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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How can this continue to happen? This needs to be changed. My god, really 'Freedom of Speech' - I don't thnk so! . We need elected officals in the Congress and Senate that will support what the people are asking for?


if i catch you burning the flag, its your blank if its not because it dropped to the ground, i believe you should not be prosecuted for burning the flag if its in good reason laws should not apply to this

This country was not built on symbols, it was built on ideals. The irony of passing a law against burning the flag is that we will then take away part of the rights that the flag stands for. We have lasted for over two hundred years without such a law and I have not noticed any increase of flag burnings as of late. Those who have burned the flag in the past have never seemed to gain any added support for there views by doing so.
It is true that in other countries you could be imprisoned or shot for burning there flag but that is what seperates us from those countries. We don't fear people expressing there views even if that expression means the desecration of the flag. We are stronger than that. I did not serve the flag, I served the ideals that the flag stands for.

We need this Ammendment passed! Our flag is a symbol of this great country. We need to protect it - not let the few desecrate it.
Way too many Americans, young and old, have died to protect it and what it stands for. By continuing to allow this horrible act, we are, in my opinion, telling all these military service people who died - "so what! You died for nothing."
US ARMY VETERAN Both of us. Our son is a Navy SEAL (try telling him it's OK to burn the flag!)

I know we live with freedom and if people continue to burn our flag I"m good with it as long as they wrap themselves in the flag before they light it.Last time I checked Veterans like myself love a good barbecueOn a seroius note I hope it gets passed!

I agree with you 100%. AMEN !!!
Disabled American Veteran.

I support you 200 %, God Bless America !!!
Army Veteran

Dennis--I agree with all that you have said. America needs to believe in what so many of our service man and women have died for--freedom, and that is what our flag stands for. We need God back in our schools,in our homes,in our lifes. Why do we let one man or woman take away what most America's believe in.??? God help and Bless America.

As we taught our Boy Scouts during flag retirement ceremoies, when you see someone burning our flag on TV or elsewhere, try to remember that person is merely retiring our flag for us. Certainly it was not taken from us! It was probably just another made in China look a like.

This amendment NEEDS to pass, the question is really why this amendment hasn't passed, and why does it need to be deliberated on. It gets me boiling mad every time someone does things like that or doesn't stand at attention
and show respect during our national anthem or protestes
at a military funeral, these are people without honor, and there is a special place in hell for those people. I like so
many of my brother and sisters in arms know the price of those freedoms, I have served my country, as my fore father's has served for 236 years.

My next door neighbor hangs an american flag from a beautiful old oak tree between our homes. Unfortunately, he hangs it upside down. What is the best way for me to approach him?


Flying a flag upside down is a form of distress and a also is a form of protest. This is also known as free speech.

Just because you do not like what someone is saying, doesn't mean they don't have the right to say it.

Explain to your neighbor that displaying the American Flag upside down is a proper Internationational Distress Signal and ask him what sort of distress he is in because you would like to help him.

I agree with your answer to this person question ! As a 100% disabled verteran that is just what I would do ! Maybe he is disstressed over how this Great Nation has came under attack by people that don`t have any respect for Our Flag or Our Nation ! Maybe that is the only way that he feels that he can say it without being called a Surpremeist ! I hope that spelled that word right ! GOD BLESS AMERICA & HER TROOPS & THE CITIZENS THAT STILL WILL STAND UP FOR WHATS RIGHT ! I AGREE THAT THIS BILL SHOULD BE PASSED 100% ! I got into trouble once for punching a guy out for BURNING OUR FLAG IN FRONT OF ME & i`D DO IT AGAIN IF I HAVE , BECAUSE IT MAKES FIGHTING MAD TO SEE OUR FLAG BEING MISTREATED IN ANYWAY !

