Republican Senator Steve Daines is introducing legislation that would make burning the American Flag illegal.
President Trump has indicated on Twitter he is on board with the proposal.
KFYR reported that on Flag Day, senators Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Steve Daines, D-Mont., introduced a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to prohibit the desecration of the American flag.
In a press release Friday, Cramer said “A flag worth dying for is a flag worth protecting. While we should always be mindful of First Amendment rights, the American flag signifies the founding principles that countless men and women have given their lives to preserve. Adding a constitutional amendment to protect this symbol of freedom and liberty is not an attack on another constitutional amendment; rather, it is an affirmation of the unifying principles our nation stands for.”
Daines said: “Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom,” said Senator Daines. “Remembering the sacrifices of all who carried its colors into battle, our nation should always render the flag the honor and dignity it is due.”
All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2019
President Trump endorsed a senator’s introduction of a constitutional amendment that bans burning the American flag.
Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana introduced the amendment on Flag Day, which was Friday. Trump took to Twitter early Saturday morning to throw his support behind the move.
“All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!” Trump said.
The article of the legislation is two lines long. “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States,” it says.
“The American flag has been a symbol of hope and freedom for centuries and ought to be respected,” Daines said in a Friday press release. “Our nation’s flag must be set apart as a protected symbol worthy of honor.”
Trump has expressed support for similar provisions in the past. Shortly after being elected he tweeted that he thought people who burned the flag should be jailed.
“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” Trump said.
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Texas v. Johnson that burning the American flag is a protected form of free speech. It said burning the American flag was symbolic speech and was therefore protected by the First Amendment.