In 2012, demonstrators from Westboro Baptist church — an organization known for its inflammatory protests toward certain groups, religions, and people — protested at a military funeral for Army Sgt. Donna Johnson in North Carolina, and stomped on the American flag.
A few veteran attendees couldn’t stand the sight of mishandling of the American flag, so they decided to take action and take the flag back from the protester.
In the video, about five Westboro Baptist Church protesters are seen holding up opposing signs. They are met with around a dozen counter-protesters who are there to support the funeral.
Several police officers are at the scene making sure that violence doesn’t break out between the two sides. While the church protestors have their right to free speech and can legally protest the funeral if properly organized, the counter-protesters also have that same right to make their voices heard.
Watch the video below:
These veterans chose to not sit on sidelines and go after the guy instead, despite having to fight off some of the police officers to get it back. One of the veterans charges into the group of protesters and hit the one who was stomping on the flag. After wrestling the American flag away from the protester, several police officers intervene and take down the veteran who took the flag. They place him in handcuffs and take him away. The veteran was not charged and was later released following the incident.
Two other veterans run towards the veteran lying on the ground after noticing that the American flag is lying on the ground as well. The veteran asks the officers if he can grab the flag, but the officers push him back, telling him to stay away. After getting the flag handed to him, one officer immediately gets up and snatches the flag from the veteran. He then begins yelling at him, presumably telling him to drop the flag and back away. After a brief fight for the flag, the officer is calmed down by a man in a black jacket and proceeds to let go of the flag.
The crowd of counter-protesters started cheering and chanting “U-S-A” as the two veterans carry the flag away, marking the flag’s successful rescue.
Westboro Baptist Church is frequently in the news for this sort of inflammatory demonstration. This organization is known to picket at the funerals of celebrities, politicians, and our veterans, which seems to be orchestrated to attract attention to their cause.