Veteran, Playboy Model Explains Decision to Confiscate Flag from Protesters

In an interview with Fox News, former Air Force veteran and playboy model Michelle Manhart explained why she felt compelled to confiscate an American flag from protesters at Valdosta State University in Georgia who were desecrating it.

“The flag is an iconic symbol for freedom,” said Manhart. “If you are going to fight for a cause and use the First Amendment – how are you going to stomp and trample the icon that gives you that right?”

A photo of Manhart when she posed for Playboy.

A photo of Manhart when she posed for Playboy.

However, one member of the unnamed group told the Valdosta Daily that they needed to stomp the flag because 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 slave master has put in front of him,” a VSU student told the newspaper.

Manhart was briefly detained by police and ultimately let off with a warning.

Meanwhile, the publicly funded university addressed the protest, reluctantly siding with the demonstrators.

“We respect the rights of people to peacefully assemble and voice their opinions,” the University statement read. “Our primary concern is the safety of our students, faculty and staff and our ability to carry out our responsibilities to all our students on campus. We are monitoring the situation.”

Then the president released a statement on Saturday.

“The American flag represents everything that is best about our country,” Dr. William McKinney said. “As the Supreme Court has held, one of those things is the right to free speech, which includes the right to disrespect even the symbol of our country. While I firmly disagree with the actions of the protesters, I understand their right to protest.”

{ 43 comments… add one }
  • PE August 10, 2015, 8:30 pm

    The only reason those ignorant kids have the right to protest is in reconnection of what our FLAG stands for.

    • PE August 11, 2015, 3:05 am

      *Recognition* not reconnection. Predictive typing at its finest.

  • Scott April 28, 2015, 10:45 pm

    Sad to say these kids don’t know what went into that flag to raise it. They will be the first ones to ask America to save them in time of crisis.

  • steve April 27, 2015, 11:12 pm

    some of the commenters on this page are blowing my mind. the same people who are so patriotic, and are always defending and preaching about the constitution, are now completely ignoring the first amendment freedom of speech. i honestly cannot believe there are so many of you who think it should be illegal to desecrate, or simply walk on a flag. that is something one would expect out of a theocracy, or fascist dictatorship. it is akin to thought crime. that is saying there is somehow something magical about the particular pattern on a particular cloth. walking on an italian, or french, or iraqi flag, or a flag with some other symbol like a superman “S” or batman symbol is fine, but when the pattern is stars and stripes, it somehow becomes this unspeakable act.
    if you truly believe that, then certainly you must also be against what this same female veteran did when she posed nude with an american flag, while it was dragging on the ground. her outrage(justified or not) does not giver her the right to steal another persons property. i highly doubt if a group of conservative christians were walking on a iranian flag, and some iranian guy walked up and took the flag, and refused to give it back and just started walking away with it, that you all would be equally outraged. the flag she stole was just a piece of cloth. the significance is only what we as individuals assign to it, which is why it is ridiculous to make such demonstrations illegal. i agree what the protesters were saying(what little i can gather about it at least) sounds ridiculous and silly, but the black girl in the white shirt walked up and perfectly calmly asked her to give her the flag(her property) back. she refused. what is the police officer supposed to do? just say, “sorry folks, i’m letter her take your property, because i don’t happen to agree with your particular political statement, or how you went about voicing it.” that is clearly not the police officers job. especially on a college campus, which is one of the places where the free exchange of ideas is so prolific, and important.

    • Sam July 1, 2017, 12:52 am

      No, I agree. Had it been me, I would have let them know how disgusted I was with them disrespecting the emblem of the country I fought for. Then I would have walked away, shaking my head. But it is a symbol. Not the constitution, not my family. You can’t take someone’s property, argue with the police, and NOT get arrested. As a veteran, I understand her anger. But once the police are involved, your choices of action are few. And before anyone claims I am a fascist, let’s just say you have to pick your battles.

  • Richard E Purdy April 27, 2015, 10:23 pm

    Any time Michelle Manhart needs to be handcuffed, I volunteer. God Bless America.

  • Loring Loding April 27, 2015, 8:56 pm

    While I agree with most everybody here. The people that were treading on the flag were scum and completely ignorant of what the flag stands for. (freedom) BUT, when I first saw this story I followed it to another link and wound up on a lefty site. They of course took the protesters side, talking about private property. BUT at the end of their drivel they posed pictures of this young lady from the Playboy photoshoot. Guess what she was wearing? The American flag draped on her with nothing else! In one shot part of the flag was on the floor. Once again, I appreciate this young lady’s service to our country and her stand for protecting the flag. But if those pictures were real, she is also guilty of disrespecting the flag. Just sayin.

  • BRASS April 27, 2015, 6:18 pm

    Smokin’!

  • Sgt Frank April 27, 2015, 6:00 pm

    These cops are a disgrace …..and I will bet there is not a veteran among them. I salute the lady who stood her ground.

  • Rudy April 27, 2015, 4:21 pm

    The American Flag belongs to every American citizen, it represents what this Country stands for, as for the protesters they should have been arrested also. It is against the law to desecrate the American Flag . I’m a veteran and these protestors have no-idea what this Flag stands for. Put their buts in the Army send them to the war torn middle east so they can see first hand how other Counties govern their people. Maybe, just maybe they will earn respect for the American Flag.

    • Sam July 1, 2017, 12:56 am

      I will take you at your word that you are a veteran. But you really should at least get your GED. And try to read more, if you are going to tell anybody what the law is. Thank you for your service.

  • Mark Wynn April 27, 2015, 12:39 pm

    When an American flag is desecrated for a political message, it’s specifically because desecrating the flag evokes an emotional, highly-charged reaction. In my opinion, “rescuing” that American flag being desecrated is also a freedom of speech, political statement protected by the Constitution. I believe the former Air Force drill instructor is a hero.

    • dennis April 27, 2015, 1:35 pm

      http://reverbpress.com/news/michelle-manhart-posed-nude-with-flag/

      I think this woman, did this “confiscation,” as a cheap publicity stunt to keep herself in the news. Look at her “disrespect,” with the Flag touching the ground. Total bullshit.

      hero???? no way, nice tits maybe………..look at her using the flag on the ground, why is this ok?

      cops should have tasered her ass

      • Bob Peck May 2, 2015, 7:10 am

        Dennis, do you have something against women?? Are you gay??

  • henry April 27, 2015, 12:35 pm

    Seems the protesters were all black….maybe they should realize that flag is the symbol of who pays for their food stamps…

  • dennis April 27, 2015, 12:27 pm

    http://reverbpress.com/news/michelle-manhart-posed-nude-with-flag/

    I think this woman, did this “confiscation,” as a cheap publicity stunt to keep herself in the news. Look at her “disrespect,” with the Flag touching the ground. Total bullshit.

  • D Hicks April 27, 2015, 11:39 am

    Question Why was Manhart there? Was she a student ? I don’t agree with the protesters. Were they students ? I remember the so called riot at KENT STATE in OHIO,the infamous photo of a protester that was NOT a student.I also have had members of my family serve in the military. Don’t throw rocks if you live in a glass house.

    • Mark Wynn April 27, 2015, 12:42 pm

      Why don’t you read up on the issue … answers to your questions have all be thoroughly reported.

  • Gary April 27, 2015, 11:38 am

    Good for her, If I were a millionaire I’d pay her court cost and get her a good lawyer. To Hell with those damned protesters. They walked and stomped on OUR Flag.they deserve nothing. Those cops should be punished, Like someone else said, their the ones who will kick in your door when the scum democrats declare gun ownership illegal!

  • dennis April 27, 2015, 11:11 am

    Bill Clinton arranged to have 50% of the USA’s Uranium supply sold to a Canadian and then resold to the Russians. This Uranium is now being exported to Russia and then Iran, and we concern ourselves over symbolic chicken shit. Yes, this Flag issue is horrible. There is a minority of Blacks who are out of control, but in the big picture this is what is distracting us from keeping our Country from being stolen from us. 50% of our Uranium forever is owned by Russia, anyone paying attention??????

  • walt morris April 27, 2015, 9:55 am

    the only person in this video that I respect is the woman who tried to respect our flag and all of the other scumbags should have been hauled in for walking on our flag and disrespecting our country and our flag. they are just a bunch of useless people who have nothing better to do than walk on our flag. just another example of how far our countries pride has gone down hill. if not for the wealth of our country which they are non-contributors they would have starved to death because they have nothing better to do than this act of traitorism. God bless America and God damn these a-holes.

    • Frank Staples April 27, 2015, 11:01 am

      Walt, I agree with you a hundred percent. How come nobody in this site has mentioned that it is against the law to purposefully desecrate the flag?? Seems I read that a while back so I don’t remember the exact wording of the law that does indeed protect our flag.

