A FedEx driver named Matt Uhrin has received support from the company after preventing a small group of protesters from burning an American flag. FedEx tweeted this:
We have reviewed the matter in Iowa City involving driver Matt Uhrin. He remains a FedEx employee & we have no plans to change his status.
— FedEx (@FedEx) January 28, 2017
In case you missed this story, Matt Uhrin witnessed a handful of protesters in Iowa City attempting to burn a flag. He walked up with a fire extinguisher and put the fire out, then took the flag. Here’ video of the incident [Note: some NSFW language]:
The Supreme Court has ruled that burning the flag constitutes free speech; however, in this case the protesters hadn’t requested a permit from the fire department and were charged with a misdemeanor. From the Iowa City Press Citizen:
[Paul] Osgerby, 23, and Kelli Ebensberger, 21, were both charged with violating Iowa City’s public burn ordinance, a simple misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $625. They are both scheduled to appear at the Johnson County Courthouse on Feb. 23 at 8 a.m.
Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said the two were charged because they failed to seek a permit from the fire department to burn the flags, not because of what they were burning.
The other guy who sided with Uhrin told Little Village, “My grandpa fought for this country. He fought for the flag.” He added, “I believe in equality, but burning the flag, it’s not the way to solve the problem.”
Andrew Alemao, the protester in the green jacked and camo hat, tried to burn a flag in the same area on inauguration day. He was interrupted on that occasion by a different bystander who tried to wrestle the burning flag away from him. Jordan Adams, another protester, was upset that people were repeatedly interrupting her group’s efforts to burn the flag in public. She suggested to Little Village that fire extinguishers could be a health hazard and stated, “We’re here to change the minds of people who disagree with us, but there is no space for that when we are being attacked.”
There was a similar incident on inauguration day in Washington, D.C. when a Trump supporter put out a fire set by demonstrators in the middle of the street. For his efforts, he was punched in the back of the head by one of the protesters.