I wish The Post would craft an even more persuasive editorial position opposing a constitutional amendment that would authorize the banning of flag desecration. Like almost all the other opponents of the amendment, The Post has concentrated on the freedom-of-speech issue -- a crucial issue indeed, but deserving to be supplemented by other considerations.
One is the fact that such a ban could be hard to enforce (shades of Prohibition?). Perpetrators of flag burning could claim they were burning a flag so badly soiled or otherwise damaged as to warrant disposal in the way (burning) prescribed by the official Flag Code of the United States for disposing of flags in such condition. Law enforcement would be hard-put to disprove such an allegation. It also could have difficulty disproving a claim that the flag in question had fewer than 50 stars, hence was not the American flag -- the flag officially defined as our national standard.
Another reason not to proceed with the proposed modification of the Bill of Rights is the embarrassing effect it could have on America's image around the world. It would say that this nation -- this greatest of democracies -- isn't strong enough to take in stride the extremely few instances of flag desecration by a few misguided individuals. Our country should not only be strong; it should look strong. Besides, public burning of a flag or anything else can easily be prosecuted by local government as a danger to public safety.
Flying the American flag should proudly declare the patriotism and self-confidence of a people capable of deploring the extremely few instances of flag desecration without amending the Constitution to ban such practices.
DAVID J. STEINBERG