      • Bob Peck April 27, 2015, 12:49 pm

        You are correct Frank Staples the flag desecration has been completely overlooked by those officers and the people commenting here. Found this out there for the state of Georgia:

        The State of Georgia prohibits anyone from mutilating, defacing, defiling, or abusing contemptuously the U.S. flag, the Florida state flag or the flag of the Confederate States of America. The law also forbids the use of such flags for advertising or publicity purposes. [Ga. Code Ann. Sec. 50-3-8 and 50-3-9]
        Maybe that can also be a part of retraining for the ignorant officers who arrested Ms. Manhart!!! If these cops felt it necessary to arrest Ms. Manhart then the cops should have arrested all of the loser protestors involved with the desecration of the flag. How’s that for not doing your job properly morons?? Thanks for making this point Frank!!

        • dennis April 27, 2015, 1:39 pm

          http://reverbpress.com/news/michelle-manhart-posed-nude-with-flag/

          under the Georgia law, this self promoter shouldd be locked up. look what she did to the flag, it is touching the ground.

          I think this woman, did this “confiscation,” as a cheap publicity stunt to keep herself in the news. Look at her “disrespect,” with the Flag touching the ground. Total bullshit.

    • Freddy April 28, 2015, 4:41 pm

      You guys don’t remember the 60’s do ya. Or maybe your not old enough. This was a common thing. I remember when service men and women came home in uniform they were spit on and called baby killers. I am sure you heard of Jane Fonda.

  • Scott April 27, 2015, 9:41 am

    Slaves cannot desecrate the symbol of their masters and remain unpunished. These “protesters” are many things, but they are not slaves.

    • Anthony Golish April 27, 2015, 8:53 pm

      To bad those idiots didn’t pay attention in their high school history class. Slaves were not allowed to be educated. The same FLAG they were desecrating was carried by the SOLDIERS that freed their “ancestors” FROM slavery (if any of their ancestors were southern slaves). What IDIOT would walk on the FLAG that LIBERATED THEM. MORONS.

  • Jack April 27, 2015, 9:09 am

    Thank you, AF Veteran Manhart. I would have much rather had then lead with a picture of you in uniform, than the cheesecake
    shot they went with. Thank you for you dedication to our great nation.

  • Mike K April 27, 2015, 9:01 am

    Really mixed emotions here. I was an LEO and while I agree with the lady wholeheartedly, the flag was not hers and she did refuse to return it when lawfully asked. Good for her for sticking up for her principles but…..now she will have to pay the price. I hope she gets a sympathetic judge. I guess, in the end, the cops handled it as well as they could.

    • Mark Wynn April 27, 2015, 12:46 pm

      The flag ceased to be “personal property” when it was desecrated as an, emotional, high-charged symbol in a political message. The “rescuer” of the flag is equally protected for her Freedom of Speech, political message.

    • TexDan April 27, 2015, 5:52 pm

      Seeing these comments from former L.E. only serves to remind me of the difference between Law Enforcement and Police Officers. It wasn’t too very long ago when a “Police Officer” would of remembered he was an American first. Stomping on the American Flag would have got you stomped on, or at the very least they would have backed the Vet. Guess not too many L.E. are Veterans as well. This saddens me to have seen how far we are apart.

  • KIM April 27, 2015, 8:41 am

    I AM A FORMER DEPUTY SHERIFF THESE POLICE OFFICERS WERE A DISGRACE TO THE JOB AND SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES, THEY MAY JUST AS WELL HAVE WALKED ON THE FLAG THEMSELVES,
    THESE ARE THE SAME ONES THAT WILL COME TO YOUR HOME TO DISARM YOU WHEN THE GOVERNMENT BANS FIREARM OWNERSHIP. ALL LAW ABIDING CITIZENS BE PREPARED TO DEFEND YOURSELVES AGAINST THEM AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT BECAUSE IT DOES.

    • Mike K April 27, 2015, 9:05 am

      I’m glad you weren’t a deputy under my command. I agree 100% with her disgust but what would you have the officers do? She had someone else’s property and was refusing to obey a lawful order to give it up. The officers do not have discretion to ignore the law because they don’t like the circumstances, no matter how distasteful.

      • Bob Peck April 27, 2015, 10:04 am

        Mike K you are as ignorant as the officers that responded to and handled this incident. The first major error made was not separating the protestors from this awesome veteran. That is Police 101 mike… Maybe you remember that from your academy training??? So you too think like a moron and your approach of do as I say and if you don’t as I say it will take me and two other guys to throw you to the ground and handcuff you. Pussies!!! These officers don’t have the common sense to come in out of the rain and since you are in agreement with their actions neither do you. Separate the combatants in the dispute a considerable distance moving her away from the morons so she can calm down rather then being yelled at by the moronic protestors. Maybe then the moron officers could speak calmly to her and try to reason as to why she would have to return the flag to the parasite that brought it to the demonstration. You are an idiot as so are the officers involved here. Geez, three men to take a woman to the ground. What a bunch of sissies!!!

