Burn My Flag

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Burn my Flag, Symbolic Speech Protected Kevin Halstead HIS 301 March 20 2013 Bretton Barber Burn my Flag, Symbolic Speech Protected It is a rectangular piece of material, usually cloth or nylon; its colors are red, white, and blue. It is adorned with 50 stars to represent its 50 states. It has 13 stripes, seven are red, and six are white. These stripes represent the original colonies where the country was born. It even has its own code or federal law on its use and destruction when it is no longer deemed serviceable. It is the flag of the United States and many believe it is against the law to burn in protest. They are wrong, but for how long. The flag of the United States is a symbol of the nation and as this symbol we revere it; we stand before every national sporting event and sing the national anthem while professing our love to country and old glory waving in the wind. It is a wide held belief that this symbol is beyond the reaches of civil protest and should be worshipped like a deity. The United States Supreme Court has ruled differently about this and the next three court cases will explain why. The first court case that will be discussed is Street v. New York. In 1968 the Supreme Court heard a case in which the defendant, Sydney Street was so outraged over the attempted murder of a civil rights leader, James Meredith and the lack of police investigation of the crime; he burned an American flag in protest and stated “"Yes; that is my flag; I burned it. If they let that happen to Meredith, we don't need an American flag (Street, 2013).” It was against the law in New York to desecrate or speak against the flag; he was arrested, charged, and convicted. He lost all his state appeals and was finally heard by the Supreme Court on October 21, 1968. The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision overturned the conviction under the grounds that it was

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