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An American flag burning caught on video in the parking lot of a Walmart in southern Virginia on the Fourth of July has led to the arrest of 23-year-old man.

Mitchell Lee Stauffer was not arrested over his First Amendment-protected right to burn a flag, but rather for allegedly burning an object in a public place with intent to intimidate, York-Poquoson Sheriff Danny Diggs said.

“The burning of our great American Flag is very offensive to most people including me,” Diggs said in the Facebook post. “That being said, the courts have ruled that act alone is an expression of free speech and not per se illegal.”

“This charge is appropriate under the Code of Virginia,” he said. “It is fortunate that no one was injured today.”

The statue Stauffer was charged under has been used in the past in cross-burning cases.

Mitchell Lee Stauffer, 23, charged with trying to intimidate people by burning an American flag in the parking lot of a Virginia Walmart. (Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

The incident took place around 9 a.m. Thursday at the Walmart in Yorktown.

The video shows a man in a hat and shorts throwing an American flag on the ground, pouring gas on it and setting it on fire.

“This county f—— hates you,” the man is heard yelling. “It wouldn’t give a s— if you die.”

The yelling made those who heard it very nervous, the sheriff’s office said.

The video was shot by a Walmart manager who hung up the phone when contacted by Fox News.

The Newport News Daily Press reports that the torching left a large scorch mark in the pavement.


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  1. Proud vet

    July 6, 2019 at 12:55 am

    I think that because many have died for this flag which represents this nation this man should be hanged for his offense against those who have died for this nation and the rest of us who believe in this nation

    • Patrick Donnelly

      July 6, 2019 at 3:05 am

      Amen brother

    • Richard

      July 6, 2019 at 8:02 am

      I would prefer a good, old fashion, 1%’er biker beatdown for little punkass shitbags like this guy.

    • Raconteur

      July 6, 2019 at 10:33 am

      Nah, A fine tar & feathering prior the ride out of town on rail, would be more appropriate and lend to a better example. We shouldn’t overreact.

  2. Mari Brenner

    July 6, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Law against burning and/or desecrating our flag on the books! Look it up!

    • Wilson

      July 6, 2019 at 2:33 am

      Law and code are not the same thing, but the court already ruled it was legal and protected
      free speech which is why not one of these idiots ever goes to jail unless they attach something like arson to the charge.

      • Dean Perry

        July 6, 2019 at 2:00 pm

        Supreme Court ruling…

  3. Earnie Bailey

    July 6, 2019 at 1:15 am

    If you are my age, this means much more to you than it does to the generations after us. Each generation lets the story of our flag fall to the side. Some Americans even disrespect the flag and what its story means.
    Some day our country will go through another challenge and the flag shall wave proudly again. It is the story of the flag that pulls Americans together. A story of struggle and a story no other country can tell.
    The flag represents all of us, good or bad, if you are Americans the flag is you.

    • gin

      July 6, 2019 at 1:36 am


  4. Frank Campo

    July 6, 2019 at 1:15 am

    Think little chubby should be tossed in a cell with some real criminals till he posts bail

  5. Rob

    July 6, 2019 at 1:27 am

    Hard to believe that a court would claim to rule that burning a US flag is freedom of speech when it is an action and not speech. But then again a liberal judge would see nothing wrong with it, and like another poster had already stated. there are laws on the books about burning and/or desecrating our flag.

    That being said, What a moron this clown is. Stops in front of a department store, pops trunk, throws flag on ground and recklessly discharges a flammable liquid in a public area then ignites it. Closes trunk, allowing people to get a good look at him as well as the license plate , make and model of the vehicle. Hope it was worth it. they need to be adding some sort of arson charge and reckless public endangerment with highly flammable substance and uncontrolled burn.

    • Redeemed Democrat

      July 6, 2019 at 2:03 am

      The democrats are extremely entitled and they have been without a doubt abusing this entitlement.

      • sandyj

        July 6, 2019 at 7:44 am

        And democrats have been abusing many more “entitlements!” When are they going to wake up and see they are doomed?

    • RJ

      July 6, 2019 at 11:47 am

      It falls under freedom of expression.

  6. LST

    July 6, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Hopefully while in jail, someone will give him an attitude adjustment the punk won’t forget.

    • JAIME.

      July 6, 2019 at 4:16 am


  7. Leslie Stevenson

    July 6, 2019 at 2:04 am

    Another loser, fat , no dates, loner, so any attention is better than no attention. Tomorrow back to the video games in the basement. Trashy jerk. They should Make him join the military.They will teach him respect or beat his ass daily. Maybe if his parents had done that he would be a decent human being.

