if i step on an american flag, am i traitor? do you have to burn the flag to be considered one? is there any actual defining lines dealing with this?

Simple GQ answer: No.

1 : one who betrays another’s trust or is false to an obligation or duty
2 : one who commits treason

1 : the betrayal of a trust
2 : the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family

Lol Bill, I looked that up and that’s almost exactly what I posted. Would have been a weird double post.

Burning the flag is still a legal expression of protest under the First Amendment. Therfore, doing so can’t make you a traitor either.

Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution states:

This was written in by the Founding Fathers because they were well aware of the propensity of kings to cry “treason!” when anyone did something the king didn’t like.

You have the right to desecrate the flag.
Others have the right to call you an asshole.

There has been a lot of discussion of this recently, probably due to Ann Coulter’s book regarding treason. The words traitor and treason are used very loosely in general conversation. However, there is a very clear definition for the offense of treason. Traitor, as noted has more than one definition and is somewhat in the eyes of the beholder, so Ann probably would have been on solid ground with “traitor” but the “treason” charge is a little flakey. (Not that it’s hurt book sales any.)

Relative to burning the flag, I think you could be legitimately called a traitor (but not charged with treason). However, I’m in agreement with Peanuthead that we can find some much more creative things to call you.

Then there’s always Ben Franklin’s definition of treason, as quoted in 1776: “Treason is a charge invented by winners as an excuse for hanging the losers.”