Man Arrested, Jailed, Charged With a Felony for Burning the Flag

burning-american-flagBy Matt Agorist

On the 4th of July, countless Facebook users donned their digital pitchforks and torches and praised the arrest and felony charge against 22-year-old Bryton Mellott. His crime? Posting a picture of himself with a burning American flag.

A short time after he posted the photo on Facebook, Mellott was swarmed with online attacks and threats from countless individuals who have no concept of freedom of speech. Shortly after the threats to Mellott began pouring in, the Urbana police department’s phone began ringing of the hook with calls for his arrest — so police responded.

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Sgt. Andrew Charles, with the Urbana police told the News Gazette they arrested Mellott because of all the threats against him and his place of employment, Wal-Mart.

“The volume of responses and specificity of threat against his place of employment (a location where an act of violence would likely cause harm to others), prompted police involvement in this case,” said Charles.

Police are claiming they were forced to arrest Mellott and charge him with a felony — to protect him.

“The free speech that he was exhibiting, while it was distasteful to some, free speech is free speech,” Charles said. “It’s when you say things that are inciteful and make it clear that you are associated with someone that doesn’t share your ideas; it got raised to a level where a reasonable person there would fear for their safety. It’s similar to yelling fire in a movie theater.”

Mellott has been charged with Section 49-1, flag desecration, a class four felony in Illinois, Charles said. He’s also been charged with disorderly conduct, both as an offender and a victim.

Mellott’s arraignment is set for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

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Included with his image of a burning American flag was the following post:

“I am not proud to be an American. In this moment, being proud of my country is to ignore 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,” Mellott wrote.

flag-burn-2Of course, Mellott’s views on guns are misguided, but he harmed no one — yet he was deprived of his freedom.

The sheer number of calls for his death and his deprivation of rights on Facebook, however, are shocking.

Clearly ignoring the ostensible freedom the flag supposedly represents, fascists would rather see people punished for their speech — because it offends them. 

Shortly after he posted the photo, the Facebook page Bryton Mellott dead or alive was setup. On it, people call for Mellott to be beaten, anally raped, shot, burned alive, and imprisoned — for a piece of cloth.

In the famous Supreme Court case of Texas v. Johnson in 1989, a five-justice majority ruled that desecrating the American flag was protected speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Despite this ruling, Americans from sea to shining sea continue to call for the arrest, or even death, of those who’d dare express their opinion through the use of the Old Glory.

The very essence of freedom is tolerating peaceful forms of expression, no matter how uncomfortable they make us feel. Sadly missing the point, however, are folks who fail to understand that burning or desecrating a flag without fear of punishment from one’s government, is what liberty is all about.

When a society becomes more concerned with a piece of cloth than the freedom it is meant to represent, it’s time to wake up.

As a former member of the USMC, I am unoffended when I see flag set ablaze or stepped on — because I see it as an act of expression by a group who feels oppressed. Those who feel oppressed must never be silenced.

Throughout history, the ‘patriotic’ majority has been responsible for most of the atrocities committed against our fellow humans. Only because of a handful of irate freedom-loving individuals, unafraid to challenge the status quo, do we have any semblance of liberty in America today.

A true patriot is never a member of the majority who calls for their opposition to be silenced with state force because their views are ‘offensive.’ No, a true patriot is the one who refuses to be intimidated in the face of this violently obstinate collective.

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot. – Mark Twain

Matt Agorist is the co-founder of TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. .


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31 Comments on "Man Arrested, Jailed, Charged With a Felony for Burning the Flag"

  1. berrybestfarm | July 5, 2016 at 9:13 am | Reply

    Those calling for violence against this speaker probably have one thing in common–below average intelligence. Their brutal suggestions are childish and irrational.

  2. ‘Speech’ and ‘actions’ are not comparable. That’s like suggesting you can feel the color orange, even with your eyes closed.

  3. TheCogitator | July 5, 2016 at 10:40 am | Reply

    It’s the Constitution that is sacred. I agree that people have a right to burn a flag that they own, but it seems a foolish act since it will generate so much ill will and do nothing to help move forward whatever agenda that person has.

  4. Pulling
    the Teeth out of the Mouth of the Legal System

    Not
    many people realize that the legal system is a complete scam, and
    even fewer realize that it has teeth which can be easily pulled out,
    quite easily, in fact. The forceps that are used for this task come
    straight out of the legal system itself, believe it or not! These
    forceps come in various sizes, shapes and styles, but they all do the
    exact same job. They expose the contradictions and hypocrisies of
    the legal system, as well as the crimes that the legal system commits
    in order to function. All that one has to do to identify these
    forceps, and then use them, is to thoroughly read and understand a
    few key elements of the legal system, such as its basic premise for
    existence and from where it derives its authority. There are a few
    more which will be touched on as you read further. And as more and
    more of these tools are learned, much confidence in using them will
    be gained.

