By Duncan Smith
Gay pride. BLM. Antifa. These are all flags and banners that are ‘allowed’ to be flown.
That’s fine. They ‘qualify’ as speech and expression under the provisions of the First Amendment.
The same is true for the Confederate Flag.
It’s a symbol of a bygone era, a movement, a former nation, of oppression. But it is still a symbol nonetheless, and as such, flying it is protected speech and expression under the First Amendment.
Except in one Georgia city.
Yes, according to two federal courts, the city was ‘within its rights’ to ban the display of the flag during a recent event, according to Newsmax:
A Georgia city did not violate the constitutional rights of a Sons of Confederate Veterans group when it banned the Confederate battle flag from its annual parade honoring veterans of American wars, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
Richard Leake and Michael Dean sued Alpharetta, an Atlanta suburb, in August 2019 after city officials said the Sons of Confederate Veterans could participate in the annual Old Soldiers Day Parade but could not display the battle flag. The federal civil rights lawsuit accused the city of violating the group’s right to free speech under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
U.S. District Judge William Ray in June 2020 ruled in favor of the city, finding that the parade amounted to government speech. Leake and Dean appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel of the appeals court heard arguments in the case on Friday and on Tuesday issued an opinion upholding the lower court’s ruling.
'Because governments are not obliged under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to permit the presence of a rebellious army’s battle flag in the pro-veterans parades that they fund and organize, we affirm,” Circuit Chief Judge William Pryor wrote in the opinion.
This is insane.
It doesn’t matter whether it is the symbol of a “rebellious army.” It doesn’t matter if people don’t like to see the flag.
The First Amendment specifically says otherwise.
This is a case that the U.S. Supreme Court must take and must reverse. Otherwise, the nation’s founding document is truly going to be rendered moot.
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