Among the numerous responsibilities of governments is the protection of emblems of national unity. The emblems of national unity play a significant role in citizen cohesion. Since independence, symbols such as the song, the bill of rights, the constitution, the promise, and the American flag have played an important role in uniting the American people. Indeed, as evidenced in the instances of Texas v. Johnson and Minersville School District v. Gobitis, the government has a strong interest in protecting symbols of national unity.

The defendant in Texas v. Johnson was charged of burning the national flag in Dallas. His actions led to his arrest and prosecution where he was convicted of burning a symbol of national unity. The prosecution noted that Johnson’s actions “…violated a Texas statute that prevented the desecration of a venerated object, including the American flag, if such action were likely to incite anger in others”. In essence, the conviction of the defendant implied that the government had an inherent interest in protecting the symbols of national unity. Nevertheless, upon appeal, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Johnson by noting that his actions were protected under the First Amendment as they constituted symbolic speech.

At the same time, the government’s interest to protect national symbols of unity can also be seen in the case of Minnerville School District v. Gobitis.

The respondents had been expelled from school for failing to salute the national flag as their religion did not allow them to do so. The Supreme Court ruled that every American must salute the national flag as it was a symbol of national unity. “The flag, the Court found, was an important symbol of national unity and could be a part of legislative initiatives designed "to promote in the minds of children who attend the common schools an attachment to the institutions of their country". In general, while the two cases are different, they both present an aspect of the government’s intent to protect symbols of national unity.


Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech. "Minersville School District v. Gobitis." Oyez. Accessed April 4, 2017

"Facts And Case Summary - Texas V. Johnson". United States Courts.. Accessed April 4, 2017.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price