The Salem News
---- — To the editor:
For many years, the American Legion has promoted an amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting the desecration of the American flag. It was within one or two votes of passing the Senate but lost by two votes. At the time, Sen. Ted Kennedy and Sen. John Kerry cast negative votes.
The amendment is again being introduced before Congress as House Joint Resolution HJ47 and Senate Joint Resolution SJ17. The public is strongly urged to contact all members, both of the Senate and House of Representatives, to co-author and vote for passage of the amendment to the Constitution making it illegal to desecrate our national symbol.
Some claim that despicable physical acts of desecration are expressions of free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment. How any sane interpretation of free speech could possibly include these despicable acts is beyond comprehension.
As a sovereign nation, the United States has a right to designate by constitutional amendment its flag — the one sacred and prominent symbol of a free, democratic and benevolent nation, unique on this planet — as sacrosanct and not to be besmirched in any physical way. Much patriotic blood has been shed for the protection of this flag and all that it stands for.
I urge all citizens to express their desire that this amendment be passed by the federal government and sent on for ratification by the legislature of each state and commonwealth.
Bruce P. Eaton