Woman Steals Flag, Resists Arrest, Freaks Out

A group of students at Valdosta State University in Georgia put an American flag on the ground and walked on it as part of a protest over…well, something (they haven’t said, nor do I care). That prompted a woman to go and steal their flag, then resist arrest and demand that the protesters be arrested.

Michelle Manhart, an Air Force veteran, said she was not planning to take the flag from the group, but she had heard about the group’s recent campus demonstrations and wanted to take action.

“I did not want anything like this, but I got a call from a student who told me that the flag was on the ground, and they were walking on it,” said Manhart. “I was just going over there to pick up the flag off the ground. I don’t know what their cause is, but I went to pick it up because it doesn’t deserve to be on the ground.”

Yeah, it’s an inanimate object. It doesn’t “deserve” anything. And since the flag doesn’t belong to you, you have no right to do anything at all to it, no matter how emotional you get over it.

Manhart said she hoped to ask for a letter of apology from the group and to take possession of the flag so she could dispose of it properly.

Repeat after me: It’s not your flag. It’s none of your goddamn business. She admitted to resisting arrest and, while she was resisting, asked police officers repeatedly why they weren’t arresting the protesters. Because they didn’t break the law, obviously. This was decided decades ago, but maybe news travels very slowly to Georgia. The people on her Facebook post about it seem blissfully ignorant as well.

Stephanie Elizabeth Agerton I am absolutely appalled. I served in the USAF at Moody AFB. The fact that the city is allowing this is offensive and disgusting. People need to write the Mayor. There is a peaceful way to protest. Disrespecting the flag especially in a military town where parents, children, spouses, siblings, etc have their loved ones protecting it is an act which should not be tolerated.

The city has no choice and writing the mayor won’t change a thing. There’s this pesky thing called the First Amendment. It’s part of that constitution thing you guys always declare your undying love for but know absolutely nothing about.

Joe Giedraitis That makes me sick how the cops did nothing to the other woman in green but arrested Michelle. I am soooo proud of you Michelle for sticking up for the flag we served under.

Yeah, why won’t those cops arrest people for offending me even though it’s unconstitutional for them to do so? What is this country coming to when other people can flagrantly offend hyper-emotional, self-declared uber-patriots?

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  • gshelley

    Hey, it’s better to stick up for the flag people served under, than the actual principals of the constitution.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Woman Steals Flag, Resists Arrest, Freaks Out

    Hey, me too! But instead of “flag” it was “police car”. I got to play with the siren and everything!

  • embraceyourinnercrone

    She’s apparently a veteran but I guess she forgot what the oath of enlistment actually SAYS ” I do solemnly swear or affirm to support and defend the Constitution of the United States that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…..there is nothing in it about flags

  • dhall

    She’s also a hypocrite. She herself got in big trouble with the Air Force for posing nude with just a flag wrapped around herself. She had to resign or face discipline.

  • addiepray

    Perhaps I am confusing stories, but I’m pretty sure that this is the woman who was discharged from the military for posing nude in Playboy…with an American flag. (My concern being the hypocrisy, not the nudity)

  • MikeMa

    She also (reportedly) posed nude with the flag. No idea if this is true but the irony jumps quite a bit if so.

    RawStory report:

    Raw Story Article

  • chris69

    If you was so repectful of flag and country, then why did she pose for Playboy when she was in the USAF including pictures with an American Flag draped in front of her which ended in her getting demoted and discharged.

  • dingojack

    When Fascism comes to America it’ll be nude and wrapped in flag…

    😉 Dingo

  • hoku

    She’s also a hypocrite. She herself got in big trouble with the Air Force for posing nude with just a flag wrapped around herself. She had to resign or face discipline.

    She’s not offended. She’s trying to hop on the conservative gravy train.

  • caseloweraz

    There are many ways to disrespect the American flag. You could throw it on the muddy ground and stomp on it, digging your jackbooted feet into its fabric, tearing red stripes from white, stars from the field of blue, as these protesters did. You could burn it to ashes and feed the ashes to hogs. Or, you might merely get the country involved in a pointless war.

    One of these ways is more consequential than the others.

    (I note that the American flag is disrespected every day. How many people stop and stand at attention when it is raised or lowered? How many who fly it lower it for inclement weather? How many replace a flag when it becomes tattered, and dispose of the old flag as protocol requires?)

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    She had to act. The flag was upside down, indicating distress.

  • busterggi

    And her, a Christian, worshipping a false idol – doesn’t she know she’s going to hell for that?

  • dingojack

    caseloweraz – “How many who fly it [an American flag] lower it for inclement weather? ”

    ‘Fair weather patriots — I hate fair weather patriots!’ [Accelerates car over the bridge…]



    Anyone have any idea why patriots are afraid of their rectangles of cloths getting a little damp? And what is the meteorological definition of ‘inclement’, anyway?

  • Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer

    Yet another appropriate moment to post some David Mitchell hilarity.

    (He uses a gendered slur at the end, but the clip ends right then and the audience laughter drowns it out).

