Flag Burning

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1.Anderson, Glenn ed. Constitution of the State of California and of the United States and other documents. Sacramento: California State Senate, 1961

2.Barker, Lucius J. Freedoms, Courts, Politics: Studies in Civil Liberties, with revisions. Prentice, 1965

3.Goldstein, Robert J. Flag Burning and Free Speech: the case of Texas vs. Johnson. Kansas: University Press of Kansas, c2000

4.Kenworthy, Tom. "Flag amendment sent to House floor; Democratic leaders will seek Thursday vote, hoping to kill measure." Washington Post. 20 June 1990: 14

5.Lee, Steven. Flag Burning: Right or Wrong? 28 November 2002. http://www.tcn.net/~opticom/Steve/index.html

6.McDaniel, Ann. "A Burning Constitutional Issue: can Congress Protect the American Flag?" Newsweek. 21 May 1990: 71

7.Morahan, Lawrence. "Key Lawmakers Introduce Flag-Protection Amendment". Conservative News Service. 24 February 1999. 28 November 2002. http://www.cnsnews.com/InDepth/archive/199902/IND19990224c.html

8.POAAFA. "The Supreme Court's Written Decision On Flag Desecration in the Case Texas vs. Johnson." Flag Desecration Amendment POAAFA Home Page. 28 November 2002. http://irtafa.dreamhost.com/texasvsjohnson.html

9."Show your colors, America!" The American Legion. Jan. 1998: 56

10."State of Texas vs. Johnson". Cyber Essays. 28 November 2002. http://www.cyberessays.com/Politics/38.htm

11."The American Legion Citizens Flag Alliance." American Legion. 28 November 2002. www.legion.org/our_legion/documents/cfa.rtf

12."The Right to Shock and Hate." Conservative Politics: U.S. 28 November 2002. http://usconservatives.about.com/library/weekly/aaflaga.htm

13."We the People. And our Flag." New York Times. 14 June 1990: 18

14.Wolf, Kenneth J. "Flag Burning a Sensitive Issue." Captured Thoughts. 28 November 2002. http://www.accs.net/users/wolf/letter03.htm

America the Beautiful. America the Brave. America the free. These common sayings are what bring people to our country. They come looking for freedom and security. Traditionally, our symbol for America has been the flag, with it's bold stars and stripes. Yet this representation of our country has recently been an object of protest against our government. In the case of 1984, Johnson vs. the State of Texas, Johnson proceeded to burn the flag in a protest. On the ruling of disturbing the peace, desecrating the flag, and potentially causing uproar and violence, Johnson was sentenced to jail. His case, through an appeal, went to the Supreme Court where he was granted innocence, as the previous ruling conflicted with the first amendment right of freedom of expression. Is using the symbol of our country's freedom to show resistance against our government a safe protest? Or should it be illegal, as an act of ignorance and immaturity?

Gregory Lee Johnson, a resident of the state of Texas, participated in a political conference concerning the Reagan administration and some Dallas-based corporations (POAAFA 1). In this presentation, Johnson expressed his views on recent happenings by burning the American flag in front of an entire audience. He was arrested, and tried by the state of Texas in 1985. Johnson was here convicted on a physically expressed act, rather than a written one (Cyber 1). The court decided that although Johnson had not caused uproar, his acts had the potential to do so. Johnson had disrupted his responsibility to preserve the integrity of the flag, as was against a law in Texas (Goldstein 29), along with 47 other states, at the time. His sentence was mild, yet his lawyer saw beyond the issue of him being found guilty. Lawyers backing up Johnson made an appeal on May 8, 1985, to the Fifth Texas Supreme Judicial District (Lee 2).

The case was taken along the lines of Texas overriding the first amendment right of freedom of expression/speech. On April 20, 1988, by a vote of 5-4, the Texas court of Appeals declared that the primary decision was...
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