President Trump condemned the burning of the flag Tuesday evening after protesters set fire to a large American flag that they had tied to a traffic light pole at an intersection outside of Lafayette Park, a few blocks from the White House.
“It is ashame (sic) that Congress doesn’t do something about the lowlifes that burn the American Flag,” the president tweeted. “It should be stopped, and now!”
Protesters also burned smaller American flags on the embers of the larger one a day after demonstrators defaced and attempted to pull down an Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Park. Police intervened before the protesters were successful.
TRUMP ISSUES WARNING AMID VANDALISM, EFFORT TO TOPPLE ANDREW JACKSON STATUE IN LAFAYETTE SQUARE PARK
Police held a line in front of historic St. John’s Church Episcopal after it was vandalized again Monday with graffiti.
The National Park Service announced the park would be closed Tuesday as it assesses the damage and begins to make repairs.
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City officials and police also removed tents and canopies left by protesters attempting to set up an autonomous zone near the White House similar to one that recently turned violent in Seattle.
The White House and Lafayette Park have become a focal point for Black Lives Matter protesters calling for justice and equality after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Earlier this month, Trump called banning flag burning a “no brainer” and supported Senator Steve Daines’ proposed constitutional amendment to make flag burring illegal.
The Supreme Court has ruled flag burning is protected free speech.
Fox News’ Kevin Corke contributed to this report.