SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A new Illinois bill would make it a felony for government officials to knowingly fly an American flag upside down on government property.

Illinois State Rep. Harry Benton (D-Plainfield) formally introduced HB 5860 on June 11.

The bill would amend Illinois’ Flag Display Act and prohibit officials from knowingly displaying or causing to display “the United States national flag with the union down on government property.”

Under the bill, a violation would lead to a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by Illinois law for anywhere from 1-3 years in prison.

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The bill follows an incident during which officials in the Illinois village of Homer Glen, located in Will County, displayed an American flag outside of an administration center upside down. One official told Nexstar affiliate WGN that he took action on May 31, one day after a jury convicted former President Donald Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Benton, the bill’s sponsor and a former veteran, reportedly filed the legislation in response to that situation. Benton told TheCenterSqaure.com, “The public official who made this sad choice – to disrespect our nation’s flag and everything it stands for – may be disappointed in the outcome of a certain criminal trial, but that is no excuse.”

According to US Code, it’s inappropriate to fly the American flag with the union down, except “as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” That said, there is no national law that strictly prohibits this.

HB 5860 also comes with an exception for displaying a flag upside down in times of extreme danger or distress.

A separate, but closely related bill (HB 5861) would amend Illinois’ Flag Display Act to fine government officials up to $25,000 for flying an American flag upside down on public property. The current penalty for a violation is anywhere from $1-15.

Neither bill addresses whether a government official or someone else could display an American flag upside down on private property.