Flag amendment introduced in House, Senate

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., introduced legislation May 6 to pass a proposed constitutional amendment that would return to the American people the right to protect their flag from desecration. Senate Joint Resolution 15 reads, “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” Reps. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., and Jim Marshall, D-Ga., introduced a similar resolution, H.J. Res. 47, in the House of Representatives on April 30. Post-election analysis indicates the measure enjoys support from more than 260 members of the House of Representatives, with 60 undecided.“Surprisingly, this amendment has a lot of determined opposition in Congress,” American Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein said. “But I am an optimist. I believe if the American people let their representatives and senators know where they stand, Congress will have to pass it. I call on all members of The American Legion family to urge Congress to act.”In six consecutive Congresses, the House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a proposed flag-protection amendment, only to see it fall short in the Senate by as little as one vote. To date, 50 states have passed memorializing resolutions, asking Congress to pass the flag-protection amendment and send it to the states for ratification.“In a democracy, when enough people care about something, they are entitled to do something about it. That is the idea of our Constitution and, especially, of its democratic heart – Article V, which establishes the popular process of amendment,” said Richard Parker, Harvard Law School professor and board chairman of the Citizens Flag Alliance.More than 140 organizations, representing millions of Americans, have joined the Citizens Flag Alliance since it was founded by the Legion and incorporated in 1994. The nonprofit, nonpartisan CFA has the singular purpose of persuading Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that would return to the American people the right to protect their flag.