Missing the Point

As I research candidates, I keep coming across a past proposed (U.S.) Constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration.

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m hardly for flag desecration, and would be appalled if any American did so. But do people not see the irony that the flag represents our freedoms as Americans, especially our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, and thus freedom of expression? To protect the flag from trampling, people are trying to trample the First Amendment. And I wouldn’t vote for anyone who values the flag itself more highly than what it stands for.

Wikipedia lists the times it’s come up as a Congressional vote, which is frighteningly often. There was H.J.RES.12 (“House Joint Resolution 12”) in 2007, introduced by PA’s John Murtha, with 70 consponsors: no local politicians cosponsored it, but Tom Tancredo and Marilyn Musgrave both supported it. It had a parallel in the Senate, but with only one sponsor. Neither bill appears to have come to a vote.

In the previous (109th) Congress, House Joint Res. 10 passed 286-130; the vote rolecall is here indicating that Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley both voted for it. Its parallel, Senate Joint Res. 12, failed in the Senate, though it failed narrowly at 66-34; it’s not clear to me exactly what it needed, but it seems like it may have been one vote shy of passing with 2/3. Rollcall for that vote is here: Judd Gregg, John McCain, Harry Reid (!), and John Sununu all voted for it.

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