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Donald Trump has stated that anyone who burns American flag should be jailed or lose citizenship. Is flag burning constitutionally protected by the First Amendment?

Donald Trump has stated that anyone who burns American flag should be jailed or lose citizenship. Is flag burning constitutionally protected by the First Amendment?
  • It is protected

    Currently, flag burning is not illegal in the United States. The Supreme Court of the United States in its decision from 1969 has ruled that the burning of the flag is protected by the First Amendment. However, the person who burnt the flag can be found guilty of a misdemeanor for starting a fire without a permit.


    Interesting that the burning of the flag has been against the law until 1969. The first U.S. Supreme Court ruling on flag desecration was passed in 1907 in Halter vs. Nebraska case. Most early flag desecration statutes prohibited burning a flag or any other ways of disrespecting the flag. Later, in 1968, Congress responded to the burning of the American flag in the Central Park as the protest against the Vietnam War by passing the Federal Flag Desecration Law. This law prohibited any display of “contempt” directed against the flag. Thus, burning of the American flag had been illegal until 1969 when the Supreme Court ruled the decision to award the First Amendment protection to the burning of the flag.
    Furthermore, in a few court cases it has been declared that it is only illegal to burn the US flag if the flag would be stolen. In fact, burning the flag is one of approved ways to destroy a too worn or torn flag.
    For the past 20 years, the Congress has made seven attempts to overrule the Supreme Court decision regarding the burning of the American flag by passing a constitutional amendment that had an exception to the First Amendment and allowed the government to ban flag desecration. The Amendment was first proposed in 1990 but failed to receive the required two-thirds majority votes of the House. After 1994, when the Republicans took over the Congress, the Amendment has consistently passed in the House but failed in the Senate.


    Source(s):http://thelawdictionary.Org/article/is-flag-burning-illegal/

  • It is Mutiny

    Burning our flag which is the symbol of the United States of America is Mutiny. If you burn the flag you demonstrate that you are against EVERYTHING it stands for. You also desecrate those who have given their LIFE to protect and defend it. The burning of our flag should carry a stiff penalty.

  • Yes, flag burning is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment.

    Yes, the burning of an American flag is protected by the first amendment. A flag is simply a symbol that represents a political idea, and the burning of that symbol does not indicate direct harm to any person or institution. Individuals are protected in their use of symbolic language and action that does not bring direct harm to others.

  • Flag Burning is Protected

    I believe that flag burning is protected by the First Amendment. If read carefully it explains that we are all free to express ourselves and for some burning a flag may well form part of their expression. This doesn't mean people have to like flag burning but they have to accept that it is a person's right to do so.

  • It is freedom of speech.

    There have been a long line of cases that have interpreted the First Amendment. Those cases have held that the freedom of speech is not just the freedom to say what you want, but also the freedom to express yourself in the way that you want. Burning a flag is expressing ones self without hurting anyone else. Therefore, it is speech.

  • It is disrespectful

    Burning the american flag. WHY? Just because it is legal doesn't mean it is right. I can run into a movie theater and yell fire when there isn't one, but is it right? What if I feel like expressing myself by burning the LGBT flag? After all, y'all consider it a "freedom of speech."

  • Flag burning should not be protected free speech

    The American flag represents the United States. Citizens of every country pledge their loyalty and respect to the country they reside in some way. Some countries demand rigid adherence to basic tenants of respect for the country. The United States is much more lacks with these rules. Respecting the flag is not too much to expect.


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