- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 29, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday said there must be “consequences” for burning the American flag, suggesting jail time or the loss of citizenship as possibilities.

“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Some people protesting Mr. Trump’s election earlier this month reportedly burned the American flag at public events.

The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized flag burning as a constitutionally protected form of free speech.

“Flag burning should be illegal — end of story,” Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Trump transition team, said on CNN Tuesday.

“I think most Americans would agree with me that flag burning should be illegal,” Mr. Miller said. “It’s completely despicable.”

“It’s completely ridiculous, and I don’t think there’s a big universe of people out there who support flag burning. It’s terrible, and it’s despicable,” he said.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCathy said Tuesday that burning the flag is indeed a protected right under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“In my neck of the woods, people don’t their flags — they actually honor their flags. I don’t see why someone would want to burn it,” Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“But we have a First Amendment right. But where I come from you honor the flag,” he said. “If someone wanted to show their First Amendment right, I’d be afraid for their own safety, but [we’ll] protect our First Amendment.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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