Is giving 'the finger' illegal?

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: My wife is handicapped. We are elderly. We were at Walmart trying to turn into a handicapped spot in the front when some jerk turned right in front of us, almost causing us to hit him. I had a few choice things to say as I “flipped him off!” My wife was scared and said if the police saw me doing this they could pull me over and I could get in trouble for giving the “finger.” Is this true?

A: Sorry this happened to you and, no, you can’t get in trouble. While giving anyone the “finger” is arguably crude and has caused many a fight, it is protected freedom of expression under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Just be careful not to provoke a fight with your reactions.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.