Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pressure not to Sell a "Rebel" Flag

Sports fans at Louisiana State University have been accustomed to support their teams by flying a flag that blends a symbol of the Confederacy with the purple and gold colors of their university sports teams. But that has come under attack in recent years from the usual suspects.

The university recognizes that the First Amendment prevents it from banning the flag concerned so we read of LSU Chancellor O'Keefe:

"O'Keefe released a letter Friday asking fans to leave them at home: "We will not impede the constitutional right of free speech by banning this flag, but we ask that it not be flown on the LSU campus."

The school also sent letters to wholesalers and local retailers, asking them to stop selling the flag - and strongly implying that the stores could be frozen out in the future on the lucrative sales of franchised LSU flags, banners and other items... The letters included the veiled threat of a lawsuit.

The result, O'Keefe said, has been a sharp drop in the sales of the flags"


Such indirect pressure on use of the flag would probably still be actionable under the First Amendment but it would be a harder case to win.

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