Trump's Flag-Burning Tweet Brings Back 1980s-Era Controversy

Miller called flag burning "completely ridiculous" and said few people actually support flag burning before changing the topic and talking about the new administration's Cabinet picks.

"I think you'll be happy", he told the room of reporters and editors.

McCarthy, asked about the matter on MSNBC's "Morning Joe", responded that, while he doesn't understand flag burning, the Supreme Court has upheld it as protected free speech under the First Amendment.

"I love my flag and I love what it stands for and I hate those who want to go out and burn it", Duffy said, "but I think the court is probably right in that we want to protect those people who want to protest".

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McCain wasn't alone in his sentiments.

Donald Trump says that anyone who burns an American flag should face unspecified "consequences", such as jail or a loss of citizenship.

Trump's suggestion that those who burn the American flag should lose their US citizenship as a penalty is also legally untenable. "My time is devoted to trying to make sure this nation is secure, not to comment on every comment of Mr. Trump's".

But flag-burning has always been a controversial issue on both sides of the aisle.

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His statement can easily be interpreted as yet another inflammatory and distracting Trump tweet - there have been many, after all.

Trump himself has tweeted about the importance of free speech, including a message he sent in 2013, quoting George Washington.

"I mean that was the main kind of speech that tyrants would seek to suppress", he added.

But Trump's opposition to the protection of flag burning puts him at odds with conservative leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, whom Trump has praised as a "brilliant Supreme Court Justice, one of the best of all time". "FBI agents around the country did twenty-five interviews on Schorr in less than six hours", Nixon biographer Richard Reeves writes.

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Flag desecration emerged as a political issue amid the convulsions of the 1960s after some Vietnam War opponents began burning flags as a form of protest. "We'll protect our First Amendment", he said.


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