President Trump is in full support of a constitutional amendment proposal by Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) that challenges the long-held precedent by the Supreme Court’s 1989 Texas v. Johnson landmark ruling, which determined that the act of burning the American flag was protected under the First Amendment. Forty-eight states had laws against flag burning until the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!” Trump wrote Saturday morning on Twitter.
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
The bills were reintroduced to mark Flag Day, a day in which the White House was roundly mocked on social media for the way it chose to honor Old Glory. The White House’s official Twitter account tweeted a photo of Trump hugging the American flag at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March, a choice many found a little strange and embarrassing.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 14, 2019
Sen. Steve Daines introduced a constitutional amendment that would “give Congress the authority to prohibit burning the American flag.” “The American flag has been a symbol of hope and freedom for centuries and ought to be respected,” the senator from Montana said.
“Our nation’s flag must be set apart as a protected symbol worthy of honor.” Rep. Steve Womack, meanwhile, also reintroduced a joint resolution to that end with 14 co-sponsors.
“Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom,” Daines said.
“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,” he continued.
The wording itself is short and straightforward: “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.’’
President Trump’s support for an amendment that would ban burning the American flag is not surprising considering he had already expressed objections to the Supreme Court decision that determined burning the flag was protected under the First Amendment.
Shortly after he was elected, Trump sent out a tweet suggesting that those who burn flags should see severe punishment, suggesting that could include jail time or loss of citizenship.
“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 tweeted on Nov. 29, 2016.
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
Photo: Google Images