VALDOSTA, Ga. — A Georgia veteran is speaking out after being handcuffed during a protest on Friday for trying to keep people from walking on the American flag.
It was all caught on video shot by Michelle Manhart’s daughter during a protest at Valdosta State University.
It happened after Manhart heard about the protest where demonstrators were walking on the flag. Manhart said she made several complaints to the university.
“They had thrown it on the ground, they were walking on it, kicking it, you know making different motions against the flag itself,” said Manhart, a former Playboy model.
But the protests didn’t stop, so Manhart decided to take matters into her own hands.
Manhart said she saw the flag, walked up, picked it up and walked away.
And that’s when things escalated between Manhart, the demonstrators and campus police.
Manhart said she got upset when police gave the flag back to the demonstrators.
“I got a little unprofessional and called him a not-very-nice name because I was extremely upset that he told me one thing and he did something completely different,” Manhart said.
Manhart was taken into custody, but wasn’t charged. The university has banned her from campus activities, but she said she doesn’t have any regrets.
“If I had to do it again I would,” the Air Force veteran said.
And the air force veteran says she will continue to honor and protect those who serve our country.
“Our men and women who don’t get to come home are wrapped in that,” she said referring to the flag. “It’s draped over their caskets during their funerals. Same with our police officers, our firefighters. Our American flag is our American symbol.”
The video has been viewed more than 3 million times.