Thursday, April 17, 2003

Contempt of Flag

And some contemptibly stupid cops. Maybe they're Yale graduates.

When bombs started falling on Baghdad last month, Alamosa business owner John Fleming put an upside down U.S. flag in the window of his book and music shop, The Roost, on State Street.


Then three police officers showed up. One of them was the chief of police. They told Fleming to remove his upside-down flag or be ticketed for a misdemeanor crime called "contempt of flag."

"I went into physical shock," said Fleming, 45. "Instead of supporting my rights, they were taking rights away from me."

He took down the flag.


And the old Colorado statute making "contempt of flag" a crime was struck down by the Colorado Supreme Court in 1973, he said.

Fleming learned Tuesday that he can replace his upside-down flag in his shop window.

"That's good news," he said.