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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Honor and respect our Flag


It is considered to be one of the greatest moments in the history of America’s favorite pastime

and it didn’t even involve a baseball.

April 25, 1976, during the year of our Bicentennial, the Chicago Cubs were playing the Dodgers in Los Angeles. During the fourth inning, two men ran out of the stands onto center field with an American Flag in hand. Kneeling on the outfield grass, they poured lighter fluid onto the flag. Sensing what was about to happen, Cubs’ outfielder Rick Monday charged toward the two men and in one fell swoop snatched the Stars and Stripes before it could be set on fire.


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After they gave Monday a rousing ovation, the Dodger Stadium crowd of over 30,000 slowly broke into a spontaneous rendition of, “God Bless America.”

“The American flag means so much to our country, especially our veterans,” Monday said during a 2007 speech. “In my mind, what the protestors were trying to do was wrong. It was wrong (during 1976) and it is still wrong today. There is no place for it.”

To this day, Monday receives congratulatory correspondences every week thanking him for his flag-saving action.



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Bernard Cigrand would have been proud of Rick Monday. The 19-year old teacher walked into his Waubeka, Wisconsin classroom one day during 1885 and stuck a 10-inch American Flag into the inkwell of a student’s desk. Cigrand’s instructions to the class were simple: Write an essay about

what the flag means.

Cigrand had a love for the American Flag and hoped to instill in his students the flag was greater than symbolic. His passion went beyond a class project to a crusade to have an annual observance of the Flag. The young history buff envisioned June 14, the day in 1777 the Flag was

raised for the very first time to dedicate a brand new nation. Cigrand is viewed today as the Father of Flag Day.

Our country’s symbol of freedom is more than an ordinary piece of cloth. The American flag represents strength and values, a sign of the liberty, justice, and equality we all enjoy and cherish. There is a part of the heart and soul of every soldier who fought and died for our country in the Stars and Stripes.

Section 8 of the U.S. Flag Code says, “No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.”

Burning or desecrating a flag is not an exercise of free speech. Rather, it is an ugly, vile, contemptible, cowardly act, an assault against every value our country stands for.

The Wisconsin Legislature created a new crime of causing violence or breach of the piece by damaging or destroying a U.S. flag during the 2003 legislative session. Under 2003 Wisconsin Act 243, destroying, damaging, or mutilating a flag, or causing a flag to come into contact

with urine, feces or expectoration with the intent to cause imminent violence or a breach of the peace is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty is a fine up to $10,000 or imprisonment up to nine months or both.

Despite the Flag Code’s guidelines, what the hooligans attempted to do in Dodger Stadium would be legal today, albeit not in the middle of a major league ballpark. Unfortunately, during 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1989 Federal Flag Protection Act was unconstitutional. It is important that Congress acts to consider and approve an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect our nation’s unifying symbol from desecration. The first effort in Congress in three

years to ban flag desecration is underway.

Senate Joint Resolution 15, a constitutional amendment to protect the Flag was introduced on May 6, 2009 by U.S. Senator David Vitter [R-LA]. The amendment succinctly reads, “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."  A companion measure, House Joint Resolution 47 has also been introduced by Congressmen Jo Ann Emerson [R-MO] and Jim Marshall [D-GA].

Remember, the annual observance of Flag Day is June 14. On that day in 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag. Congress described the new flag, writing, “White signifies Purity and Innocence; Red, Hardiness and Valor; Blue signifies Vigilance,

Perseverance and Justice."  During 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring June 14 Flag Day and ever since, Americans have commemorated the adoption of the Stars and Stripes by celebrating June 14 as Flag Day.

On Flag Day, display your flag proudly and appropriately. Reflect upon the enormous significance of the Stars and Stripes and the many heroic Americans that gave so much defending its honor so that we may live in the greatest, freest country in the world.






 

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