Thursday, June 02, 2005

Flag ban ruled unconstitutional

A federal court in West Virginia has ruled that a ban on Confederate flags in a school, enacted solely out of fear that the flag might offend someone, is unconstitutional.

    "To suggest a ban is warranted simply because some associate it with racism proves too much for First Amendment purposes," U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. wrote in a decision issued Tuesday evening.

Judge Copenhaver wrote that without evidence of racial tensions, the school could not justify silencing people who see the flag as an ?innocent? symbol of things unrelated to racism, including geological heritage, ancestors? service in the Confederate Army or a reputation as a rebel.

The ACLU lawyer involved in the case said, "You know, as long as the flag is properly used it is not a symbol of hate, and I think it?s fair to say that?s what [Copenhaver] found."


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