Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment

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Many Members of Congress see continued tension between "free speech" decisions of the Supreme Court, which protect flag desecration as expressive conduct under the First Amendment, and the symbolic importance of the United States flag. Consequently, every Congress that has convened since those decisions were issued has considered proposals that would permit punishment of those who engage in flag desecration. This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes ... continued below

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Luckey, John R. June 28, 2006.

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Congressional Research Service Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 344 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Description

Many Members of Congress see continued tension between "free speech" decisions of the Supreme Court, which protect flag desecration as expressive conduct under the First Amendment, and the symbolic importance of the United States flag. Consequently, every Congress that has convened since those decisions were issued has considered proposals that would permit punishment of those who engage in flag desecration. This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context of punishing expressive conduct.

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Congressional Research Service Reports

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the public policy research arm of Congress. This legislative branch agency works exclusively for Members of Congress, their committees and their staff. This collection includes CRS reports from the mid-1970's through the present--covering a variety of topics from agriculture to foreign policy to welfare.

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Creation Date

  • June 28, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 8:25 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Feb. 10, 2017, 3:53 p.m.

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Luckey, John R. Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment, report, June 28, 2006; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10525/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.