Senate Urges to Oppose Flag Amendment

"Speak Up for Freedom!"

People For the American Way is urging the U.S. Senate to resist the heavy-handed tactics of the Citizens Flag Alliance and the American Legion and vote against amending the Bill of Rights to restrict Americans' free speech rights.

With this Congress winding down, that means it's do-or-die time for the so-called Flag Desecration Amendment, and the Citizens Flag Alliance is pouring on the pressure. Over the summer, the group has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a media campaign targeted especially to Senators who are facing tight reelection battles this fall, in hopes of securing enough votes to move the measure on to the states.

To counter this high-pressure campaign, People For the American Way will run a full-page message to the Senators in tomorrow's edition of Roll Call, reminding them that the flag amendment would buy protection for the flag at the cost of limiting the American people's most cherished right of all, the right to free speech.

"The Citizens Flag Alliance wants us to believe that we have to choose between our flag and our Bill of Rights, but that's a false choice," said Carole Shields, President of the People For the American Way. "Tampering with our Bill of Rights would dishonor our flag more than any protester could do with his matches."

Shields noted that according to an American Bar Association poll, Americans overwhelmingly oppose the Flag Amendment when told that it would be the first amendment in American history to restrict freedom of speech and freedom of protest. Fifty-two percent of Americans said they would oppose the amendment, while 38 percent said they would favor it.

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