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Flag-burning suspect ordered not to touch, handle or possess any U.S. flag

By The Associated Press


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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A man accused of burning an American flag has been ordered to have no contact with any U.S. flags if he is released from jail.

David H. Stout, 49, was returned to the Hamilton County Jail yesterday after Judge Wayne Sturtevant lowered Stout's bond to $2,000 from $9,000.

As a condition of bond, Sturtevant ordered the unemployed Noblesville man not to "touch, handle or possess or have any physical contact with a U.S. flag."

Stout has been in jail since his Sept. 30 arrest on misdemeanor charges of flag desecration and resisting law enforcement. He is accused of resisting police officers called to investigate a complaint that he was burning a flag in an alley behind his home.

Indiana is among 48 states that still have laws against flag desecration, even though the U.S. Supreme Court, both in Texas v. Johnson in 1989 and U.S. v. Eichman in 1990, ruled that flag-burning is constitutionally protected speech.

Hamilton County Deputy Prosecutor Kim Rasheed told The Indianapolis Star she plans to proceed with both charges "if I have to."

Defense attorney David Thomas has asked for a jury trial, but a trial date has not been set.


Indiana man charged with burning U.S. flag
Prosecutor says surge of flag-waving since Sept. 11 attacks may have created a new sensitivity to desecration of symbol.  10.02.01


Colorado lawmakers urge schools to ban flag desecration
House passes resolution after learning high school student had pinned Stars and Stripes to her backside.  10.06.01

State officials seldom give up on flag-desecration laws
Analysis Although U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled that such laws violate First Amendment, 47 states keep statutes on the books and some keep enforcing them.  03.13.01