To Burn or Not to Burn

Date
2015-04-21
Authors
Johnsen, Lauren
Lemaster, Valerie
Bui, Michelle
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Iowa State University Digital Repository
Abstract

The First Amendment allows people to speak and write freely, practice any religion, and assemble peacefully. Flag desecration, burning being one of many ways to desecrate the flag, is a form of protest. Flag burning, at least in the U.S., is not considered to be unconstitutional. According to the rulings in the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in Texas v. Johnson and U.S. v. Eichman, flag burning is covered under “symbolic speech” – a legal term in the U.S. used to describe actions that purposefully and discernibly convey a particular message or statement to those viewing it. “Symbolic speech” is covered by the right to free speech in the First Amendment.

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