ACLU History: Flag Burning
In response to the Johnson ruling, members of Congress introduced the Flag Protection Act, a Constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. Ironically, although the stated purpose of the Act was to end flag burnings, its immediate impact was to spur perhaps the largest single wave of such incidents in American history. Flags were burned in about a dozen cities shortly after the law took effect. The Supreme Court promptly struck down the law, but since that time numerous attempts to revive a Constitutional ban on flag burning have surfaced. In opposing various attempts to criminalize this form of expression, the ACLU has worked with veterans, religious leaders, members of the military, former White House officials, and other Americans who believe that such an amendment would undermine the very principles for which the American flag stands.