The election mayhem is officially over, and with Veteran's Day also recently behind us, we found it the perfect time to clear up a burning legal question on many Americans's minds. Is it legal to burn the American flag? #burninglegalquestions (get it?)
While most of us pledge allegiance to Old Glory, some find it necessary to desecrate the symbol of our country as a political protest. That decision, which may surprise some people, is completely legal.
That's right, it is NOT illegal to burn the American Flag. In 1989 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the act is protected by the First Amendent to the Constitution.
Don't think it goes unpunished though. The person responsible for doing so can still get into trouble. They can be found guilty of a misdemeanor for starting a fire without a permit. If the burned flag was stolen, they could also be charged with petty larceny and/or destruction of private property, or sued for conversion. And if someone is wearing the flag when you set fire to it, you've got more bigger problems than the law.
Congress has proposed amendments to the Constitution to ban flag desecration repeatedly over the years. Interestingly enough, burning the flag is one of the approved ways to destroy a worn out or torn flag. This is considered to be a 'dignified way' to destroy the flag according to the United States Flag Code.
What are your thoughts on flag burning? Is it an appropriate way to protest an issue or is it just plain wrong? And if you have some free time, check out the rest of our 'Is It Legal?' posts here.
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