Police: Zebulon man stole, burned flag from Veterans Day display | The Enterprise
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Police: Zebulon man stole, burned flag from Veterans Day display

Posted on November 15, 2021

Updated on November 17, 2021

Local newsCrimeTop news
The Rotary placed 125 Flags for Heroes around the horseshoe driveway of Zebulon Town Hall. Ninety of them have special placards for community heroes, including veterans, nurses and teachers.

Amber Revels-Stocks | The Wake Weekly

The Rotary placed 125 Flags for Heroes around the horseshoe driveway of Zebulon Town Hall. Ninety of them have special placards for community heroes, including veterans, nurses and teachers.

ZEBULON — A Zebulon man was charged on Friday with allegedly burning an American flag taken from the Veterans Day display, according to Zebulon Police.

Randy Hodge, 63, was charged with desecration of the U.S. flag, illegal burning and misdemeanor larceny, according to arrest records.

On Friday, Hodge allegedly stole one of the flags from the Veterans Memorial at the Zebulon Police Department, according to Chief Jacqui Boykin. Hodge then went downtown and allegedly burnt the flag.

The flags at the police department and Town Hall were placed there by the Zebulon Rotary for Veterans Day. The flags belong to the Rotary.

Hodge was placed in the Wake County Detention Center under a $1,000 secured bond.

In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that flag burning was allowable under the first amendment in Texas V. Johnson, according to The First Amendment Encyclopedia. The next year, the court struck down legislation by Congress to make flag burning illegal.

At least 40 states, including North Carolina, still had flag desecration laws on the books in 2016, according to the Associated Press. In North Carolina, flag desecration is a Class 2 misdemeanor, at the same level as property damage.

Lawyer Amanda Martin of Stevens, Martin, Vaughn & Tadych said Wednesday that in her opinion the statute is unconstitutional. She added that it didn't look like the court had ever interpreted that law, though.

As of Wednesday, Hodge wasn't on the Wake County Court docket.

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