It was an interesting story from a poky little college town in southern Georgia: some students at Valdosta State University decided to hold a protest by walking on the American flag. The nature of their protest was not defined; but somehow they adopted walking on the flag as a huge way of getting attention for whatever protest they were having. No leaflets, no cue cards, no signs, nothing. They were not the most articulate of protesters, methinks.
Along comes a young woman, identified as a veteran, who snatched up the flag to rescue it from this sort of defilement. The campus police cometh; and try to take the flag away from the irate vet. She resisted, and they have to wrestle her down to the ground to de-flag her. Anyway, neither the protesters nor the campus cops file charges. Let bygones be bygones; but they cited her for criminal trespass, meaning don't come back to V.S.U. period! Kind of harsh.
The veteran in question was Michelle Manhart, formerly an Air Force training Staff Sergeant at Lackland AFB. Reading further in The Air Force Times, Staff Sergeant Manhart apparently left the Air Force back in 2006 because she had been demoted due to having posed for Playboy magazine! And that televised paragon of rectitude, Montel Williams, criticized her on television. Oh, don't have a cow, Montel!
I admit a lot of sympathy with her with this episode in Valdosta. The protesters were deliberately trying to set off a response of some kind. As for the campus cops, they could wear giant condoms for headgear!
The Valdosta story is not over. A large "Flags Over V.S.U." rally" attracted about 4,000 people to protest the actions of the protesters and the cops. The school canceled classes for a day.
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