Press Release: Celebrate Flag Day by protecting Old Glory

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Press Release: Celebrate Flag Day by protecting Old Glory


As Americans across the country proudly hoist the Stars and Stripes for Flag Day, city streets will blaze with red, white and blue.  American Legion posts at various locations will conduct proper flag-collection and retirement ceremonies.  The spouses and parents of fallen troops will look upon the colors and consider the cost of freedom, as symbolized by the U.S. flag, now celebrating its 234th birthday.

At the same time, American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster is seeking support for a constitutional amendment to return to the people the right to protect Old Glory.  The amendment simply reads: “Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” 

By judicial decree in 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a controversial 5-4 decision, “amended” the United States Constitution by “inserting” flag burning into the Bill of Rights.  That decision took from the American people a fundamental right that had been exercised from our beginning as a nation – the right to protect our flag.

Since then, The American Legion – along with the Citizens Flag Alliance and a majority of Americans – have fought for a constitutional amendment that would allow for the passage of flag-protection laws.  All 50 states have passed memorializing resolutions in support of such an amendment.

“The U.S. flag is so much more than a piece of cloth,” Foster said. “It is a universal symbol of freedom, hope and security, and the price in blood Americans have paid to provide, protect and restore those values.  As it did after the Revolutionary War, our flag inspires patriotic Americans and troops in harm’s way around the world today.  Those who wish to burn it, stomp on it or soil it are not conducting speech as I believe our nation’s founders envisioned.  They are conducting acts of hatred, hatred for all that our flag symbolizes and all who gave their lives fighting under it.  That is why, as veterans, The American Legion will never stop fighting for its protection.”

Protection of our flag impairs no one’s free speech.  It does not prevent a single idea from being expressed.  It involves no censorship of an idea.  The amendment would only allow for the prohibition of conduct with respect to one unique object, the flag of the United States of America. 

House Joint Resolution 13, introduced by U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO) currently has 50 co-sponsors, including 44 Republicans and six Democrats.  A parallel measure, Senate Joint Resolution 19, was introduced today in the Senate with bipartisan support by Senators Orrin Hatch (UT) and Max Baucus (MT).

Commander Foster requests all Legionnaires, concerned citizens, veterans and their families to write, call and visit their congressional representatives to either request their co-sponsorship or to thank them for their support.

Posted in the burner | 120 comments
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To: Rich Mika ... We Navy vets learned the judicious application of force, so, be careful when applying it. To Fred Speir: Dead on. When we really analyze how our rights are being chipped away, it is happening from both directions One chips at gun rights and assembly, the other chips at privacy and champions illegal search. Left and right working toward the middle. Pure Machiavelli.

Don't misunderstand. Flag desecration is a despicable and cowardly act. Hundreds of thousands of American lives have been lost in its defense. But, I submit that the fight we waged was in support of the actual act of desecration. Ambiguity? Yeah. And, personally I did not fight to have an increasingly restrictive life, nor do I want to see that happen to any American. What I am saying is that I am appalled when a flag desecration occurs and I'm sickened by any motives behind the desecration, but I'm glad the person was free to perform the act. If he suffers consequences for the desecration, so be it, but be it known he acted out of free will compliments of the blood of many.

Amendment? No, not necessary. Let's remember the preamble about securing the blessings of liberty: this was accomplished over 200 years ago by a boatload of "Congress shall nots". Only 27 amendments have been enacted and the first 10 are the Bill of Rights.

I have never witnessed a flag burning in my sixty something years. I think it is a pretty rare occurance. I do not like passing laws unless they are protecting people from harm or protecting peoples property. If you must burn your own flag and leave mine alone. But doubt I see very many Americans do it, even in protest. I swore to protect and defend the Constitution, that is the bigger and more important task.

This is a misguided attempt to say something beautiful about all of the sacrifices that have been made to defend and protect our beloved country but is not necessary. Those sacrifices are written in our hearts, not on a piece of cloth. The flag is a material thing; the symbol is in our eyes only. I would oppose the further restriction of individual freedoms which are steadily being eroded. What I would support is a law to prohibit the commercial use of the flag, e.g., those monster flags flying over auto dealerships (usually 'foreign' car dealerships) or gas stations, etc.

