On Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted his support for a constitutional amendment sponsored by Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) to ban the burning of the American flag:
All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2019
Some conservative activists have sought a ban on flag burning for years, but even they acknowledge it would have to be done by constitutional amendment, as the First Amendment does not allow a specific form of nonviolent political protest to be singled out for a ban.
Trump’s tweet soon drew widespread criticism on social media, with many people criticizing Trump’s desire to restrict freedom of speech — and some making fun of Trump’s own bizarre conduct with the flag:
Is there an outbreak of flag burning I’m just not aware of? https://t.co/H6q2xRGg67
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) June 15, 2019ADVERTISEMENT
Even Scalia disagrees with prohibiting burning the flag. pic.twitter.com/VcOn4Zn4ki
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) June 15, 2019ADVERTISEMENT
People who can’t afford insulin are dying but ok Donald, everyone protect the magic skycloth
— aly murray (@overhubbed) June 15, 2019ADVERTISEMENT
Literally no brains were used in proposing a flag-burning amendment
— Anita Creamer (@AnitaCreamer) June 15, 2019ADVERTISEMENT
People like Senator Steve Daines and Donald Trump love to play demagogue and are eager to “virtue signal” their patriotism by banning flag burning. In reality, they’re the ones burning the whole spirit of the flag by suppressing freedom of speech and promoting state censorship.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) June 15, 2019ADVERTISEMENT
What the United States needs more than anything is a Constitutional amendment that allows strong campaign finance reform.
As for flags, Mr. Trump, you’ve shown more disrespect for the American Flag and the values it represents than any president in our history.ADVERTISEMENT
— Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie (@RevChuckCurrie) June 15, 2019
What’s needed is a ban on grotesquely hugging and thereby demeaning the American flag. pic.twitter.com/QwZmG36CCkADVERTISEMENT
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 15, 2019