    The
    legal system from its very beginnings, when the King’s Court was seen
    as becoming too corrupted to function properly as a place where
    people could get their due justice when they had been wronged, has
    been nothing but a huge scam. Not even the men who spoke so
    eloquently on behalf of the plaintiffs and defendants way back then
    ever saw that the legal system would be its own undoing one day! But
    that time has indeed come upon us now, and all that we have to do is
    open our eyes and greet it like a brand new day dawning upon us, with
    a cheery grin and a song in our heart.

    The
    various policing agencies are a rather easy set of teeth to yank
    right out of that meat grinding maw of the extremely ugly beast we
    call the legal system. One way is to get into the record the fact
    that “witnesses” for the State enjoy being able to lie
    while under oath without any fear at all of perjury charges being
    filed against them. This is supposedly allowed under the guise of it
    furthering the interests of justice! Just HOW are the interests of
    justice served by certain people being allowed to lie while under an
    oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
    That’s not justice at all, that’s criminal collusion to say the
    least! It makes a complete mockery of that oath! If this fact seems
    too incredible to believe, all one has to do is make a test by
    firstly reading Terry Reed’s book, Compromised; Bush, Clinton and the
    CIA. And then ask a lieyer (without telling him/her that you are
    onto their scam) if that is true or not. If they say that it’s a
    lie, then bring up the fact that that very thing happened in Reed’s
    case, and ask them how they can reconcile the two things. You see,
    ALL good attorneys always know the answers to their questions BEFORE
    they ask them! Unless it is one that comes out of some testimony,
    the answers of which will be verified later on to make sure that the
    truth was being told.

    Another
    pair of pliers that can be used is to show a conflict of interest
    with any of the actors involved. These so-called judges are a good
    place to start, since they are all just Executive Administrators who
    do not even swear a proper oath of office before they begin hearing
    cases. And they never disclose the fact that they are actually
    acting as the lead prosecutor in any case. These EAs take a portion
    of the proceeds of a court case in the form of a payment into their
    retirement account. In “income tax” cases, they can get a
    cash payment of ten thousand dollars upon a conviction!! Isn’t that
    a conflict of interest there? Do the arresting officers get any kind
    of a perk or bonus from their actions? Or does their department?
    Isn’t that biased policing?

    After
    many years of study of the legal system and its machinations,
    something was suddenly realized. It is the incontrovertible fact
    that the entire legal system runs on fraud of one kind or another.
    And since fraud is a crime, exposing it for the whole world to see,
    negates any pretense that it is an honest system and one has to
    endure it. Let us look at the definition of just two words now, and
    see how they fit into this tool box of ways to beat the legal system
    at its own game, shall we? The first one is the word contract. It
    is defined in any law dictionary as having five essential elements to
    it, and the violation of even just one of them to any degree then
    renders the whole thing void. Those five elements are competent
    parties, subject matter, a legal consideration, mutuality of
    agreement and mutuality of obligation. Notice now that these are
    given in terms of absolutes, meaning that there is no lee way at all
    in any of them. They are either there or they are not. For how can
    anyone measure how much deviation from them can occur before the
    alleged contract is finally vacated? That is a very deadly arrow to
    pull from our quiver. Another word is fraud. According to several
    court cases, fraud vitiates all that it comes into contact with.
    Fraud just touching something renders that thing completely
    contaminated and of no further concern to us. How can it be
    otherwise? If it is some other way, once again, what is that
    measuring instrument which we use to mete out the appropriate amount
    of fraud to make sure that we get just the right amount?

    Any
    alleged contract can be vacated for fraud, threat, duress, coercion,
    mistake, illegality, immorality, impossibility, insanity or minority
    of age. Another tool in this box is The Seven Elements of
    Jurisdiction. One can easily find them by just the most cursory look
    around a law library or online. The Void for Vagueness Doctrine has
    been used many times to yank whole sets of legal system teeth in one
    fell swoop, as well as proof of a mistaken identity. So you see now,
    the entire legal system is just riddled with holes, some of them big
    enough to sail large ships through three abreast with plenty of room
    left over. Other holes may not look to be so cavernous at first
    glance, but all holes leak something. And once a small leak has
    begun, it can turn into a major spill very quickly. Now some people
    may not like to remove those chains of the legal system from around
    their ankles, because they feel that it is their duty, in some sort
    of a perverted way of thinking, to be ripped off and abused by it and
    its actors. Or maybe it goes against their brainwashing in the
    public fool system or some religious order to seek freedom. And to
    them I say, well, please have a very good time with that then! But
    if others do not want to be made a victim of the legal system, why
    should they be so made? Just to keep the others company in their
    cell next door? We should have better things to do with our precious
    time than that.

