Free Speech Gets Burned In House Flag Vote

In a move that could erode free speech and the freedom that our nation’s flag symbolizes, the United States House of Representatives voted 298 to 125 today in support of a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to make it a crime to desecrate an American flag. People For the American Way has actively worked to dissuade members of Congress from passing the Flag Amendment because, should it become law, it would be the first ever amendment to our Constitution to restrict liberty.

Said Ralph G. Neas, president of PFAW, "We cannot honor the flag by restricting the freedom for which it stands. Supporters of this unwise and unnecessary amendment have tried to make today’s vote a test of patriotism. We believe it is deeply patriotic to stand up for the Constitution’s promise of free expression. We will continue to fight this assault on Americans’ freedom of speech."

Neas continued, "Today’s vote is the fifth time in 11 years the Flag Amendment has come before the U.S. House. We hope that the Senate will reject the amendment, which is an attempt to criminalize speech and to curtail the very liberties this nation stands for around the world."

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