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Commentary

Trump Puts Flag Burners On Notice with Support of 'No Brainer' Amendment

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The controversial topic of burning the American flag is front and center once again.

Last Friday — on Flag Day — Montana Sen. Steve Daines and Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack brought forth legislation aimed at restoring “Congress’s constitutional authority to ban the desecration of the United States flag.”

According to The Hill, President Donald Trump supports the proposal.

The day after the bill was reintroduced, he seconded the motion on Twitter.

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The act of burning the American flag became protected under freedom of speech after the 1989 Texas v. Johnson Supreme Court ruling.

Before that ruling, 48 states declared it illegal and had steep penalties on the books for such an act.

Daines and Womack would like to return to the legal setup that existed before the 1989 ruling.

Do you agree with Sen. Daines’ call to ban flag burning?

In a joint news release from both elected officials, Womack said, “Our flag is more than a cloth painted red, white, and blue. It is a symbol of worldwide freedom, unity, and liberty. It has guided troops into battle, flown during our triumphs and challenges, and is placed over the caskets of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Generations have fought to defend our stars and stripes — and the American people have simply given too much for the flag to not have the ability to protect it.”

“Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom. 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,” Daines said.

In recent years, Congress has been close to reversing the 1989 decision and restoring laws that punish flag burners.

“Members of Congress have routinely supported the passage of an amendment to allow for the ability to protect the flag,” the joint statement read.

“To date, a joint resolution giving Congress the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag has been passed in the House several times with bipartisan support.”

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Trump posted a tweet calling for action against flag burners in 2016.

Ultimately, discussions about burning the United States flag can be challenging, as Americans have conflicted feelings over the subject due to the First Amendment.

Some free-speech advocates send messages through our justice system.

Whether Congress one-ups the Supreme Court and brings back punishment for flag burners remains to be seen — but with Trump in the Oval Office, it’s probably the optimal time to make such legislation a reality.

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Ryan Ledendecker is a freelance journalist and writer. He began reporting news and writing commentary during the 2014 Ferguson riots. Prior to that, he worked as a web editor and columnist for an award-winning local newspaper.
Ryan Ledendecker plunged headfirst into news reporting and political commentary while on the ground during the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. He later wrote extensively on Donald Trump's presidential campaign and election.

When he's not writing, Ryan spends time improving his barbecue skills. He has his own brand of BBQ rub and is a trophy winner in the world of competitive BBQ.
Birthplace
Illinois
Nationality
American
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Science & Technology




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