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house Bill H. Res. 12

Should the House Call for the Confederate Flag to be Removed From “Government Speech”?

Argument in favor

Governments should use their discretion to not include the Confederate flag and other symbols of bigotry and oppression in instances of “government speech”.

Nikki's Opinion
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08/17/2017
I live in the South. By all means the Civil War is important history that should be taught in museums and schools for obvious reasons. The need to commemorate a failed ideology is foolish. Much has happened here since the mid 1800s, it's time to memorialize Southerners who were on the right side of history. We should be getting our pride and identity from that.
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Leon's Opinion
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08/17/2017
Absolutely it's the enemy flag no different than any others defeated enemies of the United States
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Sarah's Opinion
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08/17/2017
There's a difference between freedom of speech and hate speech.
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Argument opposed

Governments should be more permissive in terms of including things like the Confederate flag or objectionable symbols when exercising “government speech”.

Christopher 's Opinion
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08/17/2017
States are independent, our government is a union. Censoring and bowing to the few will divide us. Our history stands proud in the eyes of the world, it is nothing to be ashamed of. To attempt to erase or alter (especially anymore than has been altered) will be detrimental to our future as a nation. Removing our history is kin to removing god, that has been going on for far too long. It’s time to bring god back, these people are godless & are trying to alter our way of life. Most don’t serve god Nor country, they do not have he right to control the majority!
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JGB's Opinion
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08/17/2017
Uh, freedom of speech? I'm against what the confederate flag stands for and represents. But there's a reason why we should never censor what language or images that are used to communicate...where does that stop?
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Haley's Opinion
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08/17/2017
It is our history. If people don't like it then find some where else to live.
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simple resolution Progress


  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2017

What is House Bill H. Res. 12?

This resolution would express the sense of the House of Representatives that the U.S. can achieve a more perfect union by avoiding “government speech” that promotes or displays symbols, signs, and vestiges of racism, oppression, and intimidation at all levels of government (such as the Confederate flag). It states that such symbols “promote division and tear at the fabric of the American society” and that by discontinuing the use of such symbols it would promote tolerance and unity.

“Government speech” is a constitutional law doctrine which holds that the government isn’t required to be viewpoint neutral when it is the speaker. For example, under the First Amendment the government can’t deny a group the right to hold a rally in a park, but it can decline to include their views in programs at public schools.

As a simple resolution, this legislation wouldn’t advance to the Senate if passed by the House and wouldn’t have the force of law.

Impact

Government speech that includes the Confederate flag or similar symbols of racism, oppression, and intimidation.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 12

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthThis resolution, introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), cites a 2015 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans as an example of types of government speech that shouldn’t include references to racism. The case involved the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans who sought to have a specialty license plate bearing a Confederate flag issued in the state of Texas. The state denied their request, and the group filed suit on First Amendment grounds.

In a 5-4 ruling with Justice Clarence Thomas joining the Court’s liberal justices, the Supreme Court affirmed the state of Texas’ decision to not allow the license plate to be made. The majority cited a 2009 case in which the Court held that a Utah city’s decision not to include a monument to a minor religion in a park that had one to the Ten Commandments was a valid government speech. The four dissenting justices posited that specialty license plates are a form of government speech that give individuals greater opportunities for expressing themselves, and thus should be considered private speech and protected.

This legislation has the support of one cosponsor in the House, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN).


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Pete_Flyer / iStock)

Official Title

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the enhancement of unity in America.

