If I understand the US Flag Code correctly, it is a federal law which prohibits certain actions, but does not allow any penalty for violations. Could a person technically be convicted under the Flag Code, as long as there was no penalty?

  • 2
    There is no prohibition in the US Flag Code so of course there is no penalty. "Should" is just a suggestion.
    – xngtng
    May 20 at 17:35

1 Answer 1



The Flag Code is not a criminal law, so the government is not permitted to bring criminal prosecution for violating it, and it therefore cannot secure a proper conviction for such a violation.

  • So it basically means "please don't do this, but we won't/can't do anything if you do"?
    – Someone
    May 20 at 17:20
  • 3
    Burning the US flag is protected speech as decided by SCOTUS.
    – doneal24
    May 20 at 17:27
  • 2
    @Someone That's correct.
    – bdb484
    May 20 at 17:49

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