In Five States in the South, It is Actually Illegal to Insult or Burn the Confederate Flag

flag burning lawsWhile there is much discussion about whether or not the government of South Carolina should remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of its state capitol or not, less attention has been paid to laws currently on the books in the former states of the Confederacy that expressly prohibit the burning of, or in some cases the mere insulting of, the flag representing those states during the Civil War. The five states with laws carrying statues prohibiting the desecration of the confederate flag are as follows:

  1. South Carolina – As the state that was the first to formerly secede from the Union in defense of slavery and white supremacy, South Carolina has a law making it illegal to “jeer at, trample upon or cast contempt, either by word or act, upon any such flag, standard, color or ensign.”
  2. Mississippi – In the still unreconstructed state of Mississippi, which only recently decided to ratify the amendment to the constitution outlawing slavery, it is prohibited by law to “cast contempt, either by word or act, upon any such flag, standard, color or ensign”.
  3. Louisiana
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia

As reported by Philly.com, however, all such laws are unconstitutional as affirmed time and again by the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court ruled in 1989 and again in 1990 that laws prohibiting the burning of the official flag of the United States are unconstitutional. The Court ruled that the burning of the American flag is protected free speech under the First Amendment, and that state governments “may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” This undoubtedly applies to all attempts to ban the desecration of the confederate flag as well.

12 thoughts

    1. They fly it knowing full well the symbolism of it and then have the nerve to say, “it just represents our heritage”. True enough. A heritage of hatred and being the architects of oppression.

    1. I’m not a big fan of either the U.S. flag or the confederate flag, but at least I can sort of understand why people fly the U.S. flag being in the U.S. and all. But I sure as hell cant understand why people still fly a flag for the lost cause of slavery, other than racism of course.

        1. I remember when I was young and I was in the 7th grade I think and after 9/11 we did some kind of parade where we marched with the U.S. flag and the kids would be all like, “Don’t let the flag touch the ground omg!” Amazing how fascistic many of our traditions are when it comes to symbols of American power.

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