Cheers! To Bryton Mellott, 4th of July Flag Burner

July 7, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Bryton Mellot, July 4 flag burning

From Bryton Mellott’s Facebook page

Cheers! To 22-year-old Bryton Mellott, an Urbana, Illinois resident who posted a photo on Facebook of himself burning an American flag on the 4th of July.

His post said he was “not proud to be an American” because of the “atrocities committed against people of color, people living in poverty, people who identify as women, and against my own queer community on a daily basis.”

And he posted: “I would like to one day feel a sense of pride toward my nationality again. But too little progress has been made. Too many people still suffer at the hands of politicians influenced by special interests. Too many people are still being killed and brutalized by a police force plagued with authority complexes and racism. Too many people are allowed to be slaughtered for the sake of gun manufacturer profits. Too many Americans hold hate in their hearts in the name of their religion, and for fear of others. And that’s only to speak of domestic issues.”

“I do not have pride in my country. I am overwhelmingly ashamed, and I will demonstrate my feelings accordingly. #ArrestMe.”

Bryton Mellott got a lot of shit for this on Facebook, including threats. Later in the day, the Urbana police department arrested him after—they say—receiving complaints about his Facebook posting—even though the Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. Johnson that it is constitutionally protected free speech to burn the American flag.

The next day, the State’s Attorney General dropped charges. Threats, attacks (and some thoughtful discussion and support) have raged on Facebook. As of this posting, that (burning) flag was still there at Bryton Mellott’s Facebook page.

Cheers to Bryton Mellott for doing the right thing, and making a powerful statement about why he did.



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