2 arrested in flag burning protest in Iowa

Officials arrest two people on Thursday after a group of protesters set several American flags on fire during a rally at an Iowa pedestrian mall.

Iowa City Press Citizen reported that the group was protesting “racial and social injustice” in Iowa City.

During the rally, a FedEx worker rushed to the scene, grabbing the flags and putting out the blaze with a fire extinguisher.

The delivery man told the Press Citizen that his actions were not connected to his FedEx employer.

Many took to Twitter to applaud the man’s actions, some referring to him as a “hero.”

flagbuningtwt_small 2 arrested in flag burning protest in Iowa Justice

Police arrested and charged 21-year-old Kelli Ebensberger and 23-year-old Paul Osgerby with violating the city’s public burn ordinance, which is considered a misdemeanor.

“When I see the flag, I see racial injustice,” Paul Osgerby told the Press Citizen. “I see social injustice from Native American genocide to African-American slavery to failing to recognize women as citizens until the 20th century.”

The group reportedly did not have permits for the fire.

“It’s not for the content of what they were burning but rather for violating the city ordinance of open burning,” Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said.

WQAD reported that protesters said their actions were protected under First Amendment rights.

Ebensberger and Osgerby are scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 23.