In understanding the case, despite unanimous support from the protestors, only Johnson was identified for criminal proceedings and found guilty by the court. The amendment of the 1968 statute to make it neutral by passing the Flag Protection Act of 1989', Congress had manipulated the First Amendment to its advantage. Johnson was charged under the desecration of a venerated object in violation of Texas Penal Code Ann. Sec. 42.09 (a) (3) (1989). When he went on appeal against this verdict in the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas, the court affirmed Johnson's conviction.
The matter was taken to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which reversed the judgment stating that the State could not, consistent with the First Amendment, punish Johnson for burning the flag in these circumstances (Thomas-Library of Congress, http://thomas.loc.gov- Thomas)
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