New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill limiting the sale and display of the Confederate flag and other “hate symbols” while acknowledging the First Amendment problems with the bill.
The new law, according to an account in the New York Post, immediately prohibits the sale of “hate symbols” on public grounds, including state and local fairs. It also drastically curtails their display, absent a specific educational or historical purpose.
“This country faces a pervasive, growing attitude of intolerance and hate,” Mr. Cuomo wrote in his approval message. “By limiting the display and sale of the Confederate flag, Nazi swastika and other symbols of hatred … this will help safeguard New Yorkers from the fear-installing effects of these abhorrent symbols.”
But Mr. Cuomo also called in his statement for “certain technical changes,” without which the law he was signing would violate the First Amendment.
“While I fully support the spirit of this legislation, certain technical changes are necessary to balance the State’s interests in preventing the use of hate symbols on state land with free speech protections embodied in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution,” he said.
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