Flag Protection vs. Free Speech

  • U.S. House vote on flag amendment, 2001
  • Past votes/timeline
  • This compilation provides information and background on continuing efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow laws prohibiting flag desecration to be passed. The resources also include information on state flag-protection legislation.

    First Amendment experts regard flag desecration as a form of political expression that should be protected, and the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed. If the Constitution were amended to permit laws against flag burning and other kinds of desecration, it would be the first time the First Amendment had been changed since it was adopted in 1791.

    For current and past news about flag-protection amendments and laws, see the First Amendment section of this Web site. Search on "flag desecration" and "flag ordinance."