The flag is a symbol of who we are, what we stand for. The Goodness of America. Everything about her has a meaning. No other flag throughout the worlds history has inspired the hope and freedom she has represented. She has prevailed, and waved proudly in foreign lands doing the job the native flags of those countries had failed to do. Then proudly giving them back their freedom to fly their flags again. In combat men have died protecting her, even to keep her from falling to the ground. It is up to us now. It is a shame, here at home she is not protected. For those who disagree, the price it takes to protect her has already been paid. The least we can do is to enforce here at home what they did for us overseas. Pass the Ammendement. What a beutiful sight she is. God Bless America

I will gladly go to jail because I beat the A** of some one burning or stomping or cutting up of the US flag I didnt spend 15 years in the US army protecting the people yes all people in the US and the world just so some idiot can burn what this country stands for.they might have freedom of speach but I have freedoms too Im a US AMERICAN and proud of it to and I WILL SHOW IT.

Freedom of speech like, all things virtuous, necessarily possesses complimentary potential for vice. Extreme freedom is vicious, just as is extreme capitalism, or religious extremes. It's our responsibility to strike a balance and I believe legislation protecting the flag from desecration would go some distance to do just that. Though I would be curious what the penalty for such a crime would be.

Too harsh a punishment would undermine the values of our nation as much as the desecration of our flag and those of you that speak of taking lives of one that burns the flag are abusing your rights too. It polarizes the debate and weakens our collective position.

That same mentality led troops to ram civilians off the road when I was in Iraq and murder civilians in Vietnam. To combat extremism we must appeal to reason via thoughtful and decisive action. Not by succumbing to the reckless urge of retaliation. Thought must precede speech just as it does our action.

When I stud at retreat in Veit Nam and the names of fallin brothers were read that day who gave their lifes for our freedoms and our flag and what it stands for, I cryed tears for the family and people we were protecting and what our flag meant to me and mine. If we allow people to desicrate our flag and get away with it then we are allowing them to dishonor all we fight for. May God bless America, the proud fighting force, and the American soldier.

This is going to far & I have my STARS & STRIPS flying every day & my fother fort to keep it flyinf & uncels did to & how could let them down I could not . I proud of are flag & I am a VET nam 68 to 71 & if I see eany one burning one or flying a nother country flag above my FLAG I will cut it down & wipe my feet on the rag they call a flag& the only way I will look at there rag is when I am wiping my feeton it & IAM PROUD OF THAT OLD GLORY SHE WILL FLY ON HI EVERY DAY AT THIS AMERICAN HOME.

Due process, gentlemen. War mongering and sabre rattling aside; the meaning of a law in our country is predicated upon the idea that all are innocent until proven guilty, and that no one's life liberty or property can be taken away without due process. So those of you who advocate the assault, killing, burning, or mutilation of a human being prior to conviction because you do not like what they are saying, or how they are saying it, advocate unamerican and anti-constitutional acts and are by definition being traitorous to your oaths as defenders of our constitution. A human life is worth more than a piece of cloth, symbolic meaning not with standing, any day, and no one has the right to be judge, jury , and executioner merely because they can.

The flag is a symbol of the United States, not the United States. My father was a Matine Corporal at Guadalcanal, and I have a service connected disability from when I was in the Army. I am sure he would not think that this ammendment is necessary, and I definitely don't think that it is. Desecrating the flag does not harm our country, to the contrary it makes us stronger. Burn a flag in another country and you are going to have problems. The degree of trouble depends on the country which you are in. Even though we hate the acts that some people participate in, do we not show the world, and each other, that we are stronger and freer because we do not punish those that desecrate a symbol of our country. I also think that it would be a good idea to keep an eye on who is doing these acts. They are showing us who the enemy is. I would never die for our flag, but I would die to keep our country free and safe.

All Americans should have the right to protect Old Glory from desecration. I defended our freedom for more than 26 years and was defending the flag.
The men and women I fought with were defending the flag also for it represents our country, our way of life and our freedom.
Just today I received an email about some people on the steps of the Arizona capital with our flag on the ground throwing dirt on it, painting nasty word on it and really disrespecting it. When veterans and others tried to stop this they were threatened by the capital police with arrest. We need our rights back!

