Now I for one don't like seeing the American flag being torched. But it is free speech, and therefore protected. When's the last time you saw a Chinese flag burned in a protest in China, or an Iranian flag burned in a protest in Iran (against Iranian policies)? Would Saddam have allowed the Iraqi flag to be burned? Of course not!
I do think it's wrong to equate a national symbol with a religious symbol, or even put it on a similar footing with the same kind of reverence. In fact I believe it to be cultish and sacrilegious to accord the flag a religious symbol like status.
But isn't it interesting that right wingers get far more exercised over setting the flag on fire than they do setting a cross on fire.
A Bad Stump Speech Is Poor Tribute on Veterans Day