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Texas v. Johnson

Significance, Flag Burning: Protected Expression Or Desecration?, Further Readings


State of Texas


Gregory Lee Johnson

Petitioner's Claim

That the Texas statute against "desecration of venerated objects," in this instance burning an American flag, did not violate Gregory Lee Johnson's constitutional rights.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Kathi Alyce Drew

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

William M. Kunstler

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr. (writing for the Court), Anthony M. Kennedy, Thurgood Marshall, Antonin Scalia

Justices Dissenting

Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

21 June 1989


The Texas statute was declared unconstitutional.

Related Cases

  • Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359 (1931).
  • United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968).
  • United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990).


West's Encyclopedia of American Law. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN: West Publishing, 1998.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994