President-Elect Trump supports jailtime or loss of citizenship for flag burning

 
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President-Elect Trump supports jailtime or loss of citizenship for flag burning

This somewhat seems to come out of the blue, but maybe there was a flag burning somewhere I can't find:

President-elect Donald Trump proposed on Tuesday a penalty -- including possible jail time or loss of citizenship -- for burning the American flag, in spite of two US Supreme Court rulings that protect the act under the First Amendment as a form of free speech.

"Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag -- if they do, there must be consequences -- perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!" Trump tweeted. 

 
CNN also has a video of one of his spokesmen talking about it, or being asked about it anyway, since he seems to not want to discuss the position, and more so talk about a host of appointments.   
 
MSNBC has a slightly better discussion of the history on it, and where this stands, although it then veers into some other issues that aren't quite as germane, but they have to fill up time I guess.
 
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Worth mentioning, but not noted in the MSNBC segment is that the jail portion was actually supported by his general election opponent, Secretary Clinton who tried to put in just such a bill in 2005.  Now, she did not support an Amendment to the Constitution, but she did support passage of just such a law, as CNN noted at the bottom of their piece:
 
Still, banning flag-burning has drawn mainstream support before. The Flag Protection Act of 1989 was supported at the time by President George H.W. Bush, before it was ruled unconstitutional, and the Flag Protection Act of 2005, another failed attempt to criminalize flag burning, was co-sponsored by then-Sen. Hillary Clinton.
 
I'm not sure about the citizenship aspect of the tweet, or what he's actually purporting as a new law, but the Flag Protection Amendment is something long championed by The American Legion.  The citizenship part is much stickier a proposition, since anyone becoming a new citizen has to renounce any previous citizenships, meaning if their American citizenship were revoked, they would essentially become stateless.
 
Here is the Press Release from the National Commander on this development:

The American Legion supports Trump on flag issue,
calls for constitutional protection

 

American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt praises President-elect Donald Trump for his support of the American flag. In a tweet, Mr. Trump said, “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

As the leader of the nation’s largest veterans service organization, Schmidt said, “Our brothers and sisters in arms have shed blood, even paid the ultimate sacrifice, in defense of our nation. The American flag represents their sacrifice and our nation’s way of freedom. No one should tolerate desecration of the American flag.”

The American Legion strongly advocates for a constitutional ban on flag burning, and calls on the new commander in chief to support such a ban with the following wording, “Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.”

There is strong support for such a law. Every U.S. state has passed memorializing resolutions to ratify a constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. Additionally, the House of Representatives has passed an amendment six times by supermajorities, only to see it fall short in the Senate – by just one vote the last time it reached the floor.

“It’s time to protect Old Glory from being burned or otherwise desecrated by protesters,” Schmidt said. “We are not against civil protest or demonstrations. However, these protesters are not burning a piece of cloth. They are desecrating the sacrifice and honor of all past, present and future servicemembers and their family members, who have given so much to this great nation.” 

Also, if you are still looking for a Christmas gift for a good patriotic American, take a look at this excellent book that we've produced.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.