The Senate agreed Friday to consider a constitutional amendment against flag desecration by mid-October, calming those who were afraid Democratic leaders might try to use legislative maneuvers to bury President Bush's proposal.

The agreement worked out between Democratic leader George Mitchell of Maine and Republican leader Robert Dole of Kansas also established a clear timetable for discussing the matter in order to prevent debate over the emotional flag controversy from blocking other Senate business.Mitchell hailed the plan, agreed to by the full Senate, as a way to let the chamber consider the issue in a "serious, mature, deliberate way."