Seems I am misunderstood on many levels:
1. I am not a supporter of Article 301. I agree that it's bad, that it limits free speech, that it should be modified or eliminated.. one day.
2. Defending it's necessity or existence does not supercede No. 1 above
3. It's true that Article 301 is enforced frivolously by people in TR with an ax to grind. Shame on them.
4. I believe that elimination of Article 301 will cost many lives.
5. Many other countries have similar laws, to wit:
Article 248 of the Austrian Penal Code :
Whosoever, in such a manner that the act becomes known to the general public, in a malicious way, insults and brings into contempt the Austrian Republic and its States, is liable for imprisonment for up to one year. Whosoever, in the manner described in Paragraph 1, in a malicious manner and at a public occasion or a function open to the public, insults, brings into contempt or belittles the flag displayed for official purposes or the national or state anthems of the Austrian Republic or its States, is liable for imprisonment of up to 6 months or a fine of up to 360 times the fixed daily rate.
The German Criminal Code Section 90 concerns Disparagement of the State and its Symbol. It provides that:
Whoever publicly, in a meeting or through the dissemination of writings (Section 11 subsection (3)): 1. insults or maliciously maligns the Federal Republic of Germany or one of its Lands or its constitutional order; or 2. disparages the colors, flag, coat of arms or the anthem of the Federal Republic of Germany or one of its Lands, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine.
Identification of "Crimes Against the State" in Italy features
public insult or vilification of the flag or any other emblem of the State.
Article 292 of the Criminal Code deals with anyone who "publicly insults or vilifies" the national flag or "other emblem" of the state, punishable by imprisonment for up to four years. It encompasses those who publicly insult or vilify the national colors as distinct from the flag.
In Portugal Article 332 of the Penal Code, dating from 1999, provides that
Anyone who by words, gesture, in writing or by any other means of public communication, desecrates the Republic, national flag or the national anthem the symbols or emblems of the Portuguese sovereignty, or in any other way fails to pay them their due respect, shall be punished with a prison sentence of up to 2 years or with a pecuniary penalty of up to 240 days.