Proposed flag laws burn property rights

Reported in the Herald Sun today:

Burning or desecrating the Australian flag would become a crime in Victoria under laws proposed by a state MP.

Shooters and Fishers Party MP Daniel Young plans to ­introduce draft laws to state Parliament today in a bid to protect the flag’s image and stop protesters from using it as a tool to incite riots.

Burning the Australian flag is undoubtedly a despicable act. But even a despicable act doesn’t warrant the abrogation of property rights. Andrew Cohen from the Foundation for Economic Freedom:

To forbid flag burning is to forbid you from disposing of your property in ways that offend others. But property rights protect freedom of action for which one need not solicit the permission of others. A right to your flag guarantees a right to burn it, stomp on it, spit on it, or turn it into underwear if you so choose. Your flag is your property. If someone does not like what you do with your property, he should not lock you up; he should persuade you to change your ways or he should have nothing to do with you. Consider the absurdity of having rights to use your property only in ways others find acceptable.


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