    • Nee

      July 6, 2019 at 6:56 am

      Would not want the freak representing our first class military, unless of course he’s used as a human shield, sounds good to me you creep!

    • Ed

      July 6, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      Calling this person a “man,” might be stretching things a bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if he/she is still looking for an “identity.”

    • pat

      July 6, 2019 at 8:04 pm

      Bet his parents are the same. Born to assholes raised like a asshole, makes you a 2nd generation asshole

  8. AFGus

    July 6, 2019 at 2:07 am

    Sorry….had I been on scene, I would have kicked that MFer’s ass into next month. And I’m not kidding!

    • Tommy Ryan

      July 6, 2019 at 3:35 am

      I had charges brought against me by an “organization” for countering an attempted assault from a falsely entitled progressive socialist threatening the public 4 years ago.
      He got in my personal space, so I sent him to his “safe space” with a concussion for screaming threats at me…& everyone in the area. He just got too close to me.

      These falsely entitled progressive dipshits need more wake-up calls like this…& the one I gave the douche-knot I dealt with.

      What sucks is the “laws” protect these criminals and put law abiding citizens on a “watch list”.
      That in itself is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

      This douchebag would’ve had his skull thumped by me if he tried to stop me from using the grease formulated extinguisher used for putting out the fire he set…ON MY FLAG. It ain’t HIS.

      With that being said;
      Happy 143rd (&one day now) Birthday to the USA!

    • Nick Byrne

      July 6, 2019 at 12:54 pm

      Now, your response AFgus, is the best idea I have read here.

  9. Arif

    July 6, 2019 at 2:42 am

    I would hand him over to the Taliban in Afghanistan They LIKE CHUBBY BOYS!! After Six months with them, He will WORSHIP THE AMERICAN FLAG. BELIEVE ME

  10. Paula Blissett

    July 6, 2019 at 2:42 am


  11. Charles E Vlcek

    July 6, 2019 at 2:58 am

    He is lucky I wasn’t there I would have accidentally spilled gasoline on him whoops sorry

  12. Ross Kardon

    July 6, 2019 at 3:02 am

    Mitchell Lee Staffer and all other flag burners, should be deported from the U.S.A. for two years and then be forced to live in a tyrannical, terrible country such as Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Syria, Iran, Syria, or Venezuela.

    Then after the two years are up, Mitchell Lee Staffer, and other flag burners should then be returned to the U.S.A., with a full Presidential pardon, so they can then resume their American lives without any legal restrictions. I absolutely guarantee Mitchell and other flag burners after this deportation period has been completed, will return to the U.S.A. as rehabilitated, gung-ho, patriotic flag-waving Americans!

  13. Kathie

    July 6, 2019 at 7:56 am

    How do we fix this….all 18+ should serve a mandatory service in the armed forces. If they drop out of school at an earlier age, they serve mandatory of four years. We have a serious problem in our country called entitlement. Let them shed some skin. We might even lesson our prison population.

    • Bruce Woodard

      July 6, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      love the way you think

    • Ron 1

      July 6, 2019 at 4:07 pm

      Schools, collages,the fake media, and the Dem. party have been brainwashing kids like him since grade school.The military would help but by age 18 it’s likely to late.

  14. J R

    July 6, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Our courts have been destroying our country for years. To rule that it is free speech to burn our country’s flag was one of the most obvious rulings ever, that there is a “deep state” working to overthrow our country and it’s freedoms. I did find it humorous that they used the same ruling as has been used on cross burning’s to arrest him.

  15. Cindy

    July 6, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Well he was right about one thing: I don’t give a ———— about him, and wish he would just get out of this country. If you cannot stand, honor, and revere your nation’s flag, then you shouldn’t have any rights in that nation. Take home out into the waters in front of Alcatraz and give him a big heav ho off the deck.

  16. Joe

    July 6, 2019 at 8:54 am

    I say hang him, who cares what the court says

  17. Ray

    July 6, 2019 at 8:54 am

    It is to bad when this ass lit the flag on fire it didn’t hit the gas tank in his car and blow his car up. All these people that burn the flag the sentence should be you are sent to Venezuela.

  18. Freedom fighter

    July 6, 2019 at 8:56 am

    That flag, and what it stands for, has liberated more people than any force on earth. America has fought many wars, and in each case, they did not take the country defeated, we rebuilt them and gave them back. No nation on earth is perfect, and if you’re looking for perfection you won’t find it, but in more countries than not, that flag is a symbol of freedom and liberation!

  19. Gordon

    July 6, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Looks like a candidate for a sex change . . . Bruce Jenner Gender Bender ! LOL Yep, beat him with a chain !

    • Ed

      July 6, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Exactly. I was thinking that maybe we don’t know the whole story on this confused individual. Nor do we really need to, actually. He can plead his mental issues in court.

