The Flag Burning Amendment


RedState has issued one of its rare “official” editorials. I wrote it. The text is below:

&#8220The fixation with trivial amendments &#8230 and the inability &#8230 to move through substantive reforms calls into question the time we spent working to keep that majority.&#8221

The United States Congress is currently considering a flag burning amendment to the Constitution. The amendment simply states “[t]he Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” That is all. The amendment would not necessarily prohibit individuals from wearing the flag, burning the flag, spitting on the flag, or otherwise desecrating the flag unless Congress passed subsequent legislation. While the sponsors of the amendment are no doubt sincere, we believe Congress could spend its time elsewhere.

This year, Congress has been debating a ridiculous highway spending bill, which the President has threatened to veto. Congress is also considering such legislation as the “Online Freedom of Speech Act,” new copyright laws to address modern, digital issues, judicial nominations, John Bolton’s nomination, and a host of other more important matters. It is all well and good for Congress to pause and show its respect for the flag, but its time would be better spent showing its respect for the American people by passing meaningful reforms to cut taxes, reform social security, and curb wasteful government spending.

The flag amendment provides no substance and arguably curbs the First Amendment, which Congress has already curtailed enough through campaign finance reform. The fixation with trivial amendments to our founding document and the inability of the Republican majority to move through substantive reforms calls into question the time we spent working to keep that majority. RedState calls on Congress to stop wasting its time with the flag burning amendment and get on with expanding individual freedoms by decreasing the government’s lust for taxpayer money.

About the author

Erick Erickson


  • I’ll second that Amen.

    I fear Congress is engaging in a standard magician’s trick: misdirection. While the Supreme Court was gutting property rights, what was the big political story on the Hill? What Durbin and Rove said and whether they should apologize for it. Last year, while the Congress was spending like drunk teenagers on pork barrel projects, the talk was all about FMA.

    Even this 10 Commandments decision was misdirection as on the same day the court ruled that a product manufacturer can be held liable for how the product is mis-used in the Grokster case. Expect that bit of case law to be cited in the next gun liability lawsuit.

    They are distracting us with sexy issues, while they shaft us behind the scenes. Shouldn’t you be doing something about Social Security guys?

Erick Erickson

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