Man faces up to year in jail for torn and dirty American flag
ADAMS COUNTY, PA -- A man who an Adams County prosecutor described as "basically homeless" faces up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine for possessing a torn and dirty American flag.
Under Pennsylvania law it is a crime to show "disrespect" for an American flag. For this crime, Robert S. Forrey has been charged with a third-degree misdemeanor.
State Trooper Ronald Jarvie testified he was on routine patrol when he found Forrey a short distance from the roadway near a red Dodge pickup. Jarvie said he noticed some debris, circled back around and approached the defendant.
The trooper testified he found a large amount of trash at the scene, including VCRs, glass and clothing. He was able to match the defendant's name with mail in the garbage, he testified.
Hanging from a small tree was a dirty flag which the trooper described as "defaced, torn, cut - it looked pretty bad."
Asked by public defender Sean Mott to clarify in what way the flag was defaced, the officer replied, "By the way it was thrown ... it was not folded properly."
Forrey was arrested for possessing this flag and spent a week and a half in jail so far. The misdemeanor carries up to a year sentence if convicted.