President Donald Trump threw his full support Saturday behind a Republican senator’s proposed constitutional amendment that allows Congress to ban the burning of the United States flag.
Trump praised the amendment on Twitter, saying he was “all in” on the proposal and calling it a “no brainer.”
“All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!” Trump said.
All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2019
Sen. Steve Daines of Montana and Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas — both Republicans — introduced the amendment on Friday, which was Flag Day, as The Hill pointed out.
“The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States,” the proposed amendment reads.
Daines released a statement on Friday, saying, “Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom.”
“Remembering the sacrifices of all who carried its colors into battle, our nation should always render the flag the honor and dignity it is due,” Daines added.
It’s not the first time Daines has proposed amending the Constitution to protect the American flag.
He introduced a similar amendment on Flag Day in 2017, and highlighted that proposal in a speech from the Senate floor the following year.
Trump, for his part, has been supportive of protecting the U.S. flag in the past, saying those who burn it should be jailed or even lose their citizenship.
“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” then-President-elect Trump tweeted weeks after winning the 2016 presidential election.
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
Critics of Daines’ proposed amendment, however, point to the 1989 Supreme Court ruling in Texas v. Johnson.
The 5-4 ruling established that burning the U.S. flag is considered protected free speech under the First Amendment.
Prior to Court’s decision, 48 states had laws on the books that prohibited the burning of the American flag, according to The Hill.