Businessman and Philanthropist

An article appeared in The Desert Sun, Mar. 27, 2011 on the value of our flag


"Flag is precious symbol"

As a U.S. Army veteran and lifetime member of the American Legion and VFW, whenever I see our flag going down, I get this sick feeling inside.

When I see our flag being burned and in flames, I am outraged.

Many of you might be too young to understand the meaning of what fighting for our country means. To volunteer to perhaps give your life for democracy.

From the fields of the Alamo to Europe and the Pacific to Korea to Vietnam and Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond, our flag for 235 years stands for freedom above all else. Look into the eyes of those who have served, and you will know what I mean.

I now want to inform you of the recently introduced new Flag Amendment.

On Jan. 7, Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., reintroduced legislation for the 112th Congress proposing a constitutional amendment that would restore to Congress the power to prohibit physical desecration of the nation's flag. House Joint Resolution 13 simply reads “The Congress shall have the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is expected to introduce similar legislation in the Senate.

In previous Congresses, the House overwhelmingly adopted this flag protection amendment, but the necessary two-thirds majority in the Senate needed to send it to the states for ratification has never been achieved.

The American Legion and VFW are urging all concerned citizens, veterans and their families to rally around the flag once again by contacting their senators and representatives, encouraging them to become cosponsors of this legislation.

In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in Texas v. Johnson overturned 200 years of tradition and laws by declaring that the people no longer had a right to protect their flag.

The court ruled that flag-burning is protected “speech” as defined by the First Amendment, invalidating laws in 48 states, and the District of Columbia.

This is wrong, and this time we can correct it. I need your help. Please contact your elected officials.

Robert F. Sylk
La Quinta