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Suspected flag burner pilloried
Alleged offender hunted down, ridiculed after incident at VFW post
By BOB GARDINIER AND HUMBERTO MARTÍNEZ, Staff writer
First published in print: Saturday, September 26, 2009

VALLEY FALLS -- The young man was given three choices: get turned over to the police, go one-on-one in a fight with a seasoned war veteran, or be duct-taped to a flagpole for six hours with a sign around his neck identifying his alleged crime: flag burning.

It was the third option that would still have the small town buzzing a week after a 21-year-old was hunted down and forced to endure a public humiliation with its roots dating to the Middle Ages. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1938 were incensed enough to tie up the man last Sunday after they accused him of setting the flag in front of their building on fire.

Post Commander Nick Normile, a Vietnam War veteran, said the man came into the post's bar Sept. 18 on Poplar Avenue and was eventually turned away for not having a proper ID.

Apparently angered, the young man, who Normile did not want to name, cut the rope of the American flag flying overhead and used a cigarette lighter to set it on fire, Normile and others said.

The man sat pilloried as the village had its fall youth soccer picnic with a long parade of children passing in front of him.

"He'll never disrespect the flag again, I can tell you that," Normile said.

Normile said the flag had at one point flown over U.S. troops in Iraq had special significance.

Veterans, both local and nationwide, responded to the event as accountings were posted online to the official VFW Facebook page and national Web site. Comments posted supported the act and added ideas for further punishment.

Other nearby business owners said they knew of the event but refused to give an accounting. Unconfirmed reports by citizens said the alleged flag-burner was a relative of a previous commander of the post.

Calls made to the alleged flag burner and a spokesman for the national VFW organization for comments were not returned. The Rensselaer County Sheriffs office confirmed knowledge of the event, but said they were not involved. State Police in Brunswick were contacted, but a trooper said no record of the event could be found.

The flag will be disposed of at a formal ceremony, Normile said.



Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=846181#ixzz0SM6j99S5
WTG its about time people did something about this, they didnt harm the guy just humiliated the **** out of him .
I think the last one was the best option.
getting arrested for that he wouldnt think twice about doing it again, getting his ass kicked by a vet the pain would only last so long then your fine, getting publically humiiated it will last a life time.

wanna bet these poor guys are going to be sued BIG time. I sure as hell hope not. and it should be done to every american flag burning son of a bitch out there, but not limited to guys that use them for "art" and drape the flag around a toilet in the name of art.



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Hey Del, I dont think they can be sued since he chose the option. He wasnt forced into it so it doesnt make it a civil rights violation. The guy chose his option. But I bet they would have overwhelming support if they did get sued.
 

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I still have 2 old flags that are totally worn out but have never touched the ground that are folded in my shop.I don't know for sure how to dispose of them properly,maybe I can take them to an American Legion.
 

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You can also give them to a Boy scout troop... that gives the Scoutmasters an opportunity to train the boys how to dispose of them properly.
 

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You can’t fix stupid, if someone goes out and buys there own flag and burns it, it can be called a freedom of expression, those that have fought for the flag have given them the right to disrespect the flag. But to take down a flag from an organization such as the VFW and set it on fire he is lucky to get what he got. At the least it is destruction of private property and possibly trying to incite a riot. Some one probably had to do some fast talking to keep him from getting thumped.
 
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