Know Your Rights – Free Speech on Shirts

How do you see free speech? Is it the right to say anything? But then when you say something libelous to a person or an agency of the government, you face a lawsuit that will make you end up with a penalty, a fine or imprisonment. So how does one see what free speech is about?

Freedom of Speech in the US

The system and the laws that the governments every country upholds are modeled after the Western style. They have largely influenced how government in every country must run and because of this reason conspiracy theories are coming out one after another. And in turn, freedom of speech is being elevated to a different level that some people are abusing or misunderstanding it. It is best not to take “freedom of speech” literally.

In the US, the freedom of speech is protected by its First Amendment. Still, the US Supreme Court is still struggling to define exactly what embodies protected speech. The examples of speech are symbolic and direct, which are through actions and words respectively. The Court has then decided that either these two are entitled to the protections of the First Amendment or not.

What is included in the First Amendment?

  • The freedom not to speak, which specifically refers to not salute the flag
  • Students wearing the black armbands to school in order to protest a war; this means that students do not discard their constitutional rights when at their schoolhouse gate.
  • To utilize particular offensive phrases and words that convey political messages
  • To contribute money to political campaigns
  • To engage into symbolic speech
  • To advertise the professional services and commercial products, but with restrictions

What the Freedom of speech does not include are:

  • To burn off the draft cards as a means for anti-war protest.
  • To distribute or make obscene materials
  • To incite actions that would influence harm on others, such as shouting the word “fire” in a crowded place
  • Permitting the students in printing articles in the school newspaper even when there are objections coming from the school administration
  • Students advocating the use of illegal drugs at an event sponsored by the school
  • Students making obscene speech at an event sponsored by the school

Not all people are aware of how they should exercise their freedom of speech, which is why they get rebellious most of the time when they find out that they are being sued for libel. Then they shout that their freedom of speech is being taken away from them. This is only because they did not read and understand the rights that were given to them by their government.

However, in the rights mentioned above, there is the mention of displaying your freedom of speech by means of words or actions. This means that you can print shirts using the rights of free speech as defined by the listings above. Just choose any kind of message that you wish printed on the shirt and parade it as much as you want, as long as you respect what is included in the First Amendment. You will certainly abuse free speech when you go too far. This is why there are laws that protect people from being the subject of hate, even when this is only done through what they see as ‘free speech’.

And if you want your free speech to be long lasting on your shirt, choose the heat press machine method. Heat transfer machines are highly commended by various printing companies because the quality of the print is not only long lasting, but also shows the design in a well balanced, clear print.