Charlie Buttrey

February 8, 2020

The article is behind a paywall, so you’ll just have to trust me on this. The Caledonian-Record reports that Robert Smith, a Republican Vermont Representative from Derby, has introduced legislation that would prohibit schools from hoisting Black Lives Matter or Rainbow Pride flags on school property. For that matter, his bill would prohibit schools from flying ANY flag other than an American flag or the flag of the State of Vermont.

The legislator insists that his proposal isn’t because he’s opposed to Black Lives Matter or Gay Pride; he says also opposes the POW/MIA flag on school property.

This blogger, who is as close to a First Amendment absolutist as they come, isn’t bothered by any flags, since they are clearly free speech. But Rep. Smith inadvertently raises an important point: if you are going to have flags raised on school property, who decides which flag should or should not be raised? If you’re going to raise a Gay Pride flag, why can’t the American Nazi Party have its flag raised as well?

The proposed statute is almost certainly constitutional (the First Amendment allows for reasonable time and place regulation of speech), though I am not convinced that it’s a particularly good idea.

According to the article, the proposal is not likely to make it out of committee.

Quick note: I will be at a weekend getaway at Camp Takumta, so you will somehow have to manage without a blog entry tomorrow.

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