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S.3296 - Flag Protection Act of 2012
A bill to provide for the protection of the flag of the United States, and for other purposes.
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SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(1) the flag of the United States is a unique symbol of national unity and represents the values of liberty, justice, and equality that make this Nation an example of freedom unmatched throughout the world;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) the Bill of Rights is a guarantee of those freedoms and should not be amended in a manner that could be interpreted to restrict freedom, a course that is regularly resorted to by authoritarian governments which fear freedom and not by free and democratic nations;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) abuse of the flag of the United States causes more than pain and distress to the overwhelming majority of the American people and may amount to fighting words or a direct threat to the physical and emotional well-being of individuals at whom the threat is targeted; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) destruction of the flag of the United States can be intended to incite a violent response rather than make a political statement and such conduct is outside the protections afforded by the first amendment to the Constitution.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Purpose- The purpose of this Act is to provide the maximum protection against the use of the flag of the United States to promote violence while respecting the liberties that it symbolizes.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. PROTECTION OF THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST USE FOR PROMOTING VIOLENCE.
‘Sec. 700. Incitement; damage or destruction of property involving the flag of the United States
‘(a) Definition of Flag of the United States- In this section, the term ‘flag of the United States’ means any flag of the United States, or any part thereof, made of any substance, in any size, in a form that is commonly displayed as a flag and that would be taken to be a flag by the reasonable observer.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(b) Actions Promoting Violence- Any person who destroys or damages a flag of the United States with the primary purpose and intent to incite or produce imminent violence or a breach of the peace, and under circumstances in which the person knows that it is reasonably likely to produce imminent violence or a breach of the peace, shall be fined not more than $100,000, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(c) Flag Burning- Any person who shall intentionally threaten or intimidate any person or group of persons by burning, or causing to be burned, a flag of the United States shall be fined not more than $100,000, imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(d) Damaging a Flag Belonging to the United States- Any person who steals or knowingly converts to his or her use, or to the use of another, a flag of the United States belonging to the United States, and who intentionally destroys or damages that flag, shall be fined not more than $250,000, imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(e) Damaging a Flag of Another on Federal Land- Any person who, within any lands reserved for the use of the United States, or under the exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction of the United States, steals or knowingly converts to his or her use, or to the use of another, a flag of the United States belonging to another person, and who intentionally destroys or damages that flag, shall be fined not more than $250,000, imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(f) Construction- Nothing in this section shall be construed to indicate an intent on the part of Congress to deprive any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico of jurisdiction over any offense over which it would have jurisdiction in the absence of this section.’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Technical and Conforming Amendment- The chapter analysis for chapter 33 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to section 700 and inserting the following:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink