More than two-thirds of Americans support a proposed constitutional amendment to make burning Old Glory illegal, according to a Newsweek poll released Saturday.
But the survey for the magazine's June 25 issue found that a growing number of Americans support a recent Supreme Court ruling that flag burning is a protected form of free speech.Thirty-seven percent of Americans surveyed said they agreed with the Supreme Court's latest ruling on flag burning, an increase from the 28 percent who backed a similar ruling by the court in June 1989.
Yet, when asked if Congress should pass a constitutional amendment to outlaw flag burning, 68 percent said yes.
In addition, 73 percent of those surveyed said a candidate's position on flag burning is important to them when they decide how to vote in an election for governor, member of Congress or state legislature.
On another free-speech topic, few Americans in the Newsweek survey supported court rulings against the rap music group "2 Live Crew." A Florida judge ruled the group's lyrics are obscene, subjecting record sellers to criminal prosecution.
The survey found 65 percent believed that music with violent or explicit lyrics should be available in their communities. Five percent believe the music should be available to any buyer; 22 percent said it should be available with a warning label; and 38 percent think it should be available only to adult buyers.
The Newsweek poll, conducted Wednesday and Thursday by The Gallup Organization, has a margin of error of 4 percent.