Surprising Laws from the Past: On Flirting in Public

Continuing our blog series on antiquated Arkansas laws, we’ve once again culled from our state’s rich history those Arkansas laws, codes, and ordinances that have fallen by the wayside and that, while still technically on the books, seem outdated and often hilarious by today’s standards.

On Flirting in Public“It shall be unlawful for any person to attract or to endeavor to attract the attention of any person of the opposite sex, upon or traveling along any of the sidewalks, streets, or public ways of the City of Little Rock, by staring at, winking at, coughing at or whistling at any such person, with the intent, or in any way calculated to annoy, or to attempt to flirt with any such person.” [Little Rock City Ordinance No. 2502 (1918), Section 4]

Note: this particular law is found on many websites as a general law against flirting; in fact, it was passed “to Suppress Immorality, to Prevent Solicitation and Transportation of Persons for Immoral Purposes, and for Other Purposes.” This came five years after the city’s 1913 law that ordered “all resorts in the ‘red light district’ be closed” and that “the inmates and proprietresses reform or leave the city.”

Sources: Virtually LegalDigest of the Laws and Ordinances of the City of Little Rock

(Click here to see last week’s post on how to officially pronounce “Arkansas.”)

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