U. S. Flag Protection

The U.S. Constitution should be amended to add the following: “The Congress shall have the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” The American Legion joins all the states and an overwhelming majority of citizens in its position that the American flag deserves legal protection from acts of intentional public physical desecration. In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court declared flag desecration to be a “right” protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. The American Legion disagreed then, and reaffirms now, that flag desecration is a form of conduct – not speech
– that can and should be regulated by law. All 50 state legislatures have petitioned Congress for a constitutional amendment that would give power to Congress to prohibit such conduct. Poll after poll shows that upward of 80 percent of Americans support flag protection. Lopsided majorities in both chambers of Congress have supported a flag amendment. The House of Representatives has passed such a proposed amendment in six consecutive
votes; the measure has fallen just slightly short of achieving a supermajority in the Senate, leaving it just one vote short of passing in the 109th Congress. As a symbol of our nation, the U.S. flag belongs to the people, who should be given the power to protect it. The American Legion’s position on its protection is inviolate.