The House Republican supermajority accomplished two items in its 2018 “Flag, Family, and Country” legislative agenda this week by passing caucus resolutions that call upon Congress to quickly fund and build a secure wall along the U.S./Mexican border and urge respect for the American flag during patriotic displays such as the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Both resolutions were passed unanimously.
“Like most Alabamians, our Republican House members believe the on-going protests involving the American flag are unpatriotic and disrespectful, and we understand that our nation’s borders must be secured against those who wish to break our immigration laws,” House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R – Rainsville) said. “Because Republicans posses a supermajority in the chamber, these caucus resolutions carry the same weight as House resolutions since they reflect the body’s prevailing opinion on issues of importance.”
State Rep. Rich Wingo (R – Tuscaloosa), who played linebacker for the Green Bay Packers from 1979 to 1986, offered the caucus resolution urging all individuals to show respect for the American flag and other symbols of national pride and said his action was prompted by NFL players who kneel, sit, or make disdainful gestures during the National Anthem.
“Our flag and other patriotic symbols are intended to unify all of us as one nation and one people, but this handful of professional athletes are using them to divide us while setting a bad example for our young people,” Wingo said. “Alabamians of all colors and creeds are a largely patriotic people, and this resolution is meant to speak for all of us who love the American flag and appreciate the soldiers who have served and shed blood to defend it.”
The resolution supporting construction of an impenetrable wall along the nation’s southern border, which was a cornerstone promise of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, was sponsored by State Rep. Will Ainsworth.
“Our nation’s borders are not simply suggestions that can be ignored and violated on a whim, but, instead, they are vital security checkpoints that must be secured, closed, and regulated against those who wish to do harm to our citizens and our economy,” Ainsworth said. “We must take strong and public actions against those who would break our laws with their simple presence, and construction of the border wall is the first and most important step in that effort.”
Editors’ Note: The full text of both House GOP Caucus resolutions accompany this release.
Whereas, the American flag has for generations been a symbol and a beacon of hope, democracy, and freedom here at home and throughout the world;
Whereas, “The Star Spangled Banner,” which was penned in response to courageous American soldiers who victoriously fought against a British invasion and which later became our national anthem, honors the American flag and the principles it embodies, as well as all of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives and livelihoods protecting our country and the freedoms we hold dear; and
Whereas, the ceremonial presentation of our American flag and the playing of the national anthem are inextricably linked to the sacrifices of our great men and women who fought for our country and continue to fight for our country; now therefore,
Be it resolved, that by the position taken herein, the prevailing opinion of the members of the Alabama House of Representatives is as follows in regards to the presentation of our American flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the playing of our national anthem:
That the ceremonial presentation of our American flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the playing of our national anthem are sacred times of unity and pride for all Americans, as well as a remembrance of sacrifice for our country, and deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, and honor.
That while freedom to protest and petition the government to remedy grievances are rights that are among the cornerstones of our nation’s principles, to use any such times as the presentation of the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the playing of the national anthem to make demonstrations of protest is to trivialize these symbols of the very freedoms that ensure such rights, as well as the great sacrifices made to protect those freedoms.
That the United States of America, because of its principles and its citizens who are committed to tirelessly defend its freedoms and cultivate its virtues into an even more excellent government of the people, is the best institution of freedom, democracy, and liberty for people who strive for peace and prosperity for all, and the best defender against tyrants and evildoers who seek power, wealth, and influence at the expense of the rights of others.
Whereas, the Republican supermajority maintains the prevailing opinion among members of the Alabama House; and
Whereas, statistics show that nearly 1,000 aliens are caught and captured each day while trying to illegally cross the Mexican border into the United States; and
Whereas, it is estimated that a significant number of aliens successfully avoid detection and capture, and break our immigration laws by crossing the border and establishing residency illegally; and
Whereas, established procedures already exist that allow immigrants to petition the U.S government to enter the country legally, hold lawful employment, and become legal citizens if they choose, and
Whereas, President Donald J. Trump was elected upon a cornerstone promise to build a secure and impenetrable wall across the United States’ southern border in order to deter illegal crossings; and
Whereas, an Alabama-based company is among a handful that is building a prototype border wall for consideration by the Customs and Border Protection Agency; and
Whereas, securing our nation’s border is vital to protecting U.S. interests, shielding taxpayer dollars from abuse, deterring terrorism, and enforcing the rule of long-standing immigration laws; and
Whereas, the U.S. Congress has proven reluctant to provide full and immediate funding for the border wall and has not yet embraced the need for an aggressive initiative to seal our nation’s borders from those who break our laws with their simple presence; now therefore,
Be it resolved, we, the members of the Alabama House Republican Caucus, call upon the U.S. Congress to support, fund, and help quickly construct the secure border wall that Americans endorsed when they elected Donald Trump as president.