NewsLocal News


Emotional response at the unicameral after American flag referred to as "a rag"

Posted at 8:51 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 09:54:42-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Sen. Tom Brewer, who spent more than thirty years serving in the military, became emotional on the floor of the unicameral today as he responded to a comment made by Sen. Ernie Chambers regarding the American flag.

Sen. Brewer said in part, "it rips our heart out to hear someone say that they refer to the flag as a rag because for those of us that have brought home those that we've lost it's hard to refer to the flag as a rag because you have to fold it and you have to give it to the parents -- that's awful hard to do."

Sen. Ernie Chambers has been vocal against a bill that would update social studies requirements for Nebraska students. He's filed a series of amendments and has said he's concerned the American history taught to students would require students to learn one version of U.S. history. He worries that version would skew toward white Americans instead of all Americans. You can learn more about LB 399 here.

While referencing the American flag, Sen. Chambers called it "a rag" which he has done before at the unicameral. He said, "Senator Groene wants to talk about the meaning of respect. What do white people mean by it and what do black people mean by it? White people mean we've gotta bow down to what they tell us as black people to bow down to. I don't come here for this rag every day, and it's a rag. That's all it is to me. When you show a way to persuade Jews to sanctify and worship the swastika, when you show me that I'll come up here and stand while you all hypocritically pretend that rag is something that it definitely is not.“

The bill was debated for three hours on Wednesday and may return on Friday if there are enough votes to end Sen. Chambers' filibuster.

Sen. Tom Brewer responded to Sen. Chambers' comments as he introduced a different bill (LB 575 which deals with military recruiters) on Thursday. You can see Sen. Brewer's comments in the video attached to this story.