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State of Texas vs Johnson 1989- Justice Viveiros delivers the opinion of the court Gregory Lee Johnson has been convicted of desecrating a flag in violation of Texas law a conviction which questions ones guaranteed First Amendment constitutional rights Johnsons involvement in a political demonstration in Dallas lead him to express his political concerns with the nations leaders and governmental policies The State of Texas conviction of Johnson was carried out due to Johnsons conduct a physically expressive act rather than a written or spoken one and based on two criteria a responsibility to preserve the integrity of the flag representing the strength pride and unity of our nation and whether Johnsons actions threatened societal order and peace Both criteria which serve as the basis for Gregory Lee Johnsons conviction have been explored in depth and this court concludes the following Johnsons form of political expression did not cause societal disorder or disrupt the peace There were no violent outbreaks either verbal or physical from members of Johnsons protest or other citizens who may view flag burning as a distasteful ungrateful slap in the face of our nation However the State of Texas has already acknowledged this fact The State ruled that regardless of the lack of evidence that Johnsons actions have threatened societal order and public peace on account there were no such occurrences flag burning has the potential to do so The State has concluded that flag burning could first stir up peoples emotions enough possibly resulting in intense public arguments violent physical disputes or riots and second serves as an invitation for others to take political protests to the next level which could be dangerous The States decision brings up two questions is flag burning
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