Fox News Anchor Wrongly Claims it is Illegal to Burn the U.S. Flag


This post has been updated.

Fox News anchor Julie Banderas wrongly claimed that it is illegal to burn the United States flag.

Banderas and a panel on Outnumbered Friday were discussing Nike’s decision to pull a shoe featuring a flag designed by Betsy Ross amid a complaint from Colin Kaepernick.

“It is very important to honor it. There was a video of somebody who stopped burning of the protest yesterday with his hands. It means a lot to a lot of people,” guest panelist Carley Shimkus said.

“Two people were arrested after that. It’s a crime to burn the American flag. That’s how much we respect our American flag,” Banderas said. She was not challenged on this incorrect statement by any of the other panelists.

A Supreme Court ruling in Texas v. Johnson, in a 5-4 decision, held that flag burning constitutes a form of “symbolic speech” protected by the First Amendment.

Conservative jurist Antonin Scalia ruled with the majority in that case, though he said he personally did not like flag burning.

“If I were king, I would not allow people to go around burning the American flag. However, we have a First Amendment, which says that the right of free speech shall not be abridged — and it is addressed in particular to speech critical of the government,” Scalia told CNN in 2012. “That was the main kind of speech that tyrants would seek to suppress.”

Later appearing as the fill-in anchor for Shepard Smith Reporting, Banderas noted, “It’s not technically illegal to burn a flag due to free speech and the Constitution.”

Watch above, via Fox News.

[H/T Justin Baragona]

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