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Flamin Country Joe In 1992 an antiwar activist Country Joe violated a Georgia statute by acting out a skit that urged people to refuse to fight in the Persian Gulf war overthrow the government and form a socialist regime He then burned a military uniform in opposition to the war and was arrested for his actions This paper will examine the Georgia statute that Country Joe violated and address the constitutionality of that law The Georgia statute under which Country Joe was arrested made it a crime to wear the uniform of the armed forces of the United States in any way that brings discredit upon that armed force Further the uniform may not be used in any way that advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States by force Further the uniform may not be defaced mutilated or treated in a contemptuous manner The question in this case is not whether Country Joe violated the Georgia statute but whether the law is constitutional Following the standards set forth in Texas v Johnson we must first establish that Country Joes actions constituted expressive conduct Next if his conduct was expressive we must decide whether the state statute is related to suppression of free speech If the statute is not related to expression then the less stringent standard announced in United States v OBrien which regulates noncommunicative conduct controls If it is related to expression then the regulation is outside of the OBrien test and we must decide whether this interest justifies Country Joes conviction under a more demanding standard First in deciding whether Country Joes conduct was expressive we must ask if an intent to convey a particularized message was present and whether the likelihood was great that the message would be understood by those who viewed it Given the fact that Country Joe is a known antiwar activist it is apparent that he intended to convey a political message Country
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