symbolic speech

noun

Legal Definition of symbolic speech

: conduct that is intended to convey a particular message which is likely to be understood by those viewing it it is well established that wearing certain clothing can be a form of protected symbolic speechCity of Harvard v. Gaut, 660 N.E.2d 259 (1996) — compare commercial speech, pure speech

Note: Symbolic speech is entitled to free speech protection under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution unless its regulation is within the constitutional power of the government and is justified by an important government interest, and the restriction placed on it by regulation is no greater than is essential to the furtherance of that interest.

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“Symbolic speech.” The Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/symbolic%20speech. Accessed 29 January 2020.

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