Backfire in Baton Rouge

A graduate student at Louisiana State University was planning to burn a U.S. flag on campus. However, the roughly 1,000 students gathered to protest his actions prevented it. Well, that and the fact that he didn’t have a burn permit.

According to an article by Jordan Blum in the Baton Rouge Advocate:

LSU graduate student Benjamin Haas had planned to burn an American flag at noon Wednesday on the Parade Ground to promote his First Amendment rights and in support of an LSU student arrested last week for stealing and burning a flag.

Haas received a peaceful protest permit from LSU, but he had not yet received a burn permit from the parish yet, so he decided not to burn the flag, according to LSU. Haas did have a prepared statement to read, but an angry mob mentality took over and LSU Police escorted him out in a police car for his safety before he could talk.

Well don’t worry; it probably wouldn’t have been much of a statement.

Haas apparently wanted to burn his own flag only to support LSU student Isaac Eslava, who was arrested (did he have a burn permit?) last week after he actually burned a U.S. flag in the aftermath of the death of of Osama bin Laden.

Okay, we see how this is happens. You burn the flag, people get annoyed. If you burn a flag to protest someone else being arrested for burning a flag, people will get equally annoyed.

Note to LSU students, please do not attempt to burn more flags to protest the fact that Benjamin Haas was not allowed to burn a flag; this will end badly.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer