Speech On Freedom Of Speech

1557 Words7 Pages
The definition of freedom of speech has many elements that are involved in it because people interpret freedom of speech differently and how far a person can go with their free speech. There have been multiple situations where the public must determine if such speeches or actions are protected or not protected by the First Amendment. Flag burning is among the many situations that the public still debates whether it should be protected or should not be protected by the First Amendment. In order to understand flag burning, we need to understand the definition of Freedom of Speech. When the words “Freedom of Speech” are heard, many thoughts emerge. Everyone has a different interpretation of free speech. Some believe that free speech is absolute; some believe it is not. Freedom of Speech, along with our other freedoms, was adopted in the Constitution in 1791. It’s found in the Bill of Rights, more specifically the First Amendment, which promises the American people their freedom regarding religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition (Staff). From my interpretation, free speech basically means being able to voice your opinion without the government interfering. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” According to “Amendment I - The United States Constitution”, the speakers' protection extends beyond Congress. Meaning they are protected from other government agencies and officials, for example, federal, state, and local, and legislative, executive, or judicial (1st). According to “First Amendment”, “Freedom of speech encompasses not only the spoken and written word, but also all kinds of expression (including non-verbal communications, such as sit-ins, art, photographs, films, and advertisements)” (First). The courts have identified three types of speeches. The first type of speech is pure speech. “First Amendment Rights” states that pure speech is the verbal expression of thoughts and opinions (First). The second type of speech is speech plus actions. It is defined as a speech with some type of action with it, for example, a protest (First). The last type of speech is symbolic speech and it is defined as something with no speech,
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