During the Red Scare of the early 20th Century the Sedition Act of 1918 was passed forbidding any criticism of "the conduct or actions of the United States government or its military forces, including disparaging remarks about the flag, military uniforms, similar badges or symbols. ..."

It was passed under the administration of Woodrow Wilson. In was used in combination with the Espionage Act of 1917 by the Committee on Public Information to censor war news during WWI.