Towards the end of a discussion on the seemingly never-ending Nike/Betsy Ross flag controversy during Friday’s broadcast of chat-fest Outnumbered, the conversation shifted to the arrest of two men who burned an American flag outside the White House on July 4.
“There was a video of somebody who stopped burning of the protest—I think it was yesterday—with his hands,” co-host Carley Shimkus said. “It means a lot to a lot of people.”
Banderas, meanwhile, noted that two people were arrested after the protest before adding a bit of commentary.
“And it’s a crime to burn the American flag,” she declared. “That’s how much we respect our American flag.”
While it is true that two men were arrested following the flag-burning, the U.S. Secret Service noted that one person was arrested for “felony assault on a police officer and malicious burning.” As they pointed out, while the burning of the American flag is not illegal, the burning occurred outside the parameters of the protesters’ permit issued by the National Parks Service.
Ironically, one of the men arrested was Gregory “Joey” Johnson, who was the defendant in the landmark Texas v. Johnson Supreme Court case in 1989 that ruled flag-burning was protected speech under the First Amendment, invalidating then-current laws on the book prohibiting flag desecration.
Despite tossing out this explicit falsehood, she went unchallenged by her colleagues, including guest host Dean Cain, who bragged during the broadcast that he majored in history.
Later in the day, filling in for Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, Banderas introduced a segment on Johnson's arrest by noting that "it is not technically illegal to burn a flag due to free speech and the Constitution." She did not, however, mention how she had incorrectly labeled flag-burning a crime earlier that afternoon.