Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said he looks forward to voting in support of the flag protection amendment today. The amendment restores the authority of Congress to pass a flag desecration law if it chooses.
The amendment is very close to garnering the 67 votes necessary for a constitutional amendment to pass the Senate.
Graham noted the amendment is necessary because of a 1989 Supreme Court 5-4 ruling that said flag burning was politically expressive conduct and permitted under the First Amendment.
“I enthusiastically support the constitutional amendment allowing elected officials to protect the American flag. Asking Americans to respect the flag of our nation is not an undue hardship. It also does not impede the rights of any Americans to strongly express their displeasure on any issue.
“Unfortunately, because of a Supreme Court decision, a constitutional amendment is the only mechanism to change the result. If passed by two-thirds of the Congress, I believe this amendment will be ratified by the states.
“I support the right of free speech however the physical desecration of our flag is not free speech. It’s an unnecessary destruction of one of our nation’s most important symbols. The constitutional amendment will restore the right of the legislature to protect the flag and passage of this amendment is long overdue.”