Incendiary Words

Trail Mix: Trump's gifts to civics teachers everywhere


"Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!" DONALD TRUMP wrote on Twitter early Tuesday morning.

However, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in 1989's Texas v. Johnson, the values that America represents include the free-speech right to burn the symbol that represents American values.

Antonin Scalia, the conservative justice Trump intends to replace with a like-minded jurist, voted to protect flag burning, despite his revulsion for it.

"If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag," Scalia said shortly before his death in February. "But I am not king."

Some observers speculated that Trump was setting up a trap: Inevitably, those protesting Trump will want to show their defiance of his statement by burning flags — the sort of action that could help turn the majority of Americans who despise flag burning against the protestors.

Trump isn't the first politician who has pushed for restricting flag burning in the years since the Supreme Court's decision. The Flag Protection Act of 2005 proposed to ban burning the American flag as an act of intimidation or incitement to violence. The bill's original co-sponsor? Sen. Hillary Clinton, then representing New York. (DANIEL WALTERS)


Three weeks after DONALD TRUMP became President-elect, at least one thing hasn't changed: Trump spouting that the election was rigged, despite having no evidence to support his claim.

Trump won the election with more than 300 electoral college votes, but he lost the popular vote by at least 2 million. But according to Trump's Twitter feed, he did, in fact, win the popular vote — if you don't count the millions of illegal votes.

Again, by every indication, this is false. There's no evidence to support his claim. But that didn't stop Trump from bashing reporters after they found no evidence to support his false claim; in other words, when they failed to prove a negative. Trump retweeted a 16-year-old Oakland Raiders fan who told Jeff Zeleny, a CNN senior Washington correspondent, that he had "no sufficient evidence that Donald Trump did not suffer from voter fraud, shame!" Trump then added, "Bad reporter."

Trump's remarks come as Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and the Clinton campaign have pushed for a recount in three swing states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. But even after winning, Trump is the one claiming that the election was rigged against him, and challenging the media to prove him right. (WILSON CRISCIONE)

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About The Authors

Wilson Criscione

Wilson Criscione is the Inlander’s news editor. Aside from writing and editing investigative news stories, he enjoys hiking, watching basketball and spending time with his wife and cat.

Daniel Walters

A lifelong Spokane native, Daniel Walters is the Inlander's senior investigative reporter. But he also reports on a wide swath of other topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.He's reported on deep flaws in the Washington...