Code of the District of Columbia

This section will be modified by the following acts when they become effective:

§ 22–3312.02. Defacement of certain symbols; display of certain emblems.

*NOTE: This section includes amendments by emergency legislation that will expire on April 13, 2021. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation affecting this section, click this link: Permanent Version.*

It shall be unlawful for any person to burn, desecrate, mar, deface, or damage a religious or secular symbol, or place or display a sign, mark, symbol, impression, or other emblem, including a Nazi swastika, noose, or real or simulated burning cross, on the private property of another, without the permission of the owner or the owner's designee, or on public property, where the person acts reckless to the fact that a reasonable person would perceive that the intent of the person acting is to:

(1) Deprive a person or class of persons of equal protection under federal or District law;

(2) Hinder or interfere with, or retaliate for, a person's exercise of any right secured by federal or District law;

(3) Threaten to injure, break, or destroy a person's property or harm a person's financial interests; or

(4) Threaten to do bodily harm to a person.


(Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-203, § 3, 30 DCR 180; May 15, 2009, D.C. Law 17-390, § 2, 55 DCR 11030; Jan. 13, 2021, D.C. Act 23-599, § 2, 0 DCR 0.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-3112.2.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 22-3312.04 and § 23-581.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-390 rewrote the lead-in language and par. (3) of subsec. (a) and repealed subsec. (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) , see § 2 of Community Harassment Prevention Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-599, Jan. 13, 2021, 0 DCR 0).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Community Harassment Prevention Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-434, Oct. 22, 2020, 67 DCR 12987).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Community Harassment Prevention Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-234, Feb. 27, 2020, 67 DCR 2517).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Community Harassment Prevention Emergency Amendment Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-168, Nov. 25, 2019, 66 DCR 15702).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Community Harassment Prevention Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-644, Feb. 6, 2019, 66 DCR 2050).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Community Harassment Prevention Second Temporary Amendment Act of 2019 (D.C. Law 23-67, Mar. 11, 2020, 66 DCR 16183).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Community Harassment Prevention Temporary Amendment Act of 2019 (D.C. Law 22-305, Apr. 11, 2019, 66 DCR 2046).