Suspected flag burner pilloried

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.

I hope he sues. Flag burning is under the First Amendment.

The freedom of speech does not go so far as to say that you can deface and destroy SOMEONE ELSES PROPERTY!!!

This young man probably for the first time in his life got a good lesson, respect the flag and respect others property Also remember this young man got to choose his punishment. Hows that for freedom!:thumbsup:

You make a good point about property. However, you can’t return evil for evil, nor should you applaud such a return.

Men were tortured to death and died for that flag and what it stands for.

They were being easy on him.

Sad to know that they suffered and died in vain, from the looks of things, isn’t it? :frowning:

They should have called the police-you are most certainly allowed to do anything you want your own flag-but desroying other people property is illegal ,free speech or not. Their problem is that the law does not allow for vigilante justice.

The people who did this messed up -kidnapping, false imprisionment for starters. They had better find a way to settle this fast…

An emotional response? Look at the facts: The man defaced someone else’s property. That is evil and illegal. The veterans kidnapped and humiliated the man in return. That is evil and illegal.

Pray for the man and the veterans, that they might settle the matter justly and rightly.

I’m all for the First Amendment and, yes, burning the flag is “symbolic speech”. Fine.

But this guy didn’t burn the flag as part of a demonstration, he did it in a fit of pique because he couldn’t buy a drink.

This particular incident aside I’ve often wondered if bringing back flogging or the stocks would have more deterrent value than prison. After all, doing some jail time often just adds to a hood’s “street cred”.

Yes, let’s flog a man for destroying someone else’s property. And than we can inject someone full of poison for robbing a bank. Oh happy day!

They were in their rights for what they did. They gave him an option. He could have turned himself into the police. He chose this. What they did was not evil, it was far from cruel. You are wrong about that. Not any more that a parent spanking a child who deserves what he is getting.

Perhaps some reflection on what the flag symbolizes and the extreme discomfort, sacrifice and suffering of those who defended it is what is needed.

It reminds me of my son’s teacher bemoaning the Japanese interred in the camps during WWII. Fine, but why don’t we bemoan the **civilian men, women and children **and soldiers who underwent unspeakable torture and murder at the hands of the Japanese at that same time. I happen to know a person who was a child who expericened it. It is never even mentioned. Sorry, but, it just isn’t balanced out.

He did not burn just a piece of cloth. This person showed a violent and extreme ingratitude and disdain for the people above. He deserved far worse than what he got.

Under what authority did they offer these choices to this young man? Have you given some thought to the state of the country if vigilante justice bacame the norm?

No one is disputing that he was wrong to burn the flag-but we live in a nation of laws-we dont get to make up the laws as we go along no matter how henious we think the actions of others are.

It was their collective property. If they had gone to the Walmart parking lot and detained him, you may have an argument.

This person learned a far better lesson this way. It is better for his soul, in the long run. He may even have grown from the incident. This option should be routinely given to those who are viloated. It is better justice, that way. Makes for better restitution, and has a rehabilitative effect. Plus, think of the money the public saved in not prosecuting him.

It’s a good deal no matter how you slice it.

Agreed; more harsh, embarassing punishment would deter crime more than community service and classes. As to the silly remark about lethal injection for bank robbers: no need to takes things to the absurd; if anything we need to reduce the number of executions. Justice in this country has become a joke in some areas.

I wouldn’t describe this as vigilante justice. They offered him a choice. By what authority? Well, they were the aggrieved parties.

Imagine you caught some neighborhood kid “tagging” your home. You could call the cops or you could offer to not call the cops if he cleaned off and repainted plus mowed your lawn for a month (or whatever). Would that be vigilante justice?

I hope he loses. Typical ACLU sentiments.


Amen! Thank you to the Veterans out there that gave me the freedom to lock and load and to tell a trespasser “survivors will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”.

Peace, Graubo

So, OP and others–let me get this straight, you support the flag, and all “it stands for,” such as free speech… unless you really, really dislike the speech, in which case it is okay to abridge that right? It doesn’t take terrorists or foreign armies to destroy our freedom, only those who value the image, but not the substance.

O the reasoning of the sanctimonious.Yeah lets flog a idiot. I’m sure many of the posters on this thread agree. Until they or their kids do something idiotic. Then it’ll be " hey whoa lets be civil here guys." But of cause You people are much too pious to do such a thing.

Lots of parents have agreed to “shaming” punishments, such as wearing a sign on a street corner annoucing their crime.

Personally, I think the law should state that if you haven’t served under the flag, you don’t have the right to burn it.

But that’s just me.

Good for the VFW, by the way. My dad was a life member, as well as a life member of the Disabled American Veterans. Flag burners wouldn’t make a patch on the behind of any one of those men.

My children would never do that. It wouldn’t even cross their mind. They were raised better than that. If they ever did a thing like that, I would be in full agreement of their receiving the same penalty. In fact, I would prefer it over getting tangled up with the law.

I take offense at some people’s lack of respect and deference towards veterans in favor of a spoiled ingrate. That’s sanctimonious. So, spare me, already.

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