A group of far-left activists with the Revolutionary Communist Party interrupted a Philadelphia Independence Day celebration by burning an American flag.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro were on hand to celebrate America’s birthday in the city where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.
During the city’s Celebration of Freedom event, a handful of far-left agitators disrupted speakers by blowing airhorns and yelling into a bullhorn. The group of six agitators locked hands while one of them pulled out an American flag and set it on fire, according to footage from Ford Fischer of News2Share.
The group urged the crowd to join them for a “real revolution.”
VIDEO THREAD: This morning, members of the Revolutionary Communist Party interrupted the July 4 city Celebration of Freedom event in Philadelphia (where both the governor and mayor spoke) by burning an American flag.
They advocated the crowd join them for “a real revolution.” pic.twitter.com/lUw9gtlxAV
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) July 4, 2023
After the group finished their performance, they were briefly detained by police. They were ultimately let go, as flag burning has long been upheld as an acceptable form of protest by the Supreme Court. The group was given a warning because the flames caused a tote bag to catch fire, however.
On June 21, 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag is a lawful form of protest under the First Amendment. In the controversial Texas v. Johnson case, the court voted 5-4 in favor of Gregory Lee Johnson, a protester who had burned the flag.
Justice William Brennan wrote the majority decision, with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Thurgood Marshall, Harry Blackmun and Antonin Scalia joining the majority.
“Johnson was convicted for engaging in expressive conduct. The State’s interest in preventing breaches of the peace does not support his conviction because Johnson’s conduct did not threaten to disturb the peace,” Brennan wrote. “Nor does the State’s interest in preserving the flag as a symbol of nationhood and national unity justify his criminal conviction for engaging in political expression.”