CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Not directly mentioning Hampshire College, President-Elect Donald Trump tweeted that anyone who burns the flag should have their citizenship revoked or face a year in jail.
22News asked UMass Amherst Constitutional Law Professor Paul Collins if that’s constitutional. Collins told 22News, “Absolutely not. Neither parts of what he said are constitutional. It is a constitutionally protected right to burn an American flag under two separate supreme court cases, and it is also unconstitutional to revoke someone’s citizenship as a form of criminal punishment.”
Collins went on to say the burning of the flag is protected as free speech. He said the government could revoke citizenship if it’s not obtained legally.
UMass Immigration Law professor Rebecca Hamlin told 22News the government can also revoke citizenship if someone engages in treason or warfare against the U.S. Government by joining an enemy army.
The supreme court ruled in 1989 that bans on burning the flag are unconstitutional.