A flag burns, a man walks free: Texas v. Johnson

“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”- Justice Brennan (491 U.S. 397) Lights up on Dallas, Texas, 1984. A political demonstration titled the Republican War Chest Tour is being…

Texas v. Johnson: Historical context

This video looks at Texas v. Johnson through an historical contextual lens. In this video you will see the tensions between sociological and political ideologies that build up through the history of the U.S. to the pivotal point in U.S. Supreme Court history that is Texas v. Johnson. The video begins by explaining what communism…

Freedom of Speech, Oppression or Patriotism

A History Commonly Unknown In Texas v. Johnson (491 U.S. 397, 1989), a Texas man was conviction for burning an American flag as an act of protest. This was overturned by the Supreme Court as Texas’ law being unconstitutional. The conflict is between the ideals of one’s patriotism, symbolism, free speech and dissent. How relevant…

Immediate Impact: Texas v. Johnson

The red, white, and blue of the American flag has become synonymous with the values of the United States, each star evoking liberty, equality, freedom, justice, and bravery. The government has tried to protect such a powerful symbol, however has been met with opposition. In 1989 the Supreme Court heard Texas v. Johnson, chronicling the…

Theory: Texas v. Johnson and the Marketplace

Texas v. Johnson is an excellent representation of the relation between the theory of the marketplace of ideas and the First Amendment.  This short video details the case of Texas v. Johnson, articulates the theory of the marketplace of ideas, and presents counterarguments to the marketplace. Whitworth University professor of philosophy Dr. Keith Wyma defines…