Today College Republicans go on trial at San Francisco State for stepping on flag pictures to show their rejection of terrorism. From FIRE’s Torch:
After the College Republicans held an anti-terrorism rally on campus, at which they stepped on pieces of butcher paper drawn to resemble the flags of Hamas and Hezbollah, an SFSU student filed a complaint with the university accusing the students of â€œattempts to incite violence and create a hostile environmentâ€ and â€œallegations of actions of incivilityâ€ for â€œwalking on a banner with the word â€˜Allahâ€™ written in Arabic script.â€ (The banners in question were the Hamas and Hezbollah flags, which unbeknownst to the College Republicans contained the word â€œAllahâ€). The university should have dismissed this complaint outright, since the only conduct complained of was constitutionally protected expression.
There’s no question that burning (or stomping) a flag is protected as political speech.