As I sat here this morning having my coffee, a news story on television caught my eye. It seems a group of black student protesters at Valdosta State University were holding a protest and stomping on an American flag which they had thrown on the ground. The students, who were not identified and did not state what they were protesting against, summoned the police after Air Force veteran, Michelle Manhart took the flag from the protestors on campus after she watched them walk on it.
Manhart, an Air Force veteran of 14 years, couldn’t let that stand. She went over and took the flag from the group to properly dispose of it per the United States flag code. University police officers then placed Manhart in handcuffs and returned the flag to the protestors who put the flag back onto the ground and continued to walk on it.
The VSU Police returned the flag to the protestors after Manhart was detained. The protestors and detaining officers did not press charges against her.
Manhart was given a criminal trespass warning which bans her from attending any university activities.
As a Veteran and Patriotic American, the actions of these protesters disgust me. It brings back memories of the Vietnam era and draft card burning Hippies. It used to be against the law to burn our nation’s flag. Here is part of the U.S. Flag Code dealing with disrespectful acts against the American Flag:
Title18 U.S. Code § 700 – Desecration of the flag of the United States;
1989—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–131, § 2(a), amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “Whoever knowingly casts contempt upon any flag of the United States by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling upon it shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.”
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–131, § 2(b), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “The term ‘flag of the United States’ as used in this section, shall include any flag, standard colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, color, or ensign of the United States of America, or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, standards, colors, or ensign of the United States of America.”
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–131, § 3, added subsec. (d).
However in 1990, the Supreme court in Texas vs Johnson, issued a ruling stating that burning an American flag is a part of our First Amendment rights. Our founding fathers did not have flag desecration in mind when the Constitution was penned. I doubt that anyone back then even thought about desecrating the flag which stands for liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We have come a long way since the revolutionary war in some ways, but in others we are taking giant steps back in the name of political correctness. I am a God fearing, law abiding citizen of this great country which has been very good to me. However, I refuse to stand idle and watch as the flag of my land is desecrated in any way. I joined the Army and took an oath to protect our country from all enemies foreign and domestic. That oath goes for Old Glory also. God Bless America!