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DESECRATING FLAG NOT PART OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH

In a recent editorial ("Protect free speech"), editors of The News seem to have fallen prey to a common misconception plaguing our times: the inability to distinguish between speech and action. These are not the same, and freedom of the one does not automatically confer freedom to indulge in the other.

I am free to say of any rich man, "I sure wish I had his money." I am not free to rob him to obtain it.

People are free to say what they like against our country. They should not be permitted to translate this into the action of desecrating the country's most visible symbol.

Put in the simpliest terms, this is sheer vandalism and should be treated as such. Were anything of this nature to be committed against a private citizen, it would occasion prompt and indignant action.

Let's start giving our country's flag the same protection we claim for ourselves, and let's stop dignifying and excusing vicious action by mistakenly calling it "freedom of speech."

JOYCE WENT
Springville

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