One of my most proud moments in the Tennessee General Assembly was when I passed HB1408 and HB1409 which protects the American flag on government state owned property.
Both bills soared through the house with all members voting aye for HB1408. House Bill 1408 sets the protocol of the placement of flags when being flown on government property. The order of placement from top to bottom will be the U.S .flag, the Tennessee flag and then other flags, if flown.
House bill 1409 also passed the House of Representatives with 98 members voting aye. HB1409 makes it a class A misdemeanor when failing to give the official flag of the United States first order of precedence above any other flag on government property.
During this past, the issue of illegal immigration has become a major concern for many U.S. citizens. We’ve seen occasions where thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in opposition to U.S. immigration policy. During these protests, the national flags of Mexico, Guatemala, and other countries have been prominently flown and displayed on U.S. owned flag poles.
As Americans, we have no problem with peaceful protest and free speech is not only a cherished right in this country, it is vital to a free society but, what some people do have a problem with, is the manner in which our flag is treated during these protests.
One incident in particular took place at Montebello High School in California where a Mexican flag was raised on the same flagpole with an American flag, but the Mexican flag was flown ABOVE the flag of the United States and to add insult to injury, the American flag ~ a flag that has stood for liberty and freedom for over 200 years ~ was positioned upside-down.
There has been several other incidents where these protestors showed disrespect and no concern for the flag.
It’s hard for a lot of U.S. citizens to stand by and watch the flag being desecrated especially when the best and brightest of our youth are dying in defense of freedom on foreign soil
America is still the greatest country on earth and Tennessee is still the greatest state and there’s no reason we should have to allow flags of foreign nations to be flown above ~ or at the expense of ~ the American flag here on our soil.
Rep. Eric Watson