The Midland High School in Midland, TX recently posted a slide during an assembly telling students that they must stand during the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag as it is against the law not to do so.
This slide was shown during a presentation at Midland High School, appearing to tell students that it's the law to stand…
No law can actually be found to state such a thing and it is presumed any such law would be found unconstitutional. When laws concerning disrespect of the American flag have gone before the Supreme Court they have been overturned.
In 1943, in the midst of World War II, a Supreme Court Ruling protected students from standing for the pledge and in Texas V Johnson went before the Supreme Court in 1989. In a case with a five-four margin, the decision invalidated prohibitions on flag desecration.
Conservative icon, Justice Antonin Scalia, was a part of that majority decision.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, Scalia said:
“If I were king I would not allow people to go about burning the American flag. However, we have a First Amendment, which says that the right of free speech shall not be abridged. And it is addressed in particular to speech critical of the government. I mean that is the main kind of speech tyrants would seek to suppress. Burning the flag is a form of expression. Speech doesn’t just mean written words or oral words… Burning a flag is a symbol that expresses an idea. ‘I hate the government. The government is unjust.’ Whatever”
No matter what you think of disrespecting the flag the ability to do so is what the flag actually represents. We can speak against our government. We can fight to change things we think are unjust and that is what makes America great. We have many horrible atrocities in our past as a nation. From slavery, to the “Trail of Tears, to segregation, to women’s suffrage, to modern day legalized abortion our government makes many mistakes and we can voice disgust and anger at them. People may not agree with the form protests take, but we should all agree that a country that must force respect by law is likely unworthy of that respect.
Penn & Teller make the point well in their show.