3/7/17 – “Behind the Scenes” of Upside Down Flag Upset

  • Upside down flag in Waverly, Iowa
  • “Teach a lesson” to the flag owner
  • Police call that was made at 4 o’clock in the afternoon
    • Person was being harassed
    • Person was told to “get the fuck out of the country if you don’t like it here.”
  • Cops were called upon Anelia’s arrival
  • Person was a Wartburg Professor
  • Anelia reports using video on her phone
    • Police officer describes the call and requests by the person who was threatened
    • Reviewed code to see if the upside down flying was a violation
      • It was not
    • Interviews Waverly Citizen
      • Wants to make their goal, to protect the flag
    • Interviews lawyer and radio host (same individual)
      • Flying the flag upside down is a symbol of distress or danger
      • Social media enlarges the audience through online upload
  • Flag owner took down the flag
  • Posts on Facebook were taken down
  • Paper didn’t use the name of the flag owner
  • Video of City Council of Waverly on the incident
  • Waterloo Courier’s story of upside down flag
  • Tension is high between resident and council member

 

Texas v. Johnson

  • Gregory Lee Johnson
    • Burned American flag
    • Outside of Republican National Convention
    • In Dallas, Texas
    • Action was used to protest policies put in place by Ronald Reagan
  • Johnson was arrested
    • Texas charged him with desecration of the flag
    • Sentenced to 1 year in jail
    • $2,000 fine
  • Johnson argued that is was a form of free speech
  • Supreme Court reviewed the case
  • The issue was whether or not the flag burning was a “symbolic speech” defended by the First Amendment
  • Majority of court agreed with Johnson
    • Replied that the government could not discrimination upon a viewpoint
  • 5 to 4 decision in favor of Johnson
    • Biggest Issue: takes the public offense, out of the question
    • Not letting society prohibit one idea because of their disagreement with the idea
  • Justice Stevens dissented
    • Argued that the national unity outweighed the “symbolic speech” argument
    • Government has the ability to prohibit flag burning

http://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/facts-and-case-summary-texas-v-johnson

https://www.oyez.org/cases/1988/88-155

 

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