"The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."
This pandering to jingoism has a long history among Republicans. When we take away silly proposals such as flag-burning amendments and Commandments posted on walls, the only truly original idea that the current administration has provided is the idea that a small group of wealthy elites should be allowed to monopolize government largesse along with the world's resources. Looking at the previous flag-debate back in 1997, I ran across the following nugget from representatives who opposed the amendment:
H.J. Res. 54 responds to a perceived problem-flag burning-that is all but nonexistent in American life today. Studies indicate that in all of American history from the adoption of the United States flag in 1777 through the Texas v. Johnson decision in 1989 there were only 45 reported incidents of flag burning.
What does that work out to? One burnt flag every 5 years of so. And for this, we need a Constitutional amendment? Perhaps our representatives have too much time on their hands. Maybe we need to set up a textile mill next to the capitol so that we can at least get a little worthwhile work out of them.
Bloggers from both sides of the political spectrum have voiced their opposition to the flag-burning amendment (check out Dummocrats, Seeing the Forest, Nashville Truth, That's Life in the 125 , The Old Dominion, Scrutiny Hooligans, and Daily Curmudgeon.) I also ran across a useful page titled A brief history of flag burning. I wonder what's next. Will our diligent representatives next propose a follow-up amendment forbidding the desecration of our flag with poetry?