  20. Mike Graybeal

    July 6, 2019 at 9:15 am

    What has happened to OUR COUNTRY? Socialist Communist DmoRats. Oh Yes and CNN MSNBC NBC CBS and ABC…

  21. Knen

    July 6, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Good. Useless punk.

  22. George M. Flynn

    July 6, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Should have shoved him in the open Trunk then park it in the Sun 🙂

  23. Grace Joy

    July 6, 2019 at 10:53 am

    G d bless & protect the people who caught this on video; & reported it.

  24. ja

    July 6, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Hope the ahole gets put in jail and is analized every day and night!!

  25. Asisay

    July 6, 2019 at 11:22 am

    The man is a mental case. I hope WalMart doesn’t sell him a gun. Is arson next on his list? Yelling at an inanimate object? He has symptoms of a mental disease. Get him off the street before he hurts someone.

  26. Matt

    July 6, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Looks like a Dyke!?

  27. Steve

    July 6, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Jail him , take his assets he has gotten in the U.S. then throw him out – forever , the country does not need anymore anti-America scum , We already have 3/4 of Congress for that !

  28. Mitch D.

    July 6, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    None of these cowards ever has the courage to move somewhere else.

    “This is such a terrible country…but I’ve got it really good here, so I’m not about to go anywhere else.”

  29. rae

    July 6, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    This article was written by a college student by the name of Alyssa Ahlgren, who’s in grad school for her MBA. It’s a short article but definitely worth a read.

    My Generation Is Blind to the Prosperity Around Us

    I’m sitting in a small coffee shop near Nokomis trying to think of what to write about. I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of Democratic candidates calling for policies to “fix” the so-called injustices of capitalism. I put my phone down and continue to look around.

    I see people talking freely, working on their MacBook’s, ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me; we live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it. Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought.

    We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty. One. Times. Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards.

    Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful. Our unappreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist policies among my generation continues to grow. Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said to Newsweek talking about the millennial generation, “An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, of age and never saw American prosperity.”

    Never saw American prosperity! Let that sink in. When I first read that statement, I thought to myself, that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing I’ve ever heard in my 26 years on this earth. Many young people agree with her, which is entirely misguided.

    My generation is being indoctrinated by a mainstream narrative to actually believe we have never seen prosperity. I know this first hand, I went to college, let’s just say I didn’t have the popular opinion, but I digress.

    Why then, with all of the overwhelming evidence around us, evidence that I can even see sitting at a coffee shop, do we not view this as prosperity? We have people who are dying to get into our country. People around the world destitute and truly impoverished. Yet, we have a young generation convinced they’ve not seen prosperity, and as a result, elect politicians dead set on taking steps towards abolishing capitalism. Why? The answer is this, my generation has only seen prosperity. We have no contrast. We didn’t live in the great depression, or live through two world wars, the Korean War, The Vietnam War or see the rise and fall of socialism and communism. We don’t know what it’s like to live without the internet, without cars, without smartphones.

    We don’t have a lack of prosperity problem. We have an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem, and it’s spreading like a plague.”

    • Mary Taylor

      July 7, 2019 at 2:33 pm

      You have a very keen mind to your surroundings and you are what could be right for this generation.

  30. Bill

    July 6, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    They need to take that little shithead out and beat him to a pulp!!

  31. Fernando Hidalgo

    July 6, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Is that a MAN? He looks more like an ugly masculine girl. I just hope some other inmate burn his behind while in jail just to remind him of what he did!

  32. PA

    July 6, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    This millennial snowflake was just looking for attention. His parents probably withheld his allowance or took away his x-box so he was acting out.

  33. JOE

    July 6, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    He figured he was safe because it was at Walmart.

  34. Polly

    July 6, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Put him in prison.

  35. David

    July 6, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    IF this POS worked for me he would be looking for a new job!

  36. Marlitt Arnouville

    July 6, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    He and kapernick need to be deported to Iran,if you can’t appreciate the freedom you have here, please leave

  37. Bobby P

    July 6, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    I think it is time to bring back some good old fashion medieval style torture !


    July 6, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    I wonder if he had a burning permit? If not,
    fine him to the max.

  39. Irene

    July 8, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Burning the American flag is a hate speech more than anything and it is wrong. If you hate this country so much that you find it necessary to burn our flag then you don’t belong here. Many Americans have fathers, sons, brothers, sisters, daughters who served and many lost loved ones fighting for this great country or came home wounded or lost limbs. So we are compassionate about our flag and what it stands for. Please learn to love our country and our flag if you wish to stay on this country. We don’t want traitors here.

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