‘Protect freedom of speech, reject flag amendment’

Wednesday, July 8, 1998

The U.S. flag symbolizes our freedom. Now some senators, including our own Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, want to put that symbol above our freedoms. Namely, our freedom of speech.

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee holds another hearing on a proposed historic amendment to the U.S. Constitution to give Congress the power to prohibit “the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.”

The Committee approved the amendment June 24. The hearing is just to continue to drum up support.

Freedom of speech is what makes our country different and admired around the world. That's what President Clinton was talking about in China last week: giving the Chinese people the right to criticize their government without fear of a jail sentence for doing so.

Our freedom of speech must continue to extend to such wicked speech as burning or desecrating our flag.

Sen. D'Amato, R-N.Y., who is running for reelection this fall, is one of 60 co-sponsors of this weak-brained amendment. Sen. Daniel Moynihan, D-N.Y., rightfully opposes it.

Only 67 votes out of the 100 senators are needed to pass this swamp gas. The vote, which is yet unscheduled, is expected to be extremely close. Contact D'Amato and tell him that you want him and his colleagues to forget about tampering with our freedom of speech.