AMERICAN NOTES: Up the Flagpole

When Gary Wardrip used an American flag to partition the rear of his minibus, police in Hartford City, Ind., arrested him for flag desecration. Wardrip, 21, a shaggy-haired TV assembly-line worker, pleaded guilty and then learned he faced the possibility of a $1,000 fine. However, Judge Keith Rees said that he wanted Wardrip, instead of paying a fine, to stand holding a flag outside city hall for three hours.

A crowd of townspeople, including several sporting American Legion hats, gathered for his public penance. A few shook his hand. Some shook their heads. "It was like the old days when they...

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