Welcome Visitor
Thu, Oct 27, 2016
128 members currently online.

Skelton says constitutional amendment needed to protect the American flag
Skelton says constitutional amendment needed to protect the American flag

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 14, 2009) — From the Stars and Stripes that Francis Scott Key saw defiantly waving through the smoke over Fort McHenry, to the flag that energized and emboldened the war-weary American spirit as it was hoisted over Mount Suribachi, to the first national emblem to be planted in the dust of the Moon, our history has been shaped and defined by the role of our national colors. As we celebrated Flag Day this year, we were reminded that as in the past, the flag remains a sacred beacon of freedom, a symbol of hope wherever it is flown.

On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution adopting the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States. Official recognition of June 14 as Flag Day began when President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation in 1916. For Americans, the flag is one of the most sacred symbols of our government, representing freedom, democracy, and all of the things that we hold most dear about our country.

Over the years, however, various laws designed to protect the U.S. flag have been invalidated by the courts. In a 1989 Supreme Court decision, Texas v. Johnson, the court struck down the 1968 federal Flag Protection Act, citing concerns about free speech. Congress quickly passed a new Flag Protection Act, but it too was struck down by the Supreme Court in a 1990 Supreme Court decision, U.S. v. Eichman.

A national symbol as sacred and historic as our flag deserves better. Millions of brave Americans have fought and hundreds of thousands have died so that the American flag can continue to wave over the Land of the Free. To honor their ongoing sacrifices and protect the dearest symbol of our country, I have co-sponsored H.J. Res. 47, which would amend the Constitution by granting Congress “the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” H.J. Res. 47 was introduced by fellow Missourian, U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, and is currently pending in the House Judiciary Committee.

This is not the first time steps have been taken in Congress to protect and preserve the U.S. flag. Similar constitutional amendments have been debated by nearly every Congress since these court decisions, but they have never met all of the ratification requirements. In order to be added to the Constitution, an amendment must be approved by a two-thirds majority in the House, by a two-thirds majority in the Senate, and by three-fourths of state legislatures.

I am hopeful that the U.S. House of Representatives will soon consider this amendment. It is an intolerable contradiction that we would have our brave men and women commit the ultimate sacrifice defending our nation abroad, only to allow its sacred symbol to be desecrated on their home soil. It’s time to amend the Constitution to defend the flag. Old Glory deserves no less.

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at http://www.house.gov/skelton.

Click here to follow the Pulaski County Daily News on Twitter
Click here to follow the Pulaski County Daily News on Facebook

Click here to comment for local opinion

Printer-friendly format

Do you know someone else who would like to see this?
Your Email:
Their Email:
(Will be included with e-mail)
Secret Code

In the box below, enter the Secret Code exactly as it appears above *


recent articles

Two vehicles totaled in separate single-vehicle weekend wrecks (1249 Views)