This flag burning thing comes up now and then like a demon that refuses to die. I can see it all now. The guy why flies his flad upside down getting raided in the middle of the night by the Flag police swat team. Breaking in the door, shooting the family dog and putting the whole family in the wagon, taken away never to be seen again.
This country is getting more and more like Nazi Germany every day.

There is no reason at all to desecrate the Stars and Stripes. That flag stands because of the sacrifice, bravery and will of the American people. A lot of brave men and women have given their lives to make sure that it still waves accross our Nation. It stands for freedom for all Americans. You still have the right to protest but there is no excuse to desecrate our flag, it is because of that flag that we as a people have a right to peacefully protest and disagree. I strongly urge for the passage of House Joint Resolution 13 and Senate Joint Resolution 19, it is time to protect our flag and what the flag stands for, and also the sacrifices by our men and women in the military to ensure that the flag is still held up high and waving proudly for future generations of Americans. God Bless America!

You complain about the lack human rights of dictatorships, but condone the same in USA! If a person in Iran, China, Russia was to be imprisoned or put to death for burning their flag you would say it's inhuman punishment. Freedom is tolerance for the very acts that you detest and fought to preserve. I fought for your dam rights to express you ideas of reducing our citizens fredoms even though I believe in more, not less freedom. It's your right. Your welcome.

I have seen some fancy red white and blue condoms made in Communist China. Bought one for 75 cents in the truck stop bathroom last week. I wore it prouldy, in honor of of our congress and senate who serve the lobbyist, rather than American citizens. Did that Weiner guy ever serve? Do you think he cares at all about the flag or the economy? This flag stuff is a diversion. And by the way, happy Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pride Month, it is now an official month of celebration by presidential proclomation. Please E-mail your local Congressman and Senator, except for that Weiner guy.

Deported for throwing a flag made in China in the trash. WOW, I served in the sand box of 1990, and our kids are still there fighting for an oil pipeline. The 911 Bombers were terrorists sponsered by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. A 10 year war, with lots of kids injured and killed, while our Congressmen email pictures of their private parts. This is insane, and needs to stop. Flags made in China , and jobs exported to China and India while our country goes bankrupt (similar to the USSR during the end of the Afghan War). And our Congress filled with lawyors who never served in the military , propose a law toward the flag? I RESPECT an American made flag, and the combat patches on the right sleeves of our veterans. I think this is another issue as to distract Americans from the truth. So you would deport me, for burning a flag made in CHINA ! I consider a flag made in China, to be similar to counterfeit currancy. No Worth, whatsoever. Deported to where? Deported to Mexico, China, Canada.
Fly your made in China flag, and deport yourself from the propaganda machine. If this course continues, America may soon have a new flag. Depoted, wow, LOL

I served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and my father served in the Army Air Corps during World War Two. I oppose the amendment. While protecting the flag, it tramples on what the flag stands for.
Furthermore, here is no law forbidding the burning of a Bible. Are we going on record as saying that the flag is to be elevated higher than the Bible, which many of us believe to be the Word of God?

Joe, you're a wise man!

Aprendi mucho

I agree with those who do not want to make it a LAW . I love the flag as much as anyone but it should not be a law against the burning. As Christopher said, it is a SYMBOL that represents our ideals and what we stand for in our belove U.S.A. Some of you might not like to hear this but it is not just a "combat" flag.
Different thoughts and ideas come to people (Americans) when they see the flag. You relate it to "combat", athelets (football players and Olympians,etc.) relate to it differantly, some NON-vet 8 yr. old daughter might relate to it at her father's or beloved uncle's funeral in a totally different way. There are (believe it or not) many patriotic Americans who never served in the military but contributed greatly to this wonderful country. The flag is a SYMBOL; not the USA. What about a person who wears a "cap-flag"? What about people who have their dog wear a "dog coat flag"? Where does it end. HOW in hell will it all be LEGALLY enforced? Most people have never had trainning about do's and don'ts of the flag. Some of your posts are down right scarry and come across HATING everyone who didn't see combat. What kind of representative of what you fought FOR are you? It's the IDEALS; not the cloth.


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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.