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Womack Introduces Constitutional Amendment to Protect the U.S. Flag

Washington, DC—June 14, 2021....As our country celebrates Flag Day, Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) reintroduced a constitutional amendment to restore the authority of Congress to protect our national emblem of freedom by prohibiting the desecration of the American flag. The joint resolution also has a companion bill in the Senate, which is being led by Senator Steve Daines (R-MT).

Congressman Womack said, “Recognized from near and afar, our flag is the embodiment of freedom and liberty. With hands over our hearts, we salute our enduring banner and the promise it upholds. It has guided troops into battle, steadfastly flown during our brightest and darkest moments, and is placed over the caskets of our heroes who have given all. It means too much to not have the ability to protect it.”

The American Legion said, “Flag Day is a time when we reflect on the cherished red, white, and blue cloth of our nation. The U.S. flag is a binding thread through tumultuous times in our nation’s history. Through two world wars, the Great Depression, 9/11, contentious politics, racial strife and a global pandemic, the Star-Spangled Banner serves as a constant reminder that Americans are all in this together. Those simple stars and stripes are unifying symbols for our nation, bridging the divisions that appear in our society. The American Legion thanks Rep. Womack for championing the Flag Protection Amendment. Traditionally and legally, the American flag had been protected from desecration, and many Americans think that protection should be restored. I hope this bill will gain wide support in these trying times, and we will one day soon be able to give this great symbol, which we call Old Glory, the sanctity it has earned through the blood and sacrifices of generations of brave Americans. Protecting this national treasure is a prime opportunity for members of Congress to come together and exemplify the unifying power of service to our nation and to others.”

Senator Steve Daines said, “The American flag is a symbol of liberty and a beacon of hope. It represents the ideals that our nation was built upon and for decades, brave men and women have carried its colors into battle to defend the United States of America. The Stars and Stripes are a representation of freedom. We must always protect and respect the American flag.”

Until invalidated by the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Texas v. Johnson, 48 states had laws banning flag desecration. This proposal reinstates the American people’s power to protect our most important national symbol by granting Congress the authority to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag.

Members of Congress have routinely supported the passage of an amendment to allow for the ability to protect the flag. To date, a joint resolution giving Congress the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag has been passed in the House several times with bipartisan, 2/3 majority support.

Original cosponsors of the legislation include Representatives Ted Budd (NC-13), Rick Crawford (AR-1), Andy Harris (MD-1), Doug Lamborn (CO-5), and Dan Newhouse (WA-4).

The reintroduction coincides with Flag Day, which commemorates the adoption of the U.S. flag by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

Text of the bill here.

Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) has represented Arkansas’s Third Congressional District since 2011. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.