Legal-Ease: Flags and Independence Day

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney with Schroeder Law LLC in Ottawa. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at or at (419) 523-5523. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.

We’re right in the middle of the time of year when flags are often prominently displayed on homes throughout Ohio. While many people feel a surge of patriotism surrounding July 4 and other summer holidays, in the 1980s and 1990s flag burning and flag desecration became an issue that was frequently brought in front of the courts.

During this time the United States Supreme Court found that many of the laws that governed the mistreatment of the American flag were unconstitutional. Many of the laws regarding treatment of flags were deemed to be unenforceable at this time.

However if you live in a condominium or subdivision, you may be subject to the rules put in place by the homeowners’ association or other organization that governs your home.

Independence Day weekends always make me feel patriotic. Often, that patriotism is triggered by seeing a United States flag that is proudly flown or displayed.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, flag burning was an important legal question addressed by many courts, including the United States Supreme Court. In a couple decisions issued during that time, the United States Supreme Court found that many federal laws that governed the mistreatment of flags were unconstitutional. Thus, federal laws that prohibit everyone from flag burning and other United States flag desecration are essentially no longer enforceable by the federal government. Notably, however, several of the federal laws concerning citizens’ United States flag treatment remain “on the books.”

Read Lee’s full article on flag burning in the Lima News here: Legal-Ease: Flags and Independence Day

Source:, Legal-Ease: Flags and Independence Day by Lee R. Schroeder, July 4, 2014

Posted in First Amendment Law and tagged , , .