    Yet
    even more tools are The Three Magic Questions. What is the EXACT
    AMOUNT of fraud that ANY man or woman has the right to commit? What
    is the EXACT AMOUNT of fraud that ANY man or woman has an actual
    obligation to endure? What is the BASIC PREMISE that is being
    operated off of, in the instant case? Those three questions right
    there have the lieyers heading for the hills when they are asked.
    They have no real defense against them, so they MUST run away as fast
    as they can and hope that they can outrun them.

    So
    when enough people are educated with this material, the current legal
    system will be starved more and more, eventually becoming so weakened
    it will just die. When enough court cases are dismissed and no
    profits are being created from them, the various policing agencies
    will have to curtail their criminal activities. Like civil asset
    forfeitures. That is the real reason why Prohibition was repealed,
    too many court cases were being lost due to jury nullification and
    the courts were losing money hand over fist. Make no mistake about
    it, courts ARE businesses which must show a profit each fiscal year.
    Every court in America is listed in Dunn & Bradstreet as a
    business!! And, the federal government couldn’t keep shame off its
    face with a law on the books that couldn’t be enforced, so
    Prohibition had to be repealed.

    One
    fine day, we will be able to go back to Common Law courts with real
    juries of our peers; our friends, neighbors and business
    acquaintances, for who else should know us better in order to judge
    us? The judges will be there only to act as referees to keep things
    running smoothly and the jurors will be the ones who judge our guilt
    or innocence based upon the factual evidence presented.

    • Pyra Gorgon | July 6, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Reply

      TL;DR

      All of that fancy talk belies on the point that you are actually ALLOWED TO SPEAK IN YOUR DEFENSE. Most times you are not afforded that ‘luxury’, especially in any Federal District Court. You ever wonder why they have a 99.8% conviction rate? They make the rules, and when the rules they made are manipulated by legal-beagles like you, they just arbitrarily and immediately change the rules. Then they win and you go to prison.

      We have no rule of law. We are ruled by violence and fear.

      • If you “hire” an attorney (see Corpus Juris Secondom Section 14, Attorney and Client) of course you will get railroaded into the hoosegow. There is no law ANYWHERE that says you must hire someone to speak for you. If there is, then show me where it is found and its number.
        The ONE THING that the legal system cannot stand up to is having its frauds and scams being exposed. It contradicts what the basic premise of the legal system is supposed to be, that it is the place where one goes in order to get justice when one has been wronged, damaged, or suffers a loss by another. That is what Randy Lee was basically doing when he beat the IRS. Also, Robert C. Braun did the same thing, albeit in a different way. If you expose the fraud(s) that the legal system must commit in order to operate, it then loses ALL credibility and legitimacy. How can it be otherwise? What can they say, if you ask a “judge” or lieyer if they will promise to not subject you to any kind or amount of fraud at all in their proceedings? Are they going to say “yes” or “no”? If they say yes, they will commit fraud upon you, then there’s your escape hatch from The Matrix. And if they say no, they will not do so, then show that they are committing fraud all of the time, and again, there’s your escape hatch from The Matrix!!
        The legal system has jurisdiction ONLY over dead bodies, corporate fictions of law, not live ones. You need to get some more education in these matters.

        • Pyra Gorgon | July 7, 2016 at 9:00 am | Reply

          You are NOT doing anyone a service with this B.S. legal-beagle’ing of yours. I’m TELLING YOU, they don’t let you speak nor explain anything, and when they do, it is only to answer leading questions as YES, NO, please repeat question. THAT’s IT!

          You try and divert to something like asking questions about fraud, they just ignore you and proceed with whatever they intend. You badger them there is always the bailiff to twist your arm or smash your face with a hard-edged object.

          You go into one of those kangaroo courts representing yourself, you will find many judges eager to hold you in contempt of court until you comply with their little games. That little game is either losing everything you worked for to pay some lying evildoer pretending to service justice, which you still do not get, or you get the freebie know-nothing who is just an officer of the court and YOUR BEST INTERESTS ARE NOT THEIRS. They don’t care, they’ll let you rot in jail, or put you with some rabid animal that has a hobby of sexually molesting others.

