Why America’s most famous flag burner is celebrating this Flag Day

This week, three decades after the court invalidated prohibitions on flag desecration in 48 states, the city of Cleveland agreed to pay Mr. Johnson $225,000 to settle his claim that officers had retaliated against him for an exercise of free expression.

Mr. Johnson, 63, said in his lawsuit that officers had used fire extinguishers to put out the burning flag and pushed him to the ground during the protest outside the convention hall in July 2016. He was charged with misdemeanor assault after two people claimed they had been burned in the incident. The charges were later dropped, and a judge dismissed charges against 15 other people arrested at the protest…

Mr. Johnson, a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has spent decades protesting what he describes as American imperialism and inequality, and said that he planned to use the settlement money to support causes in line with his ideology. “I’m a full-on volunteer for the revolution,” he said.