The text of the law reads: (a)(1) Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
Is the Flag Protection Act still in effect?
Although the First Amendment continues to protect freedom of speech, the interpretation of this freedom relentlessly fuels much debate, and efforts are still under way in Congress to criminalize flag burning, possibly through constitutional amendment.
Is the US flag protected by the Constitution?
The Supreme Court rules that burning the American flag is a constitutionally protected form of free speech. A constitutional amendment that would have banned flag desecration failed to win the necessary two-thirds vote in the Senate, with only 51 Senators voting in favor of the amendment and 48 voting in opposition.
Does the First Amendment protect the flag?
The majority of the Court, according to Justice William Brennan, agreed with Johnson and held that flag burning constitutes a form of “symbolic speech” that is protected by the First Amendment.
What is the Flag Protection Act of 1989?
Passed Senate amended (10/05/1989) Flag Protection Act of 1989 – Amends the Federal criminal code to eliminate knowingly casting contempt on the U.S. flag as an element of desecration of the flag. Makes it unlawful to maintain a U.S. flag on the floor or ground or to physically defile such flag.
Why burning the flag is disrespectful?
Flag desecration may be undertaken for a variety of reasons. … It may be a protest against nationalism or a deliberate and symbolic insult to the people of the country represented by the flag. It may also be a protest at the very laws prohibiting the act of desecrating a flag.
Is flying the US flag upside down illegal?
The FBI rep said there is no law against flying the flag upside down. The Flag Code clearly states that the American flag is not to be flown upside down “except as a signal of dire distress in instance of extreme danger to life or property.”
What is the punishment for burning the U.S. flag?
Under this statute, codified at U.S. Code Title 18, Section 700(a), “(W)hoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this Title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
Is it unconstitutional to burn a flag?
In 1990, the Supreme Court reaffirmed Johnson by the same 5–4 majority in United States v. Eichman declaring that flag burning was constitutionally protected free speech.
Is desecrating the US flag a felony?
18 U.S. Code § 700 – Desecration of the flag of the United States; penalties. Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
Is hate speech protected by the First Amendment?
While “hate speech” is not a legal term in the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that most of what would qualify as hate speech in other western countries is legally protected free speech under the First Amendment. …