Half of US adults say it should be illegal to burn the American flag

Jamie BallardData Journalist
June 24, 2020, 2:40 PM UTC

In a recent tweet, President Donald Trump said that Congress should do something to punish people who burn the American flag.  
 


This statement came just a few days after his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he said that people who burn the American flag should go to jail for one year. 

About half of the country agrees with Trump that it should be illegal to desecrate the flag. A YouGov poll of more than 6,000 US adults finds that 49 percent think it should be illegal to burn or intentionally destroy the flag.  

About one-third (34%) of Americans say that it should be legal to burn the flag.  

Republicans (77%) are more likely than Independents (50%) and Democrats (35%) to say that it should be illegal to burn the American flag.  

A majority (62%) of Americans over 55 say it should be illegal to burn the American flag, but sentiment among younger age groups tends to be more mixed. A plurality of 18-to 24-year-olds (45%) say it should be legal to burn the American flag.  

There have been several attempts throughout US history to make it illegal to burn the flag, but thus far, none have been successful. 

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Related: 44% of Americans say the press has treated Trump unfairly  

Methodology: 6,609 US adults were asked, “Do you believe it should be legal or illegal to desecrate (e.g. burn, intentionally destroy) the American flag in a protest demonstration?” with options for “legal,” “illegal,” and “don’t know.” Results are weighted to be representative of the US population. This survey was conducted June 22 – 23, 2020.  

 
Image: Getty