Gregory Lee Johnson was convicted of desecrating a flag in violation of Texas law; a conviction which questions ones guaranteed First Amendment, constitutional rights. Johnson's 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 Johnson's 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 Johnson's actions threatened societal order and peace. The Supreme Court viewed Johnson's 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 Johnson's protest, or other citizens, who may view flag burning as a distasteful and ungrateful. However, the State of Texas has already acknowledged this fact. The State ruled that regardless of the lack of evidence that Johnson's 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 people's 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 bought up two questions, is flag burning as a form of political protest an agreeable method of practicing ones First Amendment rights, or an attempt to persuade others to take the act beyond the rights of citizens to more serious and dangerously, harmful, acts of protest?, and does the State have the right to claim that Johnson's conduct had the potential or indented to cause a violent encounter with passionate opposition to flag burning, even if .