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More About This Law

Law Summary

A class 2 misdemeanor occurs if one places a mark upon a flag which is “likely to provoke physical retaliation”.

Full Text of the Law

13-3703. Abuse of venerated objects; classification

A. A person commits abuse of venerated objects by intentionally:

1. Desecrating any public monument, memorial or property of a public park; or

2. In any manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation:

(a) Exhibiting or displaying, placing or causing to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing or advertisement of any nature upon a flag or exposing or causing to be exposed to public view a flag upon which there is printed, painted or otherwise produced or to which there is attached, appended or annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing or advertisement; or

(b) Exposing to public view, manufacturing, selling, offering to sell, giving or having in possession for any purpose any article of merchandise or receptacle for holding or carrying merchandise upon or to which there is printed, painted, placed or attached any flag in order to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark or distinguish the article or substance; or

(c) Casting contempt upon, mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, trampling or otherwise dishonoring or causing to bring dishonor upon a flag.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

1. Any act permitted by a statute of the United States; or

2. Any act permitted by United States military regulations; or

3. Any act where the United States government has granted permission for the use of such flag; or

4. A newspaper, periodical, book, pamphlet, circular, certificate, diploma, warrant, commission of appointment to office, ornament, picture, badge or stationery on which shall be printed, painted or placed such flag and which is disconnected from any advertisement for the purpose of sale, barter or trade.

C. For the purposes of this section:

1. "Desecrate" means defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise doing a physical act in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation.

2. "Flag" means any emblem, banner or other symbol, of any size, composed of any substance or represented on any substance that evidently purports to be the flag of the United States or of this state.

D. Abuse of venerated objects is a class 2 misdemeanor.

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