[guest post by Dana]
Yesterday was Flag Day and the White House appeared to be a little confused about what the holiday commemorates:
Flag Day was also the day that Republicans Sens. Steve Daines (MT) and Kevin Cramer (ND) introduced a Constitutional amendment to ban the desecration of the American flag:
Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom. 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.
Cramer also weighed in, explaining why he sees such an amendment as worthwhile:
This morning, President Trump announced his support for Daines and such an amendment:
It’s not at all surprising that President Trump threw his support behind this, given that soon after being elected, he made it very clear that he believed no one should be allowed to desecrate the flag, and that if they did, there should be severe consequences:
This despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that desecration of the U.S. flag is free speech protected under the First Amendment. (Texas v. Johnson) Given that efforts to add an amendment have failed before, and given that each chamber of Congress would have to pass the measure with a two-thirds majority, and three-fourths of the state legislatures would have to vote to approve the amendment for any change to the Constitution to be made, it’s unlikely to go anywhere. But really, is the push for such an amendment a good idea? Clearly some GOP lawmakers think it is. However, consider that this makes the GOP as a whole vulnerable to criticism of being anti-speech, or at the very least, the Party that attacks freedom of speech. This becomes an even more credible line of attack as prominent voices on the Right are currently demanding the government police social media platforms, and tell them what speech can be allowed.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)