Bruce C. Heslop


Viewed in its broad perspective, Parker v. Morgan has further clarified and circumscribed the constitutional limits of the state's power to protect the American flag from public acts of desecration. In this respect it may be considered to provide further insight into the constitutional questions involved in this relatively untouched area of the law. However, until authoritative consideration has been given to the nature and source of those protective powers which are reserved to a state, Parker v. Morgan cannot be regarded to have drawn the ultimate lines of demarcation for the constitutional validity of flag desecration statutes. A meaningful attempt to draw such lines must find its premise in the identification and searching examination of the state interests to be furthered by the prohibition and punishment of flag desecration.