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Wong calls for passage of flag amendment

Featured in Flag Advocacy
Wong calls for passage of flag amendment
(AP photo)

A spike in flag desecrations has led American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong to call on lawmakers to quickly pass a proposed constitutional amendment that when ratified by the required states would allow Congress to protect the U.S. flag from desecration.

“For years opponents of this measure have been telling us that flag desecration in the United States was so rare that this amendment was not needed,” Wong said. “Yet the Associated Press reports that there have been several such incidents at the Occupy Oakland demonstrations. Moreover, some in Congress say that this is a waste of time. What they don’t understand is that most Americans are sickened when they see Old Glory desecrated, and polls show that they widely support this amendment. This measure has bipartisan support. The flag-protection amendment is a prime opportunity for members of Congress to come together and accomplish something great for the American people.”

The struggle to protect the flag from desecration began shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that flag desecration was “protected speech.” The American Legion and other organizations were outraged that the 5-4 ruling invalidated flag protection laws in 48 states and the District of Columbia. In response, The American Legion and the Citizens Flag Alliance, a coalition of more than 140 organizations that is now chaired by Harvard Law Professor Richard Parker, have championed the passage of a narrowly drawn constitutional amendment that would return to the people the right to protect the flag of the United States. Such an amendment has passed the House of Representatives six times but has fallen short of the necessary two-thirds supermajority required to pass the Senate.

“The last time a vote was taken in the Senate it fell only one vote short,” Wong said. “As people are again seeing images on YouTube of their flag being desecrated – the same flag that covers the coffins of our war heroes returning from Afghanistan – we think it’s time for Congress to take another vote. The American people should tell their representatives and senators to support S.J. Res 19 and H.J. Res. 13. Congress can either stand with the 1 percent who desecrate the flag or the 99 percent who revere it.”

The amendment itself would not ban flag burning; it would simply authorize Congress to pass a law which would prohibit the desecration of actual U.S. flags. Its entire text is, “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” If the measure were passed by Congress, it would require ratification by three-fourths of the states before it would become enshrined in the Constitution.

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Vic Phillips

July 5, 2014 - 12:39am

This form of desecration is dispictable. Words do not accurately describe it. A true patriot would never stoop to such behavior. Those who do maybe exercising their right of free speech but their act is reprehensible. I served in the US Army and USNavy and was fortunate to have never come across this dispictable act in progress. It's a good thing because I don't know what I would have done

Vic Phillips

July 5, 2014 - 12:39am

This form of desecration is dispictable. Words do not accurately describe it. A true patriot would never stoop to such behavior. Those who do maybe exercising their right of free speech but their act is reprehensible. I served in the US Army and USNavy and was fortunate to have never come across this dispictable act in progress. It's a good thing because I don't know what I would have done

Gordt3510

April 10, 2014 - 10:32pm

I am a Vietnam combat Vet. I suffer from a 40% disability because of that war. I hate the thought of Flaf burning more deeply then almost anything else. BUT I will stand in front of those burning a flag and protect their right to do so as given by our Constitution. Until it is made illegal to do so I stand and protect any Americans right to burn the symbol of our country even though all the while I am doing so tears will be flowing down my face from seeing it being done.I shall figt with my last dying breath any who wojuld try and prevent the act from happening hile with that same dying breath I would cussthose who are doing it and forcing me to defend their right to do so.

Bill Rodriquez

July 14, 2014 - 10:56pm

And you are very wrong!!! That means that you wouldn't defend another soldier from the enemies hands if the constitution gave the enemy the right to torture an American fighting man. Im a two tour viet nam vet at 100% disability due to door gunner job (duty) I had, that don't mean I wouldn't do anything to stop any asshole from burning my countrys flag!!! I would sure as hell show my colors if it wasdone in front of me!!! WAKE UP!!!

Victor Nahmias

May 28, 2014 - 1:19pm

I love this country and hate to see anyone desecrate our flag!I am also a veteran who served in the US Army during the years 1965-1967. I am a patriot of this great nation. Desecrating our flag should be a crime! If you don't like this country you always have the right to leave.Yes ,we have free speech as so given by our Constitution. Lets pass a LAW against the desecration of our flag.Many American have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our flag and our freedoms.

novamilt

November 16, 2012 - 1:22pm

I believe the desecration of our flag is the sign of a bigger problem in our country. Much like the sneezing and sniffling is of a cold. So many people have come to our country not for freedom and opportunity as our predecessors but to take advantage of true Americans hard work, sacrifices, generosity. Today they see our acts of generosity and kindness as signs of weakness and opportunity to take advantage. Until they have seen through our eyes and felt what we feel they will never have respect for the flag or our country. Sadly I think they see our flag as a welcome mat to the biggest give away in the world; And just to clarify, by they, I mean illegals, and those with an agenda to tear us apart from the inside. This morning on tv I watched over 30 new citizens who came to our country as our forefathers did, take the oath of citizenship. I could see in their faces and actions their love of the country and that they understood the significance of becoming an American. I still shed a tear when I hear Lee Greenwood sing “proud to be an American” I can only hope and pray that our faith, strength, history and unity will maintain our great nation and our beautiful flag.

