Protesters walk on Stars and Stripes; veteran banned from university for taking flag from demonstrators
VALDOSTA — A
military veteran was detained but not charged by Valdosta State
University police after she approached a group of protesters on campus
who were walking on an American flag and took it from them.
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.
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.”
said she was taken into custody by VSU police officers who then
returned the flag to the demonstrators. She admitted to The Valdosta
Daily Times that she resisted arrest after seeing the flag being
group reportedly declined to press charges against Manhart. The
officers attempting to detain her also declined to press charges for
Manhart was given a criminal trespass warning which effectively bans
her from any university activity, including graduation and football
games, said Andy Clark, vice president for enrollment, marketing and
demonstrators declined to identify their group to The Valdosta Daily
Times or speak with a reporter about their cause, but they did engage
VSU students in heated debate.
member of the group who declined to speak with The Valdosta Daily Times
or identify himself told a VSU student that putting the American flag
on the ground and walking on it was “a symbol of our protest. When a
slave understands his situation and understands he doesn’t want to be in
slavery, he does not respect or revere anything his slavemaster has put
in front of him.”
said she was not on campus long enough to discern the group’s message.
However, she said if the cause was racism, she agreed with the cause but
opposed the method of protest.