The 1st Amendment protects free speech: “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom speech...” Indiana’s Const: “No law shall be passed, restraining the free interchange of thought and opinion, or restricting the right to speak ... on any subject whatever...” Art. I, §9 1/4
SCOTUS has long recognized the 1st Amendment’s protection does not end w/the spoken or written word (Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, 404 (1989); flags are a primitive but effective way of communicating ideas." Bd of Ed’n v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 632 (1943). 2/4
Pregnant w/expressive content, the flag signifies this Nation as much as "America." Johnson, 491 U.S. at 405. Law that punishes flag burning, in the name of preserving the flag as symbol of the nation & nat’l unity is unconstitutional suppression of expression. 491 U.S. at 407. 3/4
Burning the flag is protected speech. Attempted overthrow of the Fed gov’t (a la 01/06/21) is not. I’m Mark Small: pro-choice, pro-environment, anti-gun, defender of free expression & GOP nominee for Indiana House Distr 86. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it. 4/4
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