Local VFW Enacts Own Form of Justice Against Flag Burner

VALLEY FALLS, N.Y. — Members of a local VFW hand down their own punishment after a man burns an American flag on their property.

We're told the man burned the flag after a bartender at VFW Post 1938 in Valley Falls wouldn't serve him alcohol.

"Alcohol does strange things to people," said post commander Nick Normile, "but disgrace to the American flag, we can't tolerate that."

It's a lesson in patriotism that the disgraced local man--whose identity we're protecting--may have learned the hard way at the VFW hall.

Members tell NEWS10 the flag burning happened last Friday night when the man came in and was refused a drink because did not have the proper identification. That's when they say he walked over the flag pole and did something they consider unpatriotic in the extreme.

Normile explained, "He got mad, came outside, lowered the flag and set it on fire."

Normile says the flag that was burned belonged once flew over a fox hole in Iraq. A fox hole that several U.S. soldiers never made it out of alive.

Normile, a Vietnam veteran himself, was so incensed over the flag burning that he hunted the man down.

"I found him on Sunday and I duct taped him to the flag pole," Normile said bluntly. "He didn't deny it, said he was drunk. Let's just say he volunteered to sit out here duct taped to the pole."

For six hours the man sat under the pole, wearing a sign describing his actions. Passersby snapped pictures.

"I told him to sit there like those kids that were in that foxhole and see what they felt like because you are only getting a small taste of what they went through," Normile told NEWS10.

He adds the man learned his lesson, and with that lesson learned, Normile now wants to protect the man from any violent retaliation.

Normile asked NEWS10 not to reveal the man's name to also protect the young man's family.

The bits of the flag that survived will be retired during an official ceremony.