According to the Nebraska Secretary of State's website,

Insulting the flag is forbidden.

This statement begs many questions, like "What constitutes an insult," "Does the law apply only to Nebraska residents" and "What are the penalties?"

So let me first approach it from this angle: Are you aware of a resource that offers a good overview of laws pertaining to the treatment of U.S. state emblems and/or the history of their enforcement? Ultimately, I'd like to compile a list of states that have similar statutes along with records of people who have been prosecuted for insulting emblems.


The Wiki page on flag desecration is a good starting point. This site lists the situation for all states, giving a legal citation and synopsis. From this you can extract relevant differences such as whether all state flags are protected or only that state's flag. This won't tell you the actual status of the law, such as the Nebraska law, which a judge ruled against but it isn't clear what the scope of the ruling is. Wyoming and Alaska are the only states without flag desecration laws; Wisconsin had one but it was struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Wisconsin v. Jansen, 580 N.W.2d 260. The law, Wis. Stat. § 946.05, still exists, so finding a statute on the books does not mean that the law is enforceable. Though, that seems to be the only instance of an overturned law mentioned on the list of state laws.

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    Of course, as Wikipedia notes, such laws are probably unconstitutional anyway due to the First Amendment, but you'd have to take that through the court system if you really wanted to fight it. – JAB Jun 21 '18 at 0:35
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    Yes, I suspected it would indeed be unconstitutional. But it would be interesting to learn if any states have tried to enforce such laws. – David Blomstrom Jun 21 '18 at 2:09
  • @JAB The First Amendment does not protect obscenity, which I presume is meant by "insult" in this inquiry. That being said, for the sake of "judicial economy" I would expect law enforcement and the judiciary to focus on offenses that are more injurious to person/entity than on the badmouthing of a piece of clothe. – Iñaki Viggers Jun 21 '18 at 11:32

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