NEW YORK (NEWS10) – President-elect Donald Trump proposed penalties for those who burn the American flag on Tuesday.
He posted the following Tweet on his Twitter account:
In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that flag burning constitutes “symbolic speech” protected by the First Amendment. The decision stems from Gregory Lee Johnson burning an American flag outside the convention center where the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas. Johnson burned the flag to protest the policies of Ronald Reagan.
Court documents say he was arrested and charged with violating a Texas statute that prohibited the desecration of a venerated object, including the American Flag.
He was convicted and then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling only affected Texas state law.
Following the 1989 decision, the federal government enacted a law to prohibit flag burning, with the exception of burning worn out flags.
The Supreme Court struck down the law in 1990 saying it was unconstitutional.