Case Overview

Legal Principle at Issue

Does a Nebraska statute criminalizing the use of the American flag on advertisements violate the Fourteenth Amendment?


Affirmed (includes modified). Petitioning party did not receive a favorable disposition.


Nicholas Halter was charged with violating Nebraska's Act to Prevent and Punish the Desecration of the Flag of the United States after using a picture of an American flag to advertise his beer. He pleaded not guilty, claiming the statute was null and void under the Fourteenth Amendment for depriving them of the right to exercise an implied constitutional right. The Supreme Court held that no such privilege to use the American flag in an advertisement existed, and upheld Halter's conviction.

Importance of Case

A state may make and enforce regulations on the use of the flag until Congress chooses to act.

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