Flags, Protests, Cops, and Playboy Models

What we have here is a former Playboy model and Air Force veteran physically wrenching an American flag away from two female black protesters because she’s unhappy that they were stepping on it, which is a legal form of protest in the U.S., because she thinks it’s disrespectful to the flag and veterans.

She’s so offended by their treatment of the flag that she refuses to obey the police. She resists arrest. She fights the police (and doesn’t get shot, being white and female). When the cops try to handcuff her, she puts her hands in her crotch (I assume so she can later claim they touched her genitals).

83leic8200xq280eThe ABC News story says she’s 38 years old, has two kids, her husband is in the Air Force and deployed to Korea, and she was effectively kicked out of the Air Force in 2007 for posing in Playboy. So, what we have here is someone who makes her money by selling prurient pictures of her naked body, and who is now preaching flag decorum to the rest of us. (As a YouTube poster commented, “But she can pose naked with the flag draped over her body and it dragging on the floor?”) And fighting the police. (Including two black cops; maybe that explains her disrespect for the officers, who were just doing their job?)

I’m a veteran myself, and I get that the flag to many people is a symbol of our veterans’ service and sacrifice, and I would never desecrate our flag as a form of protest (or for any other reason), although I can’t stop other people from doing it, because of a thing called the First Amendment (and Supreme Court decisions upholding this form of protest).

121005_SPEC_confed.jpg.CROP.article250-mediumNow … I wonder if these zealous Defenders Of The Flag get that the Confederate flag is a symbol too, and those who display it are honoring something many that Americans — especially African-Americans — find distasteful, despicable, and offensive? But we acknowledge and accept their right to display it on their houses, pickup trucks, and so forth — that First Amendment thing again. We just don’t want state governments doing it officially by flying it from their state capitol buildings, like some Republicans want to do … because of that symbolism thing again.

Photos: Michelle Manhart, the woman arrested in the video, respecting the American flag (above); U.S., state, and racist flags flying at South Carolina’s statehouse in 2000 (below).

Update No.1: If you enlarge the photo and look closely you’ll see she’s stepping on the flag with her left foot.

635651218875207330-manhartflag2Update No. 2: She’s getting lots of publicity, which leads me to strongly suspect that’s what the whole purpose of her “protest” is. Have you ever heard of her before? Neither had I. And at 38, her career as a nude Playboy model must’ve been approaching its pull-date. So why not gin up a media circus to get her name out there and revive her flagging career? Fame & money await! The vid was shot by her daughter, and appeared almost instantly on YouTube, which leads me to believe the incident, including her arrest, was planned and staged. In fact, commercializing the flag by using it as a prop for her manifold poses very much seems to be her “professional” shtick or calling card. You can read more about her silly stunt here and here.1210706890tumblr_nn7w18YxDi1r55d2io1_500ssd

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