Reenact the Flag Protection Act - American Flag Protection Act 2018
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American Flag Protection Act 2018
(a) Definition Of Flag Of The United States.—In this section, the term ‘flag of the United States’ means any flag of the United States, or any part thereof, made of any substance, in any size, in a form that is commonly displayed as a flag and that would be taken to be a flag by the reasonable observer.
“(b) Actions Promoting Violence.—Any person who destroys or damages a flag of the United States with the primary purpose and intent to incite or produce imminent violence or a breach of the peace, and under circumstances in which the person knows that it is reasonably likely to produce imminent violence or a breach of the peace, shall be fined not more than $100,000, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
“(c) Flag Burning.—Any person who shall intentionally threaten or intimidate any person or group of persons by burning, or causing to be burned, a flag of the United States, and / or under circumstances in which the person knows that it is reasonably likely to produce imminent violence or a breach of the peace, shall be fined not more than $100,000, imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.
“(d) Damaging A Flag Belonging To The United States.—Any person who steals or knowingly converts to his or her use, or to the use of another, a flag of the United States belonging to the United States, and who intentionally destroys or damages that flag, shall be fined not more than $250,000, imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
“(e) Damaging A Flag Of Another On Federal Land.—Any person who, within any lands reserved for the use of the United States, or under the exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction of the United States, steals or knowingly converts to his or her use, or to the use of another, a flag of the United States belonging to another person, and who intentionally destroys or damages that flag, shall be fined not more than $250,000, imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both. Excluding individuals that are attempting to rescue or protect the flag of the United States from damage, misuse and/or desecration.
“(f) Construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to indicate an intent on the part of Congress to deprive any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico of jurisdiction over any offense over which it would have jurisdiction in the absence of this section.”. This act excludes clothing, with the exception of which portrays or indicates burning of and/or desecration of the flag of the United States of America, with the exception of artistic interpretation that does not have the intent of or perceivable intent of being a desecration of the flag of the United States of America.
(g) Technical And Conforming Amendment.—The chapter analysis for chapter 33 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to section 700 and inserting the following:
If any provision of this Act, or the application of such a provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of the Act, and the application of this Act to any other person or circumstance, shall not be affected by such holding.
That any desecration of the flag is not protected by the freedom of speech as stated in the following landmark cases and bill, as the burning or desecration of the flag would indicate either a plot to over throw the government, intended harm on certain members of the government, be considered obscene, be considered fighting words, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value and / or tends to lead to or incite a breach of the peace and could likely provoke a violent reaction :
Dennis v. United States that the First Amendment doesn’t protect the speech of people plotting to overthrow the government.
Bethel School District v. Fraser upheld the right of a school to suspend a student for making an obscene speech. Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 1988, supported a school’s right to censor student newspapers. However, many states are now passing laws to grant broader First Amendment protections to student speech.
Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942), the Supreme Court held that speech is unprotected if it constitutes "fighting words". Fighting words, as defined by the Court, is speech that "tend[s] to incite an immediate breach of the peace" by provoking a fight, so long as it is a "personally abusive [word] which, when addressed to the ordinary citizen, is, as a matter of common knowledge, inherently likely to provoke a violent reaction"
Miller v. California, came up with a three-part definition of obscene material.
*A work is legally considered obscene if an average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the material appeals to prurient (appealing to sexual desire) interest.
*the work depicts or describes, in an offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions, specifically defined by applicable state law.
*taken as a whole, the material lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
House Bill 347 authorized Secret Service agents to arrest anyone protesting in the president’s or vice president’s proximity. They also have this authority at National Special Security Events. These events have included state occasions, of course, but also basketball championships, the Academy Awards, Olympic events, and the Super Bowl. A conviction can result in up to 10 years in a federal prison (another place where your freedom of speech is limited).
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