Two Arrested For Burning Flag Near White House on July 4

July 4, 2019 Updated: July 4, 2019

The U.S. Secret Service says two people were arrested during a Fourth of July flag-burning incident on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

The arrests were made about one hour before President Donald Trump paid tribute to the U.S. military during a speech at the Lincoln Memorial, according to a statement by the Secret Service on Twitter.

The Secret Service said that one person was arrested for felony assault on a police officer and malicious burning, and the other was arrested for hindering a police investigation and resisting arrest.

Two uniformed Secret Service officers suffered minor injuries while attempting to make the arrests. They were transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. One of those who were arrested was also transported to the hospital.

The Secret Service says the burning occurred beyond the limits of a permit issued by the National Park Service.

Thousands Gather At National Mall For 4th Of July Festivities And President Trump's Speech
Members of the U.S. Secret Service detain a man after an attempted flag burning in front of the White House on Independence Day in Washington, DC, on July 4, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

According to CNN, leftist protesters outside the White House had set fire to the flag. The incident eventually culminated in the two arrests.

The protest, which turned into a violent clash, took place just blocks from crowds who had gathered to watch Trump’s July Fourth speech and fireworks displays on the National Mall.

Led by radical activist Joey Johnson, a group from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, linked arms and set an American flag on fire outside as they chanted, “America was never great.”

The Secret Service intervened quickly to extinguish the fire.

“Burn, baby, burn,” the protesters chanted.

In a news release before the incident, Johnson said he was leading the protest because “I’m going to be speaking to the people of the world letting them know that there are people inside the borders of this country who stand with the people of the world.”

Multiple protesters, Johnson among them, were escorted from the scene in handcuffs by the Secret Service. A news release after the event from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, said Johnson was among those arrested.

Johnson had earlier said in a video posted online that he planned to burn the flag “in a way and in a place that will be quite legal but which will unmistakenly challenge and expose your whole fascist regime and agenda.”

Johnson is also known for his Supreme Court victory in 1989 that struck down state laws in Texas banning the burning of the American flag.

It is not illegal to burn a U.S. flag. However, Trump said on June 15 that he supports an amendment that would ban the burning of American flags.

“All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!” Trump wrote on Twitter on June 15.

Daines (R-Mont.) recently proposed a constitutional amendment that would prohibit burning the flag, as the nation celebrated Flag Day.

“Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom,” Daines said in a press release on June 14. “Remembering the sacrifices of all who carried its colors into battle, our nation should always render the flag the honor and dignity it is due.”

Daines, who shared Trump’s missive in support of his move, had recently introduced an amendment for three consecutive years and said that his latest effort is a “reintroduction” of the same amendment.

The Associated Press, CNN Wire, and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report

From NTD News

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