The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Old Glory Deserves Constitutional Respect

Posted by thelamp on July 14, 2006

The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.
– text of Senate Joint Resolution 12, the Flag Protection Amendment

Pretty simple, right? Yet it’s far from certain that the U.S. Senate will be able to muster the 67 votes required to pass the amendment.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the proposed amendment June 15, and a vote is scheduled for the week of June 26. Values voters should insist that their Senators vote for this common-sense proposal.

Americans clearly want to be able to protect the flag from desecration – all 50 state legislatures have endorsed an amendment. The House overwhelmingly passed its version of the amendment in June 2005, by a vote of 286-130. However, as voters learned earlier this month with the Marriage Protection Amendment, the Senate is less inclined to respond to the public’s will. Groups on both sides of the issue have suggested that there were just 66 of the necessary 67 votes required to pass the amendment and send it to the states for ratification.

The amendment responds to an outrageous 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Texas v. Johnson, which held that burning the flag constituted protected speech under the First Amendment. In each session of Congress since that decision, the House of Representatives has passed an amendment which expressly permits Congress to protect the American flag from those who would desecrate it by burning or other means.

This amendment is simply good common sense, and the Senate should permit the states to take action on it by approving it on the Senate floor.

Click here to send an e-mail to your U.S. Senators on this issue.


What do you think?  Post your comments below.


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