On Tuesday (Nov. 29,) President-Elect Trump tweeted and proposed that loss of citizenship or a year is jail should be possible consequences for burning the American Flag.
This was in response to a student of Hampshire College in Massachusetts burning the flag in protest of Trump’s election victory. The demonstration occurred synchronous with the removal of the American Flag from the campus’s flagpole.
Since the tweet was sent, there has been a social media storm of people voicing their concerns of the constitutionality of the law if he were to come through with the proposal.
Opponents argue that it would be in direct violation of the First Amendment, which was the basis for the Supreme Courts ruling in the infamous 1989 case Texas v. Johnson. The ruling struck down criminal laws banning flag burning, stating that it was a form of political expression protected by the aforementioned First Amendment.
On the other side of the isle, phrases such as ‘act of terrorism,’ ‘disturbance of the peace,’ and ‘anti patriotic’ are being used to justify the President-Elect’s comments. However, even within the Republican Party (where most of these supporters are,) there are those who are in disagreement and others who are taking it a step further by denouncing his words.
Many Democrats are pointing at this as a “I told you so” moment (regarding his presidential demeanor and knowledge of the constitution.) However, Donald Trump is not the only one who has supported criminal charges now or in the past. Hillary Clinton also supported criminal charges being brought down on flag burners via the 2005 “Flag Protection Act” in which she was a co-sponsor. While it did not call for the stripping of citizenship, the act proposed flag burning with the intent to incite violence or disturb the peace punishable by a year in jail and a $100,000 fine. Sound familiar?
There is no right or wrong answer to this issue. Many different people have many different opinions depending on where they were born, how they were raised, and the kind of people they were raised among.
However, it’s only right and just for you to have an educated opinion. What do you think? Let us know below!