My grandfather is in the American Legion, he often burns flags to dispose of
them. It is very patriotic to dispose of flags (often many at a time) in a pyre. Burning is not the issue.
The issue is whether or not burning a flag in protest should be protected by the constitution as free speech. Burning an institution's flag sends a forceful message, and is easily protected by the constitution. Ironically, the people who seriously wish to send a message by burning flags don't fret about being detained or fined, acknowledging the likelihood of resistance when participating in activism in the U.S. regardless of frivolous flag burning laws. This leads many people to suspect a good bit of sensationalism surrounding the issue coming from the Right and their affiliates. The act of flag burning tends to be emphasised while the fact that something is being said is played down.
One could argue that it is patriotic and acceptable to burn a flag in protest, by the very ideas that the flag upholds. One could say a symbol for freedom shouldn't be party to a reduction in liberty.
Later Note: Isn't it ironic that anyone cared about this? Major state terrorist murders and cold atrocities that were being planned and implemented as I wrote this write-up are now destroying whole countries. Millions of pounds of flaming flags couldn't stop this sick machine now. What a damned moot point.