawsuit waiting to happen.

I haven’t read of flag burnings here in Germany - mainly I think because it wouldn’t be very effective in getting a rise out of people. The radically anti-nationalist use other modes of expressions such as slogans like “Germany Must Die” etc.

There is a statute (section 90a of the criminal code) which forbids insulting the symbols of the state (coat of arms, flag, hymn) and also damaging/destroying such a symbol when it is being displayed by an agency of the state (i.e.: if you want to burn a flag you must buy your own). My impression from press reports over the last few decades is that it’s pretty difficult to get a conviction on this statute that’s not thrown out by the constitutional court as the conflicting constitutional rights of freedom of expression and of the arts tend to trump a simple statute.

Quebec nationalists have been videotaped stomping on a Canadian flag, though I don’t recall it ending in flames.

I don’t know if it has happened, but it would not surprise me to learn that some Quebec separatist had burned a Canadian flag. And there have been some incidents of people stomping all over a Quebec flag. I don’t think it violates any law.

Well, they were staging a protest on campus without permission, lighting a fire without permits or permission on school property, and littering. There are also rules and guidelines about what you can and cannot make public on the school’s server. For example, my website through here would be htp:// Rugger.

People are banned on the SDMB all the time for things they say. Banning is effectively having your account deleted. I haven’t seen any banned posters call the ACLU lately. Myspace accounts are deleted often for people posting inappropriately, also. You agree to certain terms and conditions when you sign up on there, on here, and for student access to a school’s bandwidth.

It’s not unheard of for the Union flag to be burned in Scotland (although it’s not enormously common either)

How about shooting a flag lying defenselessly on the ground at point blank range with a 12 gauge?

Any charges relating to the flag were thrown out of court, but the guy was done under the Arms Act as he didn’t have a license to own the shotgun :smack:

See toward the bottom of the page for posts dated June 13th, 15th and 30th

From what’s said and from what I remember the police didn’t really care at the time even though some politicians were floating around

but the police were prodded into action later by an excess of politicial squealing a few weeks later.


I’ve noticed that the examples given are mostly people defacing other people’s flags. (If we accept that Quebec Nationalists or that Maori guy don’t think of the Canadian or New Zealandish flag as being “theirs.”) As for people burning their own flag, I remember a rash of flag burnings when I was a kid (in the 80’s or 90’s) but overall this seems to be a pretty uncommon means of protest.

This reminds me of an episode of The Micallef Program where they did a sketch, documentary-style, of a small flag maker in South Carolina. They introduced the factory people, talked about flag making traditions, the high standards of manufacture of their flags. Then they hit you with the punch line: that most of their customers are overseas, in places like the Middle East, who purchase the flags specifically for burning in anti-America protests. [run file footage of guys wearing keffiyeh, jumping around, screaming, firing AK-47 knockoffs into the air, and of course torching an American flag].

There’s a page I found that gives a rundown on flag desecration laws in various major countries:

"Overseas regimes about destroying or dishonouring national symbols vary considerably.

"Some states have been zealous in protection of their flags and other symbols but endorsed defacement of symbols associated with their enemies (eg Egypt and Turkey). Some states have not prohibited destruction of their own symbols but have sought to inhibit attacks on the symbols of other nations (eg Norway). Some, such as the US, have recognised flag burning as protected speech. Most nations restrict particular non-state symbols (eg cross burning in the US and display of the swastika in Germany and Austria), typically on the basis that use of such symbols is intended to intimidate.

“All have recourse to restrictions regarding demonstrations, riots, arson, theft or other offences that might feature a flag, portrait or other symbol.”

Burning or defacing a flag is a crime* in Spain. National, regional, city or foreign. After all it’s basically people saying “I’d like to burn your country but I don’t have enough napalm, so I’ll just burn your flag.”

  • Don’t know what’s the possible sentences and don’t care, but I know it can include a prison term.

I haven’t heard of any flag burnings in France. There was a lot of public debate after an incident in 2001 where the Marseillaise (anthem) was loudly booed by some of the audience at a France vs Algeria soccer game in Paris. As a result there’s now some kind of legislation regarding respect of national symbols. There was a flag-switching incident a while back - some guys replaced the French flag at the Lyon city hall with the Algerian flag.
pardon my French

This might spark a debate, but this statement is factually incorrect.

Would you kindly explain please? If it’s because of the definition of “crime”, please note that I’m translating. Spanish doesn’t have a word for felony.

I believe his objection was to your second sentence’s matter-of-fact intrerpretation that the flag-burning is supposed to portray hostile intentions to the nation. After all, someone could conceivably burn **their own ** flag to symbolize “I am so ashamed by our actions that I wish to symbolically cleanse with fire our nation’s sin”; or to say, in effect: “I think your fetishization of this 3x5 piece of fabric is ridiculous, so I’m burning it in demonstration that no lightning will smite me or plagues hit the land”.

JRDelirious: see my previous post. Flag burning is typically something you do to your enemy’s flag to show your hatred for them. (See almost any demonstration in the Middle East for references.) Given that, burning your own country’s flag is commonly (and reasonably) interpreted as being a highly anti-patriotic action, a way of saying that you hate your own country. That might not be the protestor’s intent, but that’s the effect it gives.