Joey Johnson, the man who figured in last week's US Supreme Court decision on flag burning, calls President Bush's proposal for a constitutional amendment to ban such activity ``a political escalation'' of flag burning as a form of protest. Mr. Johnson's lawyer, civil-liberties advocate William Kunstler, says such an amendment would weaken the First Amendment. ``People should think about this with their heads and not their hearts, because as soon as you let the First Amendment have one inroad, the whole thing is up for grabs,'' Mr. Kunstler says.

Kunstler, a decorated war veteran, says he realizes the issue stirs emotions. ``The flag has a very potent force in American life.... And that is why it is such an effective protest mechanism. It criticizes policy in the harshest and most powerful way,'' the lawyer says.

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