An Associated Press story in the Boston Herald notes three recent incidents in which U.S. flags were burned, in what appears to be a protest of some sort.
Police say a flag-burning incident in Northampton may be the work of an anti-American anarchist group.
The 5-by-9 foot American flag that hung from a birch tree outside of Eamon Mohan’s house on Bridge Street was reduced to ashes in the Friday night blaze.
A typewritten note left at the home and signed by the “American Patriot Liberation Front” claimed the United States was oppressing millions of people around the world. But police say they are unfamiliar with the group.
Police are investigating whether the flag burning is linked to two other incidents in western Massachusetts this month. A post office flag was thrown in a Dumpster and burned in Greenfield earlier this month and an American flag was stolen last week from outside a home in Amherst.
Notes similar to the one in Northampton were found in both cases.
U.S. flags should not be displayed at night, unless lighted, or unless the site is specifically exempted from that condition of flag display by an Act of Congress.
The Boston Globe reported the family harmed in the latest incident was honoring a child in the military:
Mohan’s family did not appear to be targeted, police said.
Mohan’s daughter, Megan, 19, is a US Marine, currently in training, and his son, Eamonn, 17, plans to join after his 18th birthday next month.
“I’m extremely proud of their serving this fine country,” said Mohan, 43. “No country is perfect, but we do a lot of good around the world that isn’t publicized.”
The note was signed by the “American Patriot Liberation Front.” Police said they were unfamiliar with the group. The group is not listed in the telephone directory, and no contact information could be found for it on the Web.
The protesters appear able to write: Why not a letter to the editor of the local newspaper? Such protests, to the point and to a greater audience, are part of what the flag stands for. The flag burners probably don’t note the irony.
Stupid protests give a bad name to protest.