Smith v. Goguen
Supreme Court of the United States
415 U.S. 566 (1974)
A Massachusetts flag misuse statute prohibited anyone from treating the American flag with contempt. Gougen (defendant) cut a piece of the flag and created a small patch that he sewed over the back pocket of his jeans. Police officers saw this display of the flag on Gougen’s jeans and arrested him for violating the flag misuse statute. Gougen was convicted by a jury and the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts affirmed his conviction. Gougen appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The First Circuit overturned his conviction and the State of Massachusetts appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)
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