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Police Detain Vet, Former Playboy Model After She Tries to Prevent Flag Desecration

April 20, 2015  | 

Valdosta State University police intervened when an Air Force vet took an American flag from protesters who were walking on it. They gave the flag back to the protesters and detained the vet. (Photo: YouTube Screen Shot)
Valdosta State University police intervened when an Air Force vet took an American flag from protesters who were walking on it. They gave the flag back to the protesters and detained the vet. (Photo: YouTube Screen Shot)

A military veteran was detained but not charged by Valdosta State University police after she approached a group of protesters on campus who were walking on an American flag and took it from them.

Michelle Manhart, an Air Force veteran and former Playboy model, said she was not planning to take the flag from the group, but she had heard about the group’s recent demonstrations on the southern Georgia campus and wanted to take action.

“I did not want anything like this, but I got a call from a student who told me that the flag was on the ground, and they were walking on it,” said Manhart. “I was just going over there to pick up the flag off the ground. I don’t know what their cause is, but I went to pick it up because it doesn’t deserve to be on the ground.”

Manhart said she was taken into custody by VSU police officers who then returned the flag to the demonstrators. She admitted to The Valdosta Daily Times that she resisted arrest after seeing the flag being returned.

The group reportedly declined to press charges against Manhart. The officers attempting to detain her also declined to press charges for resisting.

Michelle Manhart (Photo: Master Sgt. Ken Wright/U.S. Air Force)
Michelle Manhart (Photo: Master Sgt. Ken Wright/U.S. Air Force)

Manhart lives in Valdosta. She is planning a pro-flag rally for next week.

Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Walt @ 4/20/2015 4:01 PM

As a retired leo I am disappointed in the lack of action by the officer on scene. Sgt Manhart has all my respect for her actions. Protest all you want but respect our flag. If it is that bad I am sure we can collect enough money for a one way ticket to another country. Mom & dad must be real proud of their kids walking on the flag. Stuff like this makes me look forward to death.

Walt Blackstock @ 4/20/2015 4:04 PM

As a retired leo my respect goes out to Sgt Manhart. I am also disappointed in the actions of the police officer.

Jon Retired LEO @ 4/20/2015 7:39 PM

What in the world is wrong with people in this day and age. When I went to school we did the pledge to allegiance every morning before the start of classes. Ok, now I remember, I went to elementary school in the late 1940s and high school in the late 1950s. I guess I am classified as a dinosaur but I still love my flag!

Kojack58 @ 4/21/2015 5:46 AM

That leo should be fired for not taking the protestors into custody for descimating our flag. They can do this in other countries but not in mine. I love this country and no one will defile our country's flag.

Debby Jenkins @ 4/21/2015 5:54 AM

So proud of Manhart. We need more people like her. Officers may have wanted to hear her side of the story before taking her into custody.

popcop @ 4/21/2015 5:59 AM

My respect to Sgt. Manhart she stood for what is right.

Chief Ken @ 4/21/2015 6:18 AM

With the backlash from the community and his fellow officers, I'm sure this leo will be thinking about this bone-head move for a long time.

Tom Ret @ 4/21/2015 8:07 AM

I hope there will be a veteran (and other concerned citizens) response to this campus so there is no doubt in the administration's mind or numb nuts students that trashing the flag will not be tolerated. I understand that even though Michelle was momentarily detained, she was not charged. I would hope there is no jury in the land that would convict her of any crime. Desecrating the flag is not free speech in my mind even though some court thinks it is. The cops should have aimed their consternation toward the flag stompers not the one respecting the flag and what it represents.

Billy - COUNTER TERRORISM @ 4/22/2015 8:17 AM

My salute to Sgt. Manhart and shame on the police officers for not arresting those who walked on our Flag. The last I heard this was still a crime. Truly the beginning of the end of Civilization as we know it.

Ima Leprechaun @ 4/23/2015 11:32 PM

I always thought the military protected the weak and stood strong. I guess not.

Ken Lewis @ 4/24/2015 7:27 AM

Thank you Michelle!

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