      • Anthony Golish April 27, 2015, 8:46 pm

        Once they threw the FLAG away onto the ground and stepped on it the FLAG was no longer their property and as a good AMERICAN CITIZEN she picked up OUR FLAG and restored the FLAG’s DIGNITY. The Police Officer’s did not know their business. The FLAG LAW’s are still on the books. Just because the idiots can disrespect OUR FLAG dose not keep a CITIZEN from obeying the LAW. The supreme court only said they could not be arrested for breaking the LAW.

    • Fred E Brown April 27, 2015, 11:27 am

      I agree with you 100%. What is wrong with these people. I am a vet od 1968, and I saw flag burning and all. We should put these people in the army of a least 4 years and see if that would change their mind.

    • More_Vicious May 4, 2015, 1:53 am

      I completely agree with you Kim!!

  • David April 27, 2015, 7:53 am

    I can understand why she found the protesters treatment of a national symbol objectionable, however, her decision to intervene directly interfered with their legitimate rights to peaceful protest.

    • Vicious April 27, 2015, 9:10 am

      People have died for that flag. People close to me. Those fucking rich kids need to get in the suck to realize exactly what that flag still means to some of us. In any other country those cry babies would be hung. What she did,only a true patriot would do. Keep kicking ass girl. We got your 6.

      • Bob Peck April 27, 2015, 9:53 am

        I agree with you Vicious. The cops handled this totally wrong. These cops should be disciplined and retrained at the very least. This was obviously an emotionally charged situation for her being a veteran and I don’t find fault in anything she did at all. Because these cops who responded can’t think on their feet and felt their only option was to throw this woman to the ground and cuff her rather than staying calm and doing their best to calm her. Not until the 3 cops wrestle her to the ground do they finally tell the racist protestors to get back. Really boys, it takes three of you to arrest this woman and decide well into the confrontation you need to have the crowd step back?? What an embarrassment that is for your police department. Had they separated the crowd initially this would not have gone down as it did. The most basic step is separating the people involved in the confrontation and they blew it!!! Then we get this comment, “When a slave understands his situation and understands he doesn’t want to be in slavery, he does not respect or revere anything his slave master has put in front of him,” a VSU student told the newspaper. So sick and tired of this BS coming from the mouths of racist African Americans who have done nothing at all to make this country great but instead leach off the system and then complain that they have not received enough handouts.

      • Roy Smith April 28, 2015, 8:46 am

        Let’s be clear, it started with one self proclaimed home grown terrorist who drew in more dead beat ignorant free loaders and thrill seekers. The majority of the young people who are students at VSU are not rich kids who side with those who hate what the USA and it’s flag stand for, nor were they a part of that show of disrespect. The majority of the students at VSU are working to provide for them selves now and in the future, there to get a good education in a good environment away from the pressures of the kind of trash we saw in those thugs. Even the father of the young man who started the whole mess is ashamed of him. Oh yes, he has the right but he never considered the cost that was paid for that right , you see we are all debtors to something but in America we get to choose and you know what they say about pay back…..

    • More_Vicious May 4, 2015, 1:52 am

      When did “peaceful protest” allow protesters to wear a badge of immunity for the laws that are the fabric of this country? Do you realize there is a code of conduct written for proper treatment and handling of the flag an other governmental insignias, David? The Federal government until 1989 had laws in place to prosecute individuals for violating these laws but that duty has since been handed down to the States. AND, even if the vile bag of shit desecrating the flag could have slithered out from under the judges mallet with a shifty attorney, MY feelings are they are skulking near the line of treason regardless of what the laws about freedom to protest say! There is absolutely NO justifiable reason for those protesters to desecrate the US flag. None! They can be pissed off at this country’s leadership all they want, but leave the flag out of it. That flag is a symbol of freedom and freedom is what every soldier who has ever given his life to protect so they could have the “freedom of peaceable assembly”. NO protester on American soil should be granted the freedom to spit in the face of that symbol! Not ever!

      If they want to desecrate something, why don’t they trot their pathetic asses up to Washington and let those worthless shit-spewing flesh-bags on Capital Hill know what they are upset about. After all they are the ones flushing this country down the toilet! Maybe they can desecrate the Capital, the Lincoln Memorial or the White House lawn? Oh wait….they can’t do that. They can’t do that because there are laws against that sort of thing. But WHY the double-standard? If lawmakers and judges want to give those pathetic excuses for Americans a badge of immunity for their peaceful protests, they should have the green light about everything related to government right? Jesus, why has this country fallen victim to common sense amnesia??

  • John Young, USN, Retired April 21, 2015, 10:52 am

    She should have burned it on the spot!

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