Julio La Porte

August 29, 2012 - 1:39pm

I would like to know, if the american legion is supporting Mr Romney for President. He who refused to serve in vietnam and went to France under the guise of religion, when american young men and woman died in war.

woxof

July 4, 2014 - 12:39pm

This reply may have been sent many times previous, but, I do believe that the American Legion or any other Veterans Org. is prohibited from endorsing a political candidate for office...additionally, I believe that it is a requirement to maintain a tax exempt (501(c)3)category...any comments?

flash

May 31, 2012 - 3:21pm

I agree, but I am in the minority in that I see that the flag should not be displayed anyway that an individual chooses. I do not think it should be a clothing article or displayed willy nilly. I do not know how you would be able to control what I view as correct as a law.

curlywayne

May 10, 2012 - 6:50pm

If it requires a constitutional amendment then so be it. While they are at it lets make English the "Official" language of the United States of America.

signman

March 28, 2012 - 1:03pm

I agree totally with KAGNEW70. He has hit the nail on the head. we all know Obama has admitted, no- even bragged, that he is Muslim. Is this the kind of man who our fonding fathers would embrace? This Presidential election will be the most significant in my 70+ years on this planet. I hear squables about the GOP candidates, and some of the in-fighting between some of them, and it hurts my heart. The PRIMARY goal is to replace the marxist, socialist we have now. If the Legio brothers and sisters could be of one heart and mind, this would be a huge step in that direction. And, if we individually send out emails, and let our feelings for "proper" change be known, we can turn the tide to the polls. GOD HELP US!

KAGNEW70

March 24, 2012 - 1:10pm

I THINK THE FIRST STEP TO BEGIN TO BRING BACK CHARACTER AND IT FOLLOWS AMERICANISM, IS TO RID OUR FINE COUNTRY OF THE LIKES OBAMA AND ALL HIS CZARS AND CLOSE POLITICAL ALLIES SUCH AS HOLDER. THESE PEOPLE MAKE UP THE MOST CORRUPT AND ANTIAMERICAN ADMINISTRATION EVER. THEY MUST GO. JEEZ,WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT JOE MCCARTHY WAS SO RIGHT IN MANY CASES BACK THEN. THE APOLOGIST IN CHIEF MUST GO PS DO YOU ALL KNOW ABOUT THE 1.5 BILLION THAT OBAMA AND H CLINTON ARE SENDING TO THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD IN EGYPT. AREN'T THERE GOOD AMERICANS RIGHT HERE THAT CAN USE THIS MONEY? WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

JEM

February 25, 2012 - 10:47am

Over the years I have fought & backed a flag amendment and now I realise it would be at the cost of watering down an amendment in the same light that the Government is watering down all amendments, like #2 all after winning the smoking war and turning smokers into 2 & 3rd class citizens. It would be over kill but some rules should be looked at like flying at half mast for a singer, ridiculous.

BS_Detector

February 4, 2012 - 12:08pm

And flag burning is one of those protected forms of free speech that proves we are free. You're right, lots of other countries do not allow such things - and we are not one of those countries. Such an amendment would be the first time ever that action was taken to limit freedom in the constitution. Are you proposing that we repeal the first amendment? It wouldn't surprise me in this political climate where people so easily give the government more power, having no appreciation for the freedoms given us, and not understanding that minority opinion is what the Constitution is protecting.

titus1928

February 2, 2012 - 9:04pm

I believe that carrying for our wounded comerades and make sure they and their families have access to the best medical care without regard to cost is more worthwhile to concntrate our energy on then using scarce resources and a spending money on flag amendmend

Celia Callahan

February 2, 2012 - 8:12pm

If you don't respect the flag that represents your freedon then get out off the Government payroll and stop expecting America to live by your stupid rules!

wingrider6

February 2, 2012 - 6:55pm

Legions posts flying flag at half staff when member dies--Legions materials (and of course flag code) says this is not allowed. Response of post members is: "I fought for this flag so I can do what ever I want with it." Hmmmmm. VFW lowers flag to half staff and it then lays on the building roof. When told they just shrug their shoulders and say "So! What's your point." The flag belongs to all Americans, not just veterans. We need to clean up our own house before we preach to others! Retired USA/USAF

Feagles

February 2, 2012 - 6:08pm

Desecrating the flag is despicable.They seldom make clear, what their point is in disrespecting the flag. It only incites patriots to violence. In other words it's pointless and counter productive. However misguided it is, it is still a form of free speech, which is what our nation is about and our flag stands for. To let some imbeciles without the ability to make their point in a productive way become a wedge between what our flag stands for and the expression of that freedom is to give to much power to what are basically just some miscreants. I salute our fallen comrades and in that same spirit I would simply salute the flag - no matter it's condition. We are a proud, strong, and free people. We don't need an amendment. We only need to remember what we stand for.

buff152

February 2, 2012 - 4:38pm

I served in an Infantry Company in Viet. Fallen comrades were honered on the fire base with the flag at half staff. Coffins our our fallen brothers and sister war drapped with the American Flag. To desecrate the American Flag is dishonoring everyone who's has served in the military and especially those who gave their lives for our freedoms. It is a sad commentary on our time when nothing is held as sacred.

fafa

February 2, 2012 - 3:20pm

am I wrong, but is America the only country where it is legal to destroy the flag? Personally, I would LOVE to see it illegal to distruct our countrys flag in any manner

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