Ohio Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH-05) is co-sponsoring a proposed Constitutional amendment in the U.S. House that would give Congress the “power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.”
The resolution was reintroduced Friday (Flag Day) by Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR-03), with a companion bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT).
“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,” Womack said in a press release. “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.”
Womack’s resolution has 14 cosponsors in the House, including Latta. Daines, carrying the bill in the Senate, said that the nation “should always render the flag the honor and dignity it is due.”
“Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom,” he added.
As The Ohio Star has previously reported, the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Texas v. Johnson found that burning the American flag was protected by the First Amendment. That ruling served as the foundation for a recent legal settlement in which Cleveland was ordered to pay $275,000 to two protesters arrested outside of the 2016 Republican National Convention for burning the American flag.
“We live in a time where respect for fundamental rights is eroding and authoritarianism is on the rise,” said attorney Subodh Chandra, who represented both protesters. “That calls for more expressions of dissent, not self-appointed speech police extinguishing dissent.”
President Donald Trump expressed his support for a Constitutional amendment to protect the American flag in a Saturday morning tweet.
“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.
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
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].