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Note: This document is the unofficial version of the Congressional Record. The printed Congressional Record produced by the Government Printing Office is the only official version.

DATE March 21, 1995

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker`s announced policy of January 4, 1995, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Solomon) is recognized during morning business for 5 minutes.
Mr. SOLOMON. I would love to respond to the last statement, but I will wait.
Mr. Speaker, today I will be introducing a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment prohibiting the physical desecration of the American flag. I am happy to say that this effort has received wide support from my friends and colleagues on both sides of the aisle in both Houses of Congress, including my good friend Sonny Montgomery standing over here, Senator Orrin Hatch over in the Senate, as well as Senator Howell Heflin on a bipartisan basis. In fact, over 240 Representatives and 40 Senators have already answered the call to protect this our greatest national symbol, Old Glory.

PAGE H3330 I would like to emphasize, Mr. Speaker, the surge of support to extend this needed protection for the flag comes not in response to changes which have occurred inside the beltway but in response to a massive grassroots movement from across this Nation, all as well it should have been. In fact, 46 State legislatures have already passed resolutions asking Congress to allow them the chance to ratify this amendment.

Mr. Speaker, at 3 o`clock this afternoon, I will drop that constitutional amendment in the hopper over here and there will be a press conference out in the grassy triangle on the Senate side of the Capitol, where those of us who support this badly needed constitutional amendment will answer questions from the press.
At this time, I would like to yield to a truly great American. He is a Democrat on that side of the aisle, but he stands up for America`s veterans and for the armed services.

PAGE H3330 Mr. MONTGOMERY. I thank very much the gentleman yielding to me. I certainly support very much the American flag amendment that the gentleman from New York will drop in the hopper at 3 o`clock. As the chairman of the Committee on Rules mentioned, we have 242 members who have signed up on the House side to sponsor this. We need 48 more Members to get the 290 when we do get the opportunity to bring this constitutional amendment resolution up that it will have a chance to pass.
I would like to thank the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Gene Green, a Member of Congress, who has been getting Democrats on this side of the aisle to sign that resolution. As the gentleman from New York said, it is nonpartisan. It comes about that we did pass a simple law in the Congress and signed by President Bush that said you cannot hurt this great American flag. This was turned down by the U.S. Supreme Court who said Congress does not have that authority.

So it becomes now to protect the flag. We have all the veterans organizations totally supporting this amendment. I stand right with the gentleman, side by side. We need to get this constitutional amendment. We need to get more signees on this side of the Capitol to be darned sure. We lost some of them last time as the gentleman remembers. We had over 290 signatures on the House side. When we brought the amendment up, we lost some and we did not pass it. We do not want that to happen this time.

PAGE H3330 Mr. SOLOMON. The gentleman is so right. He always does stand up for America. It is a crime today to destroy this dollar bill, it is a crime today to desecrate the Washington Monument. It is not a crime to desecrate Old Glory. That is a crime in itself. We are going to change that. I thank the gentleman and urge everyone to sponsor this constitutional amendment. We will have 290 votes in the very near future and Members ought to be an original cosponsor of the legislation.
You can be so if you sign on before 3 o`clock this afternoon. PAGE H3330

Warren S. Apel