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Chambliss Disappointed with Senate Failure to Approve Flag Protection Amendment

Location: Washington, DC


June 27, 2006

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today expressed his disappointment with the Senate's failure to pass a resolution that would give Congress the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag. Chambliss was a cosponsor of the resolution. The measure, which needed 67 votes to pass, failed by a vote of 66-34.

"I am disappointed in today's vote. I share the view of the majority of Georgians that the American flag symbolizes the strong values that our country stands for -- freedom, liberty and representative democracy. And most importantly, our American flag represents the generations of men and women who have fought and died defending those values. For anybody to think that they ought to be able to stomp on that flag, or trample that flag, or burn that flag or destroy that flag in any way other than a professional way is simply wrong.

"Some folks say we ought not ‘change' the Constitution. Yet, for 200 years the legislative branch of our government had the power under our Constitution to prohibit the desecration of the flag. Only in 1989 and 1990 did a divided Supreme Court, for the first time in our history, ‘change' the Constitution to say that Congress no longer had that power. I believe the amendment process, provided for by the Constitution itself, is the lawful means by which the American people may restore common sense when the Supreme Court abandons it.

"All fifty states, north and south, east and west, have passed resolutions calling on Congress to pass a flag amendment. The House of Representatives has passed a constitutional amendment to protect against desecration of the American flag in each of the past five Congresses. It is time for the U.S. Senate to do the same."

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