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Stromberg v. California

By May 18, 1931

In Stromberg v. California, the Supreme Court reverses the state court conviction of Yetta Stromberg, a 19 year old female member of the Young Communist League, who violated the state’s Red Flag Law which prohibits the display of a red flag as “an emblem of opposition to the United States government.” Legal commentators cite this case as the first in which the Court recognizes that protected speech may be nonverbal or a form of symbolic expression. Also, the Court formally held that the free speech guarantee of the states applies to the states. Two years later, California repeals its Red Flag Law.