Mark F. Kohler


The aim of this article will be to explore the nature of symbolic speech, both individual and governmental. Using Johnson and Allegheny County as a backdrop, four themes will emerge from the article. First, both individuals and government speak and speak powerfully through symbols and symbolic conduct. Second, medium-based regulation of individual speech should receive careful judicial scrutiny. Third, unlike individual symbolic expression, governmental symbolic speech is subject to substantial content-based restrictions. Finally, careful distinctions must be drawn between government-initiated symbolic speech and governmental endorsement of individual symbolic speech.