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Gregory Lee Johnson Symbolic Speech

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During the 1984 Republic Nation Convention in Dallas, Texas, Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag while protesting the policies of President Ronald Reagan. He was arrested and charged with the violation of a Texas statute that prohibited the desecration of a respected object, including the American flag, if such actions would likely cause anger in others. Johnson was tried and convicted by a Texas court where he then appealed, arguing that his actions were a “symbolic speech” and therefore protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, with the issue of whether or not the burning of an American flag was or could be considered “symbolic speech”. The Court ruled that yes, burning an American flag was symbolic
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