us a flag under blue sky during daytime Photo: Chris Robert

Man Acquitted in Supreme Court for Displaying American Flag: Flag Regulation Ruled Unlawful

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A man has been acquitted in the Danish Supreme Court for displaying the American flag.

On April 9, 2018, the man displayed the American flag from a flagpole at his residence. Last November, he was found guilty by the appellate court for violating the penal code regarding the flag regulation prohibiting the use of foreign national flags.

The flag regulation dates back to 1915 in connection with a royal resolution of July 7, 1854, which, according to its wording, modified a royal resolution of December 21, 1833, concerning a general prohibition on flag usage.

However, on Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled in the case and determined, based on an assessment of the legal requirements that must be met today when intervening in citizens’ rights of this nature, that the flag regulation’s prohibition on displaying foreign national flags does not have the necessary legal basis in the 1833 resolution issued by the king during the absolute monarchy, nor in customary law considerations. The man was subsequently acquitted.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court took the opportunity to note, among other things, that in the Court’s opinion, citizens’ display of foreign national flags today generally cannot be considered a violation of a prohibition “for the protection of the state’s defense or neutrality measures” as stated in Section 110(c), paragraph 1 of the penal code.

This means that individuals are allowed to display flags of other countries if they wish to do so.

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