Puerto Rican Bill Would Penalize Use of American Flag Without Puerto Rican Flag

A new bill being considered by Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives would penalize the use of the American flag in the absence of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s flag on any state and municipal government building or any public corporation.

According to Puerto Rico's Primera Hora, the proposed flag law filed by Rep. Charlie Hernandez aims to amend State Department regulations and make those who violate the rule subject to an administrative offense and a $100 to $500 fine. Hernandez believes the island is unique and needs to represent its individuality.

"The flag is the national symbol of the highest value to a nation. It is the main symbol that identifies each town and stands before the range of countries that make up the international community," Hernandez’s bill reads. "The people of Puerto Rico are no exception to the global community, because we have our own flag: the ‘monoestrellada’."

The bill comes on the heels of a November two-part referendum revealing that 53.97% of Puerto Rican voters are dissatisfied with the island’s commonwealth status and 61% prefer Puerto Rico become a U.S. state. More than 498,600 Puerto Ricans, however, left the statehood question blank, which may indicate that they don't agree with the terms on the ballot.

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