June 23, 2005 – The United States House of Representatives yesterday passed a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment that would make it a crime to "desecrate" the nationâ€™s flag.
Introduced by California Republican Randy Cunningham, the amendment would authorize Congress to "prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."
The 236-to-130 vote was the sixth time the House has approved such an amendment since the US Supreme Court overruled state laws banning flag desecration in 1989.
Twelve Republicans joined independent Representative Bernie Saunders (I-Vermont) and 117 Democrats in opposing the bill.
Flag desecration in the US is rare. Even the Citizens Flag Alliance, a pro-amendment group, says they have documented only 38 separate instances since 2000.
Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, introduced a companion Senate bill in early March. That measure has yet to make it to the Senate floor, but if it passes there, it will be sent to the states. Thirty-eight states would then have to ratify the amendment for it to become part of the US Constitution.