As the George Floyd protests spread all over the country, President Donald Trump stated that he would maintained “law and order” amidst the civil unrests, and sent in the National Guard to try and stamp down the protests, and later threatened to send in the military.
He also took a stand against flag burning, which he claimed was an epidemic at protests. Earlier this month, he asked the Supreme Court to reconsider Texas v. Johnson, the 1989 ruling that made flag burning a constitutionally protected speech.
“We have a different court and I think that it’s time that we review that again. Because when I see flags being burned — they wanted to crawl up flag poles in Washington and try and burn flags but we stopped them,” Trump reportedly told Governors during a phone call.
During the Tulsa rally, he called on the senators in attendance, Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.), to come up with legislation the criminalizes flag burning, with a penalty of jail time.
“We ought to come up with legislation that if you burn the American flag, you go to jail for one year. One year,” he said, claiming that he was “a big believer in freedom of speech,” but that flag burning was “desecration.”
He stated that a Portland incident was the inspiration for his new proposal.
“Two days ago, leftist protesters in Portland, Oregon ripped down a statue of George Washington and wrapped in an American flag, and set the American flag on fire,” Trump said as the crowd booed, “Democrat, all Democrat. Everything I tell you is Democrat.”
However, Trump’s statement were slammed on social media, and historian Kevin Kruse tweeted: “Someone should tell Trump that they once tried to have a law that criminalized flag burning but the Supreme Court struck it down in a decision that Justice Scalia joined.”