Department of Florida

American Legion Supports Flag-Desecration Penalty…

American Legion supports flag-desecration penalty, as decided by Congress, after amendment

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2016 — The American Legion supports President-elect Donald Trump’s position that there should be some penalty for U.S. flag desecration, which would be decided by Congress if it chooses to enact such legislation, after the flag-protection constitutional amendment is ratified.

“In our campaign to restore the power of Congress to protect the American flag – a power taken away by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision – we’ve been told that no one burns the flag anymore,” said Richard Parker, Harvard law professor and chairman of the Citizens Flag Alliance. In fact, says Parker, flag desecration occurs on a frequent basis nationwide.

Parker is available to speak with reporters about flag protection. Those interested should contact American Legion national media liaison Stacy Gault at 202-705-8319 or

Flag protection has been a cornerstone of The American Legion since its founding. The organization held the first Flag Conference in 1923 that laid the groundwork for U.S. Flag Code, which still provides guidelines for flag respect.

In June 1990, the Supreme Court upheld that the Flag Protection Act was unconstitutional. Subsequently, The American Legion and other groups formed the Citizens Flag Alliance, which now includes more than 140 organizations campaigning together an effort to pass a flag-protection amendment.

The Citizens Flag Alliance has pushed legislation in nearly every session of Congress since 1990 stating, “Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.”

The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization with 2.2 million members in more than 13,000 posts in communities worldwide. The Legion, established by an act of Congress in 1919, was instrumental in creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs and passage of the GI Bill.