President Elect Donald Trump was up early this morning.
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
Of course the Supreme Court disagrees, ruling in 1989 that while it may be distasteful, even deeply offensive, burning the American flag is an act of free speech protected under the US Constitution. In a 2012 interview, Justice Antonin Scalia, who sided with the majority in Texas v. Johnson, explained:
If I were a king I would not allow people to go about burning the American flag. However, we have a First Amendment which says that ‘the right of free speech shall not be abridged.’ And it is addressed, in particular, to speech critical of the government. That was the main kind of speech that tyrants would seek to suppress. Burning the flag is a form of expression.
You can watch Scalia’s remarks here: