FedEx driver will keep his job after saving American flags from being burned

A FedEx driver who saved two American flags from being burned in protest will be able to keep his job, the company said Saturday.

On Thursday, Matt Uhrin — while still wearing his FedEx uniform — walked into a group of protesters in Iowa City, Iowa and grabbed an American flag before it could be burned. When the protesters attempted to light a second flag on fire, Uhrin returned with a fire extinguisher and took that flag as well.

Following the incident, Uhrin did not issue a comment to the Iowa Press-Citizen, except to say his actions were not related to his employer.

A FedEx driver who saved two American flags from being burned in protest will be able to keep his job, the company said Saturday.

On Thursday, Matt Uhrin — while still wearing his FedEx uniform — walked into a group of protesters in Iowa City, Iowa and grabbed an American flag before it could be burned. When the protesters attempted to light a second flag on fire, Uhrin returned with a fire extinguisher and took that flag as well.

Following the incident, Uhrin did not issue a comment to the Iowa Press-Citizen, except to say his actions were not related to his employer.

After a scuffle, two protesters were arrested for violating the city’s burn ordinance. The protestors say they were demonstrating against American imperialism, racial and social injustice and the threat of Fascism under President Trump. They maintain they were not protesting military veterans.

Uhrin’s actions prompted social media reaction from all sides of the political spectrum.

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The Supreme Court has ruled that burning the flag constitutes free speech; however, in this case the protesters hadn’t requested a permit from the fire department and were charged with a misdemeanor. From the Iowa City Press Citizen:

[Paul] Osgerby, 23, and Kelli Ebensberger, 21, were both charged with violating Iowa City’s public burn ordinance, a simple misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $625. They are both scheduled to appear at the Johnson County Courthouse on Feb. 23 at 8 a.m.

Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said the two were charged because they failed to seek a permit from the fire department to burn the flags, not because of what they were burning.
The other guy who sided with Uhrin told Little Village, “My grandpa fought for this country. He fought for the flag.” He added, “I believe in equality, but burning the flag, it’s not the way to solve the problem.”

Andrew Alemao, the protester in the green jacked and camo hat, tried to burn a flag in the same area on inauguration day. He was interrupted on that occasion by a different bystander who tried to wrestle the burning flag away from him. Jordan Adams, another protester, was upset that people were repeatedly interrupting her group’s efforts to burn the flag in public. She suggested to Little Village that fire extinguishers could be a health hazard and stated, “