Trump suggests jail time or loss of citizenship for flag burning

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens to a question during a campaign stop Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, in Mount Pleasant, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens to a question during a campaign stop Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, in Mount Pleasant, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

NEW YORK (WCMH) — In a tweet Tuesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump suggested anyone who burned the American flag should lose citizenship or possibly face a year in jail.

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

It was not immediately clear what prompted the tweet.

Jason Miller, Trump transition spokesman, did not respond to CNN’s questions about the constitutional protections of burning the American flag.

The president-elect’s tweet is a direct conflict with free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution. It came as he prepared to name a secretary of state and transportation secretary.

“We have a responsibility as a country” to carefully protect the rights enshrined in the Constitution, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that flag-burning is “expressive conduct” protected by the First Amendment.

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