Trump Says He Supports Ban on Burning American Flag

June 15, 2019 Updated: June 16, 2019

President Donald Trump said that he supports an amendment that would ban the burning of American flags.

“All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!” Trump wrote on Twitter on June 15.

Daines (R-Mont.) recently proposed a constitutional amendment that would prohibit burning the flag, as the nation celebrated Flag Day.

“Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom,” Daines said in a press release on June 14. “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.”

Daines, who shared Trump’s missive in support of his move, has introduced an amendment for three consecutive years and said that his latest effort is a “reintroduction” of the same amendment.

A number of veterans groups, such as the American Legion of Montana and the Department of Montana Veterans of Foreign Wars, support the amendment, his office said.

When he first introduced the amendment, the groups also issued statements of support.

“It is long past time that the flag of the United States be protected from desecration, The American Legion of Montana applauds Senator Daines’ effort to protect the flag,” the American Legion of Montana said.

“The U.S. flag should be protected by the U.S. Constitution in the name of all veterans that gave their lives to protect it,” the group added.

In 2018, Daines released a list of 50 “offensive acts” against the flag since 2014, including the burning of a flag at a Texas cemetery on Memorial Day in 2018 and a group that ripped a flag and tried to burn it in Michigan earlier that year.

Originally co-sponsored by a number of Republican U.S. senators, the reintroduction was co-sponsored by Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.)

“A flag worth dying for is a flag worth protecting,” Cramer said in a statement.

“While we should always be mindful of First Amendment rights, the American flag signifies the founding principles that countless men and women have given their lives to preserve,” he added.

“Adding a Constitutional amendment to protect this symbol of freedom and liberty is not an attack on another Constitutional amendment; rather, it is an affirmation of the unifying principles our nation stands for.”

An amendment to the constitution is difficult to pass. A proposed amendment must garner a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the state legislatures. The latter process hasn’t been used to successfully pass an amendment.

If Congress passes a proposed amendment, it’s forwarded to the National Archives and Records Administration, which publishes it in a slip law format and sends it to the states. Governors of the states then submit the amendment to their state legislatures or call for a convention. If 38 or more states pass the amendment, it becomes part of the Constitution.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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