          You go get some education and get out of your little playbaby make-believe world inside your head where you feel we are still under the rule of law, judges care about right and wrong, and rational discourse.

          Drop it. You will never convince me because the real world of how they operate contradicts what you wrote.

          • Well it looks to me like you’re crying about losing all of your money in the casino, when you had no obligation to walk into it in the first place. It is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to represent themselves, it’s a contradiction in terms. But, you CAN defend yourself against people trying to commit crimes upon you. If you enter a plea of any kind, you are admitting to the pretended jurisdiction of the legal system. If you say anything other than what is needed to deflect the court’s false assumptions about you, you are admitting to the pretended jurisdiction of the legal system. If you want to play by the contrived rules of the rigged up legal system, go right ahead, it won’t bother me one bit. But don’t you dare try to tell me that I am wrong, when I am not. How many years have you been studying the legal system and its machinations? And I don’t mean watching reruns of Perry Mason or Matlock! If the situation is really so dire as you claim it to be, then why don’t you do something about it? Or do you just wish to cower in the corner somewhere, wetting yourself while you await your turn at being run through the meat grinder we call the legal system? ——————————————–

          • Pyra Gorgon | July 7, 2016 at 9:59 am |

            OF course. Being victim to injustice is a crying offence. But anyways, this conversation is turning sour. Fine whatever, then. I wish you well. (I’m not arguing this anymore with you. Neither of us are going to move from position we’ve taken in this)

  5. Brave young man, apparently gay, although I guess the community is now calling themselves “queer” again, as in the 1950’s. He burned his Chinese made flag, and now everyone knows about him and his beliefs. He might have a career in public relations and advertising. He is in danger, though, as many folks who’ve never done anything to help their neighbors or country, will happily kill him and feel good about it. Americans are full of rage and hatred, and not much understanding. This fellow is clever, and the United States Supreme Court has already ruled that flag burning is protected as FREE SPEECH. Of course, all of those willing to inflict violence on him have never bothered to read. What are we going to do with all the hatred and rage Americans are expressing? Not happy, and not willing to do anything to make American a better place?

    • Introverted Studios | July 5, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Reply

      It can be scary living in a land with no rule of law, and a herd mentality devoid of all reason, logic, and facts.

    • William Burke | July 5, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Reply

      He’s “queer” to distinguish himself from the other 57 Facebook genders.

  6. what a bunch of simpletons…believing in a flag of all things. Why would you hold sacred a flag that is nothing special? And likely made in Southeast Asia? The PTB have got you all by the nutz. Its not about burning a flag, its about the response by both the police and mindless idiots who feel they have a devotion to a piece of cloth.

    This reminds me of goldbugs and gunowners. They all feel these things will save their lives, and they will be much better off than those without. Simpletons.

  7. Common Sense | July 5, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Reply

    If anything this should show people how sad the so called news is today.
    Pathetic. A self proclaimed herd member of Facebook attempting to garner admiration by falsely following what he perceives to be trendy support of minoriities while living in an all white neighborhood.
    The millennial so have become so lost they can not see how fake they have become.

  8. sharon sampson | July 5, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Reply

    And yet Hillary Clinton is ABOVE any law and excusable from breaking laws of treason…punishable by death. Probably not a good idea Bryton but the right frame of mind…you actually see the big picture and haven’t learned that these other oh so comfy Americans are not able to understand what is right in front of their eyes.

  9. William Burke | July 5, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Reply

    Wait. The cop said it was free speech – then arrested him on a felony charge? So free speech is criminal?

    • berrybestfarm | July 6, 2016 at 8:18 am | Reply

      Yes. Three of us were arrested in Stevens county, Washington, for reading our redress of greivances to a district court judge before court was put in session. We were arrested in the courtroom for trespassing. I was then the only one prosecuted (as a perceived leader–what a joke) with Interference with court and disorderly conduct. Subsequently kangaroo courted wherein I was not allowed to ask any jury screening questions to test their impartiality, prohibited from testifying to the whole truth–specifically, the nature of the grievance, that the US Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land or to the US Supreme court decisions we researched ahead of time to rely on to protect our actions. The government officers involved have committed sedition, insurrection and Treason. We are at War.

  10. Typical PHAG…Get a life LOSER!!

  11. Better not turn him over to ISIS, they will throw his QUEER azz off the highest tower and youtube it for a 10 million hits while laughing and raping their women.

  12. Mellot has unalienable rights however misguided and ignorant.
    He has drunk the leftists (communist manifesto) koolaid.

    “freedom is tolerance.’ Ron Paul

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