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Flag-burning in the USA - freedom of expression ?
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study is focused on whether flag-burning in the USA is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or not? The background of the study is the 1984 Dallas flag-burning. The theoretical framework consists of the Liberty theory with Freedom of Expression and the Harm Principle as main concepts. Methodologically, a theory-consuming case study has been used with a qualitative approach to understand the trials of Johnson versus Texas. The purpose is to gain better understanding of the 1984 Dallas flag-burning. The main findings of the thesis show that despite the government’s pressure and the public opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court followed the Law in lieu of feelings by arguing that flag-burning is protected by the First Amendment. Furthermore, this thesis also reveals the ambiguity of Freedom of Expression. On the one hand, its only limit is actually the harm that it can cause to others and on the other hand Freedom of Expression would be useless if it has no ability to cause harm. A debate of Freedom of Expression may arise when individuals consider that harm has been done to them and need recognition for this harm with evidence of existence of the violence and its amplitude.The main questions may be what are the legitimate and the illegitimate harms.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 36 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-39741OAI: diva2:786340
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
Political Science, Master Programme, 120 credits
Available from: 2015-02-16 Created: 2015-02-05 Last updated: 2015-02-16Bibliographically approved

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