American Flag Statements

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Responding to a controversy over a Mexican flag flying at a local bar, Reno police and the American Civil Liberties Union issued statements today emphasizing it is not illegal to fly another flag above the American flag.

A TV News Station in Reno broadcast a story on Monday of a U.S. veteran, Jim Broussard, cutting down the U.S. flag flying above the bar and taking it away in protest of what the station reported was an illegal display of the flag.

The Reno Police Department said in a statement that while the
U.S. Code establishes protocol for the display of the American flag
in relation to other flags, the protocol "is advisory and is not a
criminal statute."

The statement says there is no sanction for violation of the protocol and is not enforceable by local law enforcement.

Gary Peck, director of the ACLU of Nevada in Las Vegas, said several federal courts have held that the flag rules are not mandatory and cannot be enforced.

In fact, Peck says if the flag rules were mandatory, they would clearly violate the First Amendment, which protects every American's right to speak and express themselves, including their choice of flag to display.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.