A Montana Republican proposed that an update to the state’s flag should add a firearm, perhaps an AR-15. The amendment failed, but a dozen of the state’s House Members voted in favor, only days after the latest mass shooting.
According to the Daily Interlake, the measure, proposed by Rep. Caleb Hinkle, was pushback to a suggestion from Democratic Representative Moffie Funk, who suggested that the current flag didn’t sufficiently represent the state’s diversity, magnificence, and integrity. Rep. Funk suggested that a new design could be worked out, and voters could make the final decision of whether to implement it.
Hinkle suggested this was akin to tearing down monuments, and proposed an amendment — the flag should include a firearm, perhaps an AR-15, because “pioneers, miners, soldiers, Native tribes, hunters, ranchers and more have been touched by 200 years of firearms diversity.”
The Missoulian reports that this provoked a response from Democratic Representative Jonathan Windy Boy, who is a member of the Chippewa Cree tribe, and reminded the legislature that being “touched by firearms diversity” had not been a positive experience for Native Americans.
“When you’re talking about firearms and the history of Native Americans here, we’re always at the end of the firearms.”
NBC Montana‘s Maritsa Georgiou shared that both the amendment and the original proposal had failed, with 12 legislators voting in favor of the gun-flag amendment.
Here's the vote: pic.twitter.com/y2ILLwL2lg
— Maritsa Georgiou (@MaritsaGeorgiou) March 26, 2021
The overall proposal to form a committee to design a new flag to put to a popular vote failed with 37 lawmakers in favor, and 63 voting against it.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com