  • caseloweraz

    What, Dingo? My intention was to point out the the American flag is routinely disrespected without any ruckus being raised, where “disrespected” means not treated in accordance with the U.S. flag code.

    The code does say that an all-weather flag can be displayed during inclement weather, so I stand corrected on that point. However, it should be illuminated if displayed during hours of darkness.

    My main point stands: people like Michele Manhart overlook the great majority of disrespect for the flag. In her case, of course, there is the additional factor of hypocrisy.

  • whheydt

    Re: caseloweraz @ #10…

    And don’t forget that “proper disposal” is by *burning* it.

  • zenlike

    A lot of commenters over there not knowing the meaning of freedom, rights, freedom of speech, and what the constitution actually stands for. And a lot of them are soldiers or spouses of soldiers. Scary stuff.

    And indeed, same person who posed nude wrapped in a flag and was discharged for it. What a dishonest hack. She is probably hoping to get a juicy job in the right wing rubber chicken circuit.

  • dingojack

    I wasn’t calling you a fair weather* patriot!!

    Why fly anything but an ‘all-weather flag’ outside? ‘Yes it’s gonna pour with rain, blow a gale and/or snow heavily, so let’s put this crepe-paper flag outside. I’m sure it’ll be just fine‘. @@

    All-weather flags are for use – outside. That’d seem to be common sense, wouldn’t it?

    You American seem to be weird flag-fetishists… :)



    * or should that be ‘fair-weather’?

  • zenlike

    Obligatory Hicks.

  • dingojack

    OT Alert… OT Alert… OT Alert…

    BTW – why ‘rubber chicken circuit’?

    [/OT Alert… Carry on].


  • Zmidponk

    The fact that the city is allowing this is offensive and disgusting. People need to write the Mayor. There is a peaceful way to protest.

    I’m not really seeing what’s NOT peaceful about protesting whatever it is they were protesting about by laying a bit of cloth on the ground and walking over it.

  • John Pieret


    BTW – why ‘rubber chicken circuit’?

    It’s a reference to the dismal food you usually get at large political/religious/social events intended to raise money.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    “Black children are taught from an early age to disrespect authority and to use the system. I’ve witnessed black parents beating their children, not for committing a crime but, for getting caught. That’s the black mentality here in the US. They have no pride in our country, all they want are the freebies and being able to suck on the taxpayer’s tit. Obama is to blame for most of the s**t going on right now and if a race war starts he needs to be the first one shot!”

    “Thier tuitions were paid for wiith grants from the goverment and plus any other intitlements they can get such as welfare, food stamps and wic!”

    “Does anyone actually believe that the majority of blacks are really patriotic Americans? I don’t! I really feel for those that are, scum like these people are dragging down blacks in America. If it were me confronted with the same disrespect for our flag, those responsible wouldn’t be with us today! I’ll say this to every black in America, if you’re not happy here, GET THE HELL OUT!”

    Just a few comments from totally not-racist teabaggers at: http://www.teaparty.org/outrageous-veteran-arrested-for-rescuing-flag-from-desecration-94848/

  • Chiroptera

    Quoted by fifthdentist, #23: Black children are taught from an early age to disrespect authority….

    Actually, it isn’t black children who are disrespecting President Obama.

    Just sayin’!

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    Notice how they’re also totally not-violent. Just wanting the president to be shot in a race war and the last one seems to be saying he would have stood his ground against peaceful, unarmed protesters.

  • grumpyoldfart

    What is this country coming to when other people can flagrantly offend hyper-emotional, self-declared uber-patriots?

    They learned it from their government which has had exactly the same attitude for the last few hundred years: Don’t ever offend America or we’ll send in the troops and blast you back to the stone-age. People pick up on things like that…

  • dingojack

    John Pieret – ah, I see. Thanks for that.


  • marcus

    John Pieret @ 22 Me too. I thought it had something to do with being smacked by Red Skelton

  • chris69

    Imagine the gall of these people, actually trying to exercise their right of free speech – “You have the right to free speech, as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it”.

  • jnorris

    She wasn’t choked to death.

    She wasn’t beaten to death.

    She wasn’t shot in the back.

    What went wrong?

  • David C Brayton

    When I went to law school, there were quite a few Navy officers getting a law degree. When we talked about Texas v. Johnson, the flag burning case, otherwise rationale military folk went all looney.

    Some of them clearly would have created an exception to the First Amendment for flag burning. Others thought an amendment to the Constitution should be Congress’ first order of business.

    Questions like, What if the ‘flag’ had 51 stars? Still a ‘flag’? What if it was more oblong than a standard flag? Still a flag? Six pointed stars? Still a flag? Is it desecration to adorn the flag with gold filly bunting? What if it were orange instead of gold?

    The military teaches its soldiers and sailors to be flag fetishists. There were people in my law school class that wanted folks that desecrated the flag in jail for what amounts to blasphemy.

  • whheydt

    Re: “Rubber chicken”….

    It’s not just political circuit meals. It’s hotel “banquets” generally. See… http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/org/swil/FILKS/filkbook2.html#0

    (And, yes, Karen Anderson did indeed bounce one of the potatoes served at that event.)