Times Union (Albany,NY):
**Suspected flag burner pilloried **
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.
Of course now he’ll probably sue for violations of his civil rights and win an award that will put that VFW post out of business.