The usual litmus tests—abortion, gun control, Iraq—shouldn’t be. Reasonable and sincere people can disagree, with at least one or two principled arguments on each side. The flag burning amendment is in a category by itself: the only argument for it is based on pure emotion. But ours is supposed to be a government of reason, not emotion, especially when it comes to the most precious repository of our rights. The American Constitution, the apogee of reason in the history of self-government, is real; the American flag, for all of its beauty and deep meaning, is symbolic. For more than 200 years, we’ve occasionally used the amendment process to expand rights. This would be the first time we would enshrine their restriction. Polluting the Constitution is far more dangerous than burning the flag.
I would never burn the flag. I don't think I know anyone who would seriously do so. As much as that act may disgust me, I'm not ready to codify its restriction into law, much less the United States Constitution. We already have arson laws on the books. We already have millions upon millions of veterans and patriots who respect the flag and what it stands for and no idiot with a lighter can change that.
I find it telling that, even if this law passes and is ratified, you can still burn a cross on your own land, but women wearing American Flag bikinis could be arrested.
Ladies and gentlemen, your government, hard at work.