Pressure by flag amendment advocates forces action and SJR 4 is favorably released by the Judiciary, headed to the Senate floor with a 5-4 vote. The Senate leadership promises a vote in September, but reneges on the promise, while offering up the idea of a pre-election vote. But, again, the promise is broken when the elections pass without amendment action.
Two months after Senate hearings, no Judiciary mark-up is done. Independence Day passes and the situation remains unchanged.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) calls hearings on SJR 4, the Senate version of the flag amendment. Individuals from several CFA member organizations fill the hearing room as the Judiciary hears testimony from CFA’s MG Patrick Brady and consultant Professor Richard Parker, who are joined by professional racecar driver John Andretti. Andretti draws great media attention and broadens support among “NASCAR Dads” and others who learn of the amendment. Senate leadership promises a vote between Memorial Day and July, but delays dog the procedure.
The House Judiciary takes up HJR 4 in closed sessions, skipping formal hearings and going right to a mark-up. The proposed amendment is sent to the floor by an 18-13 vote of the Judiciary. On June 3, 2003, the measure is brought to the floor of the House. With the highest vote count in four years, the United States House of Representatives passes House Joint Resolution 4 – the flag protection constitutional amendment – for the fifth consecutive time since the CFA’s campaign began with the 104th Congress. Going to the floor for a vote, the proposed amendment carries 213 official cosponsors. The final tally, 300-125. Support in the Senate remains strong with more than 60 US Senators on record as supporters of the amendment and more than 55 signed on as official cosponsors. CFA throttles up in preparation for a run at the Senate.
On the opening day of the 108th Congress, flag amendment chief co-sponsors John Murtha (D-PA) and Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA) introduced House Joint Resolution 4. Twenty-four colleagues joined them as cosponsors. The following week, on Jan. 15, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced an identical measure in the Senate. In addition to the two chief cosponsors, Senate Joint Resolution 4 enjoys co-sponsorship from 41 other Senators. With an all-time high number of member organizations at 144, the Citizens Flag Alliance ratchets up operations and prepares for work in the 108th.
Results of the November mid-term elections reveals that more than 300 Representatives and 64 Senators will take seats in the 108th Congress.
Results of polling, done to determine support for the amendment and released at a Washington, DC press conference, reveal a “new” group of strong supporters of the flag amendment. With 80 percent favoring the amendment, 18-24-year-olds are the second most supportive – and “new” – age group. Only those respondents 65 and older are more pro flag at 85 percent.
The Vermont State legislature passes a Memorial Resolution that calls on Congress to pass a flag protection constitutional amendment. The call for the amendment is now unanimous among the states.
A change in Senate leadership gives amendment opponents control over the destiny of the measure. It is held hostage through the Second Session of the 107th and never allowed on the floor.
The flag protection amendment, House Joint Resolution 36, passes the House, 298-125, for the fourth time in consecutive Congresses.
Reps. Randy Cunningham (R-CA) and John Murtha (D-PA) introduce HJ Res. 36. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Max Cleland (D-GA) introduce SJ Res. 7.
Senate Joint Resolution 14, the flag-protection constitutional amendment, falls four short of the necessary 67 votes (63-37) in the United States Senate. The Citizens Flag Alliance notes deep disappointment in two Senators [Robert Byrd (D-WV); and Richard Bryan (D-NV)] whose support was withdrawn at the last minute.
The U.S. House of Representatives passes HJ Res. 33, 305-124, 15 votes more than needed for passage of a constitutional amendment.
House Judiciary Subcommittee holds hearings on H.J. Res. 33. Witnesses testifying in favor of the amendment include Stephen Presser, Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law; Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady (USA-Ret.), Medal of Honor recipient and Chairman of the Board of The Citizens Flag Alliance, Inc.; Stephan Ross, a holocaust survivor who was liberated from Dachau by the U.S. Army; and Bishop Carlton Pearson, the presiding Bishop for more than 500 churches and ministries throughout the Azusa Interdenominational Fellowship.
Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Max Cleland (D-GA) introduce S.J. Res. 14. The amendment has 54 co-sponsors. In all, 64 Senators pledge their support of the amendment.
Reps. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) and John Murtha (D-PA) introduce H.J. Res. 33, a constitutional amendment to return to the American people the right to protect their flag.
Election analysis indicates the CFA is a step closer to passage of a flag-protection constitutional amendment in the U.S. Senate in the 106th Congress. Newly elected Senators who support the flag-protection amendment include Sens. Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D-AR), Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) and George Voinovich (R-OH). All three Senators replace incumbents who were on record as "no" votes, thus enhancing the amendment’s chance for passage in the Senate.
Sen. Majority Leader Trent Lott brings SJR 40 to the floor of the U.S. Senate asking unanimous consent to proceed to debate and vote. Sens. Robert Kerrey (D-NE) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) object to consideration of the resolution, citing lack of time to sufficiently debate the amendment. With that, the measure is lost in the 105th Congress.
Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings on S.J. Res. 40. Those testifying in favor of the amendment include Tommy Lasorda, John Schneider and Harvard Law Professor Richard Parker.
Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Max Cleland (D-GA) introduce into the 105th Congress Senate Joint Res. 40. The amendment has 61 co-sponsors.
The so-called Citizens for the Constitution is formed to, in their words, “call attention to the adverse effects of fast-paced constitutional tinkering.” They begin by creating eight “standards,” which they claim are intended to address when and how the Constitution should be amended. They lobby Congress to adopt these standards that will govern how the amendment process should, in their opinion, unfold.
H.J. Res. 54 passes House 310-114, 20 votes more than needed for passage of a constitutional amendment.
Reps. Gerald Solomon (R-NY) and William O. Lipinski (D-IL) introduce into the 105th Congress House Joint Resolution 54, the flag-protection amendment. CFA officials vigorously encourage member organizations and individuals to persuade their representatives to become co-sponsors.
Flag amendment supporters capture 25 of the 34 Senate seats and 290 plus House seats. The Citizens Flag Alliance reaffirms its flag amendment commitment.
CFA launches massive "Get Out the Vote" and public information effort. The nationwide campaign includes press events, voter registration and voter education drives.
CFA launches nationwide campaign to tell citizens how their lawmakers voted on the amendment.
Senate rejects SJR 31 by a vote of 63-36; the amendment fails by 3 votes.
Fifty-six Senators are co-sponsors of SJR 31.
SJR31 passes Senate Judiciary Committee, 12-6.
HJR 79 clears House 312-120. 290 votes are needed for passage of a constitutional amendment.
White House representative testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee and says President Clinton opposes the flag amendment.
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Howell Heflin (D-AL) introduce Senate Joint Resolution 31, calling for a constitutional amendment. Representatives Gerald Solomon (R-NY) and G. V. "Sonny" Montgomery (D-MS) introduce HJR 79, the same resolution, in the House of Representatives.
CFA convenes a constitutional scholars’ forum at Williamsburg, VA to determine the underlying merit and political viability of the many options available to prevent the public dishonoring of the American Flag. Prof. Arthur Miller of Harvard University School of Law moderates the forum that is attended by scholars from the nation’s finest legal institutions, advocacy groups and public policy research organizations. To ensure an accurate breadth of ideological input, the forum is evenly divided between scholars supporting and opposing a flag protection amendment.
The American Legion approves a resolution authorizing the funding of The Citizens Flag Alliance, Inc. (CFA). CFA is chartered in Virginia as a 501(c) 4 corporation. To promote the flag amendment and flag education, the CFA seeks membership of other civic, social, veterans and fraternal organizations. The CFA organizes in all 50 states and the membership grows to 112 member organizations by December 1995.
Memorializing resolution campaign gains steam. By the end of 1993, 35 state legislatures have approved resolutions. Gallup Organization polls show overwhelming public support for flag-protection amendment.
Presidential candidate Bill Clinton tells The American Legion National Convention delegates in Chicago that he opposes flag burning and leaves the impression that he would support a flag-protection constitutional amendment.
The Legion family refocuses on memorializing resolution campaign in the states. The non-binding resolutions urge the Congress to adopt an amendment allowing “Congress and the states” to enact and enforce flag-protection laws.
Senate fails to obtain two-thirds majority for flag-protection amendment.
House fails to obtain the two-thirds majority required to pass a flag-protection constitutional amendment.
U.S. Supreme Court, in Eichman v. US, rules PL 101-131 unconstitutional.
Federal judges in Seattle and Washington, D.C. rule PL 101-131, the Flag Protection Act of 1989, unconstitutional.
HR 2978 becomes Public Law 101-131 and U.S. Flags are burned on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to protest enactment of the law.
House and Senate adopt House Resolution 2978, the "Flag Protection Act of 1989," a federal statute, to protect the flag.
Delegates to The American Legion National Convention in Baltimore unanimously approves a resolution seeking adoption and ratification of a flag-protection constitutional amendment. In the months that ensue, The Knights of Columbus, The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and many other organizations pass similar resolutions at their national meetings.
The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary launch petition drives to collect one million signatures of Americans demanding a flag-protection amendment. The goal is reached within 60 days and the petitions are presented to Congress.
By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court rules in Texas v. Johnson that burning the American flag is free speech protected under the First Amendment. This invalidates flag protection statutes in 48 states and in Washington, DC.