Go to honoring our flag print out a copy hand it to him and just tell him you appreciate him hanging our flag and but you noticed it wasn't hanging properly and this copy of respecting our flag should help him without embarrassing him or dishonoring those who pass by and see it

What to do? Nothing. The person flying the flag upside down unlike you, realizes what it means. The government is bankrupt morally and financially and is completely out of control. Veterans took an oath to defend the CONSTITUTION, not the flag, which is the symbol of the biggest ongoing threat to the constitution and your freedom; your government. FYI, the pledge of allegiance was written by a SOCIALIST to indoctrinate school children to worship the state and its symbols. The government is forcing us at gun point into socialist healthcare, forcing us again at gun point to shoulder a national debt that can never be paid, the government has lied us into countless wars and spilled our blood for no good reason. Our brothers and sisters have died in vain and we are not more free, WE ARE LESS FREE. Love the country not the government the lives off our backs as a parasite and redistributor of our wealth. The flag should be flied upside down. SOS.


Get to know your neighbor

With CAUTION!!!!!!

You should go to your American Legion Post and tell them. They will know what to do.

The person who has a neiigbor with the upside down Flag, You need to go to the American Legion Post in your town, They will know that the stars must be on top. And they wiill take care of the proper display.

I am a Marine combat veteran. My family has served as citizen soliders since the revolutionary war.

I see no need for an amendment. Flag burning may be protected as political speech however it is not protected speech if it is intended to cite a riot. Anybody burning a flag as political speech in front of me is inciting a riot and I will act accordingly.


While the flag is a precious symbol of this country, it is a peice of cloth. My men did not die in combat for a flag, they died protecting each other. No one that I know died for a flag. The protection of freedom of speech is much more valued than any peice of cloth. Men and women express their ideas in many ways, not just verbally. This expression of of their ideas, their 'freedom of speech', about this country, must always be protected. The American Legion should concern itself with assisting the many homeless and hospitalized veterans and not trying to change the Constitution.

I admit openly I DID NOT SERVE IN COMBAT even tho I joined the Army for the Combat Infantry, the men I look up to by far the most!

Yes, the men, if you read their stories, or have heard personally their stories they will allways say they fought to protect each other and many a Congresssional Medal of Honor has been awarded who gave their all doing just that.

Having said that, the flag is the very symbol of what these heroes have done. Unfortunately Ed, you did not take the time to learn that the Red in the flag stands for their BLOOD THAT WAS SHED whether wounded or's more than a piece of cloth by far and you DO NOT SPEAK FOR ALL SOLDIERS!

Many of our men fought suffered and died planting that flag on land taken back from our enemies and it has always been a rallying flag to most of us.

Yes, you're right about fighting for each other; that's called survival in a "Hell on earth ordeal"; but many also died for the ideals for which this flag stands.

I will defend anyone's right to scream, write or say what they believe to my last dying breath. We have that right. However, you burn a flag in front of me, and I'll take you out. Flags drape our coffins. The flag is our national symbol of peace, and integrity. Men have died carrying that flag into battle. Who gives some punk who hates America the right to desecrate it? Ask Obama, his ilk doesn't give a damn. Stand up, display it proudly and salute it when it comes up or goes down.

An amendment to the Constitution allowing the burning of the American Flag as a form of free speech should have never passed. acceptance of this action will lead to future losses of what the people of America hold near and dear. I would welcome those who still among us who were away from home on 6 June 1944 to state that which I agree with them regarding the American Flag. America must not surrender to the weak-minded and whiny the values created by our Founding Fathers. Was the act of spitting on those returning from Vietnam an example of freedom of speech? The American Legion is following the right course regarding our flag, and they have not forgotten those who have served our country.

Obviously you are in the minority on this subject. I respect your opinion and salute you for your service to our country. The American Legion does work programs assisting homeless and hospitalized Veterans, but I am proud that they support the amendment. In doing so, they are reflecting the way most of us Veterans feel about this issue.

According to the Library of Congress there has been 45 instances of flag burning from 1777 to 1989. Since the Supreme Court over turned the prohibition of flag burning there have been less than 10 a year. Is this really what our legislators should be spending their time on? US flags are burned most on foreign soil. Perhaps a constitutional amendment to permanently authorize a bomb to be dropped where ever a flag is burned would satisfy you. Many have fought fighting to plant and defend the flag as a symbol. Desecrating the flag is also a very strong symbol of dissatisfaction with the actions of the nation or the direction you see it is going. It is and should continue to be protected free speech. Free speech is not just using your voice. Free speech is also action, representations in art and music. For those who use the old standard, love it or leave it refrain, I don't see them hopping on a boat over their dissatisfaction with the Obama administration. They are loud and vociferous in advocating for a change, (however misguided I think them to be), and well they should. That is the greatness of the United States of America. Stand up and shout it out loud and advocate for change when you think something is wrong, but don't deny those who disagree with you that same right.

To quote the "Great" conservative demagogue, "When you win the election, you pick the nominees. Until then, shut up! Just shut up! Just go away! Bury yourselves in your rat holes and don't come out until you win an election."
Unfortunately Rush didn't take his own advice.

I'm mocking Rush, but in truth I'm glad to have his voice and others that I vehemently disagree with. I am glad for those here that argue for the protection of the flag, even though I disagree with you. Debate, honest disagreement, and most importantly, the right to do so is the greatness of this country. I would look on in disgust if I saw someone burning our flag. I doubt seriously I would just look on. I am afraid that I would commit a crime against that person out of my anger. My reaction does not and should not deny them the right to do it. I can promise that the day such a constitutional amendment is passed is the day I take my flag from it's place in front of my house and light it up. Because on that day, the country I know and love and served to defend has died.

Our Post has already recognized Flag Day
on June 14th.
This announcement is late!!!

I agree with ED, it needs to be passed by all of congress....patriotism doesn't mean much to some people, let them go live somewhere else, especially where rice and fish heads are on the menu.....

The "right to protect the flag" was never a right. If you want to burn it, go ahead. It does not hurt my feelings.

The intentional desecration of the American Flag is surely not, nor can it be construed as freedom of speech. The presumption of speech has no place in an "Act". Desecration of any object is just that, an "act". I'll defend the right to speak your mind on any given subject, however I'll fight your act taken upon the sensibility of the majority of the American public. The burning of the American Flag does not drive a point it only serves to attack public sensibility to a people who have given of themselves so that those who would desire to speak out can do so... To burn the American Flag is, in itself, an act that seemingly prevents the expression of free speech by the majority of a Nation by condemning the whole of that Nation. Congress and our Senators should realize that we have been established as a Nation of one with varied thoughts and therefore should be allowed to express that thought at the voting booth... To continue to prevent our right to vote on a subject is in itself a violation of free speech...

We should endeavor to protect our flag that flys and represents our great nation.

Our flag transcends any idiot's attempt to desecrate her and to change our constitution to allow congress to "protect" the flag implies weakness. I say, let Old Glory fly free rather than attempt to force someone to respect her; I think that's what she would want anyway.

What do we as American Veterans, expect from D.C. They just give us lip service, while they do their best to destroy this country and our Constitution...Most of the elected officals never had the balls to wear the Uniform in the first place. Washington D.C. has no back bone to do whats right. Their selling us out as we speak. I'm a Marine Corps Viet Nam Vet and fought to stop the Commies and Lord and behold they're sucking up to the Commies in China...

I'm proud of a country that does not need to have an flag desecration ammendment. We fought for the right of free choice. If another person's free choice does not agree with ours, we have an equally free choice to inflict our disapproval. A citizen, for example has the right not to vote, not to own a gun, and not to worship. So, no ammendment please, we have enough laws. If someone wants to desecrate the flag, punch him in the nose, but don't create a criminal act.

we need our congress men and women to pay attention to fixing the economy rather than wasting time on feel good issues ..i fought to protect freedom of speech even tho i detest the burners and what they say and I think the leader of the Vets ought to pay more attention to vets benefits and issues that DIRECTLY affect veterans


When we raise our Flag at our home I see the most beautiful and living Flag in the world.To display it with love for all the brave men and women who have lived and died for it . to burn it is surely a crime .Please protect it and pass the Amendment in to law. We must bring prayer back into our schools and allow God to be first in our lives. Our brave men and women are protected by HIM. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

When I was in basic training, one of the classes was on flag customs and courtesies. I was instructed as to how the flag should be handled stored and disposed of. I think every vet. should have a copy of this and carry it as a bible and challenge any inappropriate use or disposal of the flag. I was very incensed at the way the flag was stricken and wadded up in a bunch by personal at Arlington Cemetery and taken to a truck without proper folding. This all witnessed by hundreds of spectators. It shows a general ignorance and disregard for our most precious symbol of freedom.
We were instructed to dispose of a worn or tattered flag it should be properly folded and placed on a very hot oak fire and someone stand by until it is totally consumed. I bet most Americans don't know this.

Congress could care less about the flag unless it means votes. I say let us turn the clock back, mess with our flag and it is war. Do any disrespect to the flag in front of me and you had best be in another country before I get to you. Freedom is NOT FREE.

My son in law and daughter live with me and my wife we have four vets in the house only two in the house arent the 5 year old and the nine year old I my self was airborne ranger my sonin law and daughter were Army Engineers My Wife Air force admin we all Feel very strongly about our flag we raise it every morning and lower it proiperly every night as we dont have a dedicated light we think this ammendment is the best thing that could happen in a very long time as one said before the flag has been a rallying pointfor most americans civilian and military i personnaly fought for my brothers in arms and my Flag Proudly and am very proud of my Daughter and her husband for they both served two tours in Iraq luckily they both came home but for those who didnt remember what their coffin is covered with if you walk on the flag you walk on them

Like our currency, it is only good IF it has something oif value to back it up...and, since the 1960's I have NOT seen anyone defend the flag here at home until 9/11 and that was short lived.... We are raising a generation with extreme lack of morals,,,....and patriotism has mostly been reduced to a word in the dictionary.... Yes, we have soldiers abroad who are fighting for a cause...BUT, we allow our media to crucify them at every turn.....and to blab classified information which half of our population either doesn't understand or doesn't care about....BUT, this information is a goldmine to our enemies... Everytime the enemy strikes, the next day the media is blabbing about where our weakly defended points are......HOW can we expect our children..,...and future generations to revere and respect ANY symbol or standard when WE preach that these pigs HAVE A RIGHT to defile them ? Why do we allow foreign persons the same rights as our citizens ???.... Just try such an act in a foreign country and see what it gets you..... We should enact a law which makes the defiling of our flag and military symbols an ACT OF TREASON and the offending person should be stripped of their citizenship and deported out of the USA......ONLY then, will these people take their citizenship seriously...

Is Bullshit!

When I was growing up I thought it was illegle to disrespect the flag.
Are we making an other law when there is one in place already?
Are these things laws or rules.
how to disposs of a flag
where on a vehicle the flag can be flown
the folding of a flag
There are many more I'm sure

It was illegal until the supreme Idots changed it. WE NEED DECENT PEOPLE TO MAKE OUR LAWS.

IT IS ABOUT TIME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Protecting our flag does not take away an individual's right to free speech or censor someone. Physically desecrating the flag is an act of pure hatred, not an act against a piece of cloth, but against that for which it stands, our United States of America, and against those who have fought and died for our country. Burning the flag is an act of cowardice, not a courageous statement, in my book. I guess I was just raised right - to respect God, country, and our flag, and I served under that flag for 21 years, retiring as a diabled vet who would do it all over again for God and Country, which is symbolized by our flag. I feel sorry for those who see the flag as just a piece of cloth and not worth defending.


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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.