20 year old Plank against Flag Burning quietly Erased from 2016 GOP Party Platform
In 1996, the Republican Party introduced a new plank to its party platform:
“…We benefit from our differences, but we must also strengthen the ties that bind us to one another. Foremost among those is the flag. Its deliberate desecration is not ‘free speech’…”
At every quadrennial nominating convention that followed, the GOP not only reaffirmed its opposition to the burning of the American flag in protest (2000 | 2004 | 2008 | 2012) but signaled its desire to outlaw such acts by continuing to place an anti-flag-desecration plank its party platform.
This year, for the first time in twenty years, the Republican Party has quietly removed the plank against flag burning from its platform (2016).
Why has the GOP finally removed this plank from its platform? I cannot say, since Republican Party leadership has been silent on the decision and since no news media I can find seem to be covering this change. However, I find it interesting that despite capturing majorities of both chambers of the U.S. Congress, Republican legislators have failed to pass legislation that would carry out their long-held plank of banning flag-burning. Indeed, two bills to ban flag-burning in the current 114th Congress, S.J. Res. 21 in the Senate and H.J. Res 9 in the House, were introduced more than a year ago but have not been advanced beyond the initial, mandatory step of referring a bill to a committee. No votes, no debates, no amendments, not even initial hearings were allowed on these bills by Republican congressional leadership.
In the Republican-led Congress and in the new Republican Party platform, opposition to flag burning has quietly melted away. What explains this change? Your guess is as good as mine. Share that guess.