    I live in the South. By all means the Civil War is important history that should be taught in museums and schools for obvious reasons. The need to commemorate a failed ideology is foolish. Much has happened here since the mid 1800s, it's time to memorialize Southerners who were on the right side of history. We should be getting our pride and identity from that.
    Like (342)
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    Share
    States are independent, our government is a union. Censoring and bowing to the few will divide us. Our history stands proud in the eyes of the world, it is nothing to be ashamed of. To attempt to erase or alter (especially anymore than has been altered) will be detrimental to our future as a nation. Removing our history is kin to removing god, that has been going on for far too long. It’s time to bring god back, these people are godless & are trying to alter our way of life. Most don’t serve god Nor country, they do not have he right to control the majority!
    Like (62)
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    Share
    Absolutely it's the enemy flag no different than any others defeated enemies of the United States
    Like (171)
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    There's a difference between freedom of speech and hate speech.
    Like (134)
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    There is no reason the government should promote a symbol that represents racism, bigotry, and discrimination. This doesn't take away individual rights to display the Confederate flag/symbol, nor does the resolution erase our country's history; it simply shows that our government does not stand for prejudice towards racial and cultural groups.
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    The United States Government should not promote the symbol of one of America's enemies. I'm from a former confederate state, but I live in the United States. Even though I live in Texas, I am first and foremost an American, and will only fly an American flag 🇺🇸 and honor only American generals. The CSA lost. Their goals for society and their raison d'être were not laudable. They are not worth honoring. Despite my country's issues, what I like best about it is its ability to change for the better over time. The CSA betrayed America to preserve an arcane institution that dehumanized African Americans.
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    This is the flag that killed over 360,000 of our men, women, and children. This is the flag with which the subjugation of slaves was justified. This was the flag raised in defiance of the United States of America. This is the flag they raised to symbolize rebellion. This is the flag they fought with when we marched at Selma. This was the flag they flew when those crosses burned. This was the flag they carried in Charlottesville. This is the flag of our enemy. It does NOT stand for me as a white man, nor as an American. This is not the flag I salute, and it is not representative of a warm summer morning in the South. I condemn the horrors that this flag represents, and never will I honor it. 🇺🇸
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    Uh, freedom of speech? I'm against what the confederate flag stands for and represents. But there's a reason why we should never censor what language or images that are used to communicate...where does that stop?
    Like (53)
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    It is our history. If people don't like it then find some where else to live.
    Like (50)
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    I am opposed to government buildings flying the confederate flag,in any state,however if my neighbor hangs it on his flagpole at his home it represents his freedom of speech
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    It is a symbol of division and bigotry and needs to go
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    The confederate flag already amount to hate speech and therefor should not be promoted or protected by the government. The confederate states committed treason to avoid giving up slavery. History is taught in schools and not through public symbols of hate.
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    You cannot erase history without the risk of making the same mistakes again.
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    I've seen some opinions on this that say we'd be bowing to the "few" with this removal. I'm not so sure where these people get their information or if they have the capacity to understand "government speech." No one wants to take your individual right to fly a flag away. Fly whatever flag you please. This bill is asking if we should remove the Confederate flag from government establishments. Yes. Simply, yes.
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    It's past time these symbols of hate are removed. It's hurtful to our society.
    Like (21)
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    It's a part of the United States History.
    Like (19)
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    Why don't you do your job! By the way Congress cannot ban a flag, says No law abridges speech
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    A small proportion of the American citizenry have claimed the Stars and Bars to be a flag of racism and hate towards people. What Congress needs to understand is that the War of the Southern Succession was a conflict over States' Rights and Federal Rights, a constitutional conflict. I own a Stars and Bars and fly it by my Gladstone Flag, and when people ask me to take it down, I say no, because it was meant as a symbol to champion the Rights we fought over in the American Revolution; the ability to question an overreaching Federal or central government. Even if you try to take that out of the sight of the general population, the government must understand it would stoke a fire from the alt-right and from those who understand what the real purpose of the flag stands for. The government is trying to erase the memory of its failings, when we should embrace the traditional meaning we, the People of the United States, forced in 1763 through 1815. If you take away the flag, it takes away the 1st Amendment Right guarded by the Constitution and erases everything this country has stood for; its separation of powers and its state and central governments' roles.
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    To many people the confederate flag is not about racism, but it is part of our "American" history. The left is just, once again, pushing it's Marxist agenda.
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    This is the flag of treason. Period! Full! Stop! It's only place is in a museum or history book.
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