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The Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that burning the American flag is a protected form of free speech. (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)

President-elect Trump floated the idea of revoking citizenship or jailing people who burn the American flag, which the Supreme Court has ruled is protected by the First Amendment.

In a Tuesday morning tweet, Trump said there must be “consequences” for burning the flag.

“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” Trump wrote.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1989 in Texas v. Johnson that burning the American flag is a protected form of free speech. The case struck down laws in 48 of the 50 states that made burning the flag a criminal act.

The case was brought before the court after Gregory Johnson burned an American flag at the 1984 Republican convention in Dallas. Johnson was arrested under a law that prevented damaging certain objects if that damage was likely to anger others, and the flag was included in that law.

By a 5-4 decision, the court ruled burning the American flag was symbolic speech and was therefore protected by the First Amendment. The court noted that outrage alone was not enough to ban the burning of the flag.

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