There are a lot of issues President-elect Donald Trump and his defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton disagree on. But flag burning might not be one of them.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that burning the American flag is an offense that ought to be punished by jail time or a "loss of citizenship." But as several journalists pointed out, when Clinton was a New York senator, she co-sponsored a bill titled the "Flag Protection Act of 2005" that would have made the destruction of the flag an offense punishable with a year-long prison sentence. The legislation did not ban flag burning entirely, but prohibited flag burning with "the primary purpose and intent to incite or produce imminent violence or a breach of peace."
Though the measure failed, The Washington Examiner pointed out that "more than half of Democrats in the Senate backed her effort." The New York Times panned Clinton in an editorial at the time, insisting that flag burning, unlike cross burning, which Clinton cited in her support for the bill, has "no history of being directed against any target but the government."
However, Mediate noted, Clinton's stance on the issue is "complicated to say the least." While Clinton co-sponsored the 2005 bill, she also voted in 2006 against a constitutional amendment that would have made burning the flag a criminal act.
The Supreme Court has defended flag burning as an act of free speech protected by the First Amendment. Becca Stanek