"This is an invaluable compendium of everything you ever wanted to know about the peculiarly American fascination with our flag and the many ways it has been 'desecrated.' Professor Goldstein has done an absolutely critical and fully exhaustive study on this inexhaustible subject."—David Cole, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
"Few symbols have had the emotional impact and political significance that the Stars and Stripes has exerted over the American public. Not surprisingly, many of the social issues that have roiled the country-freedom of speech, judicial activism, religion and the state ... -are touched upon in this important book. Goldstein's choice of relevant materials is exemplary."—Dr. Whitney Smith, Director, Flag Research Center
Desecrating the American Flag is the only comprehensive, edited, and annotated collection of critical documents regarding the controversies swirling around the desecration of the American flag. Should violators of the Stars and Stripes be prosecuted? Or legally protected?
This issue reached center stage in American politics throughout the 1990s when Congress debated whether or not to amend the constitution to forbid flag desecration; but this debate has been hotly contested since the Civil War.
Robert Justin Goldstein brings together almost 150 key documents spanning more than 100 years. He culls from a variety of sources—Congressional hearings, debates, legal briefs, oral arguments, newspaper articles, and court rulings, for example—and then carefully edits each document to retain key material. Introductory essays place each document within a broader historical, political, and legal context.
Robert Justin Goldstein is professor of political science at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and the author of Saving "Old Glory": The History of the American Flag Desecration Controversy.
6 x 9, 364 pages