Protect U.S. flag from desecration

Letter to the editor

August 31, 2011

The 1989 Texas v. Johnson case invalidated laws against flag desecration in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

The American Legion and veterans everywhere were outraged that the court, in a 5-4 ruling, took away a fundamental right of the people to protect their flag — a right possessed since the birth of this nation.

For 17 years, the American Legion and the Citizens Flag Alliance, a coalition of more than 140 organizations, have championed the passage of a narrowly drawn Constitutional amendment that would return to the people the right to protect Old Glory.

Polls have shown that most Americans support a flag protection amendment.

Moreover, all 50 states, by action of their state legislators, have, in writing, appealed to Congress to pass the proposed amendment, then send it to the states to be ratified.

The greatest tragedy in flag mutilation is the disrespect it teaches children — disrespect for the values it embodies and disrespect for those who have sacrificed for those values. Disrespect is the genesis of hate. It provokes the dissolution of our unity, a unity which has only one symbol — the flag.

If the flag is good enough to cover the coffins of our heroes, it is good enough to protect.

Pat Smith

Catonsville

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