People who burn the Stars and Stripes are vile scum. Given my commitment to diversity I believe vile scum deserve their rightful place in society, next to child molesters, meth dealers, and Air America hosts. This is to say I believe it not unreasonable for a levelheaded society to regulate the actions of vile scum (the first two by criminal statute; Air America via ratings). Hence I have no quarrel with the substance of the Flag Protection Amendment: "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States." Key phrase: shall have the power, which means the Congress is within its discretion to say either yay or nay. If I were a member of Congress, I would cast my a yay vote for the Flag Protection Amendment. My personal flag credo is two-fold: I believe true power of the flag consists of what the flag stands for, its enduring symbolic force. I also believe burning or otherwise physically desecrating a flag is not an act of speech; thus prohibiting such acts does not — cannot — constitute the abridging of free speech. Penalties? I favor a values-based approach that emphasizes education and (it goes without saying) compassion. Flag desecrators would be transported to a VFW hall in a remote region of south Texas. Around midnight. The cops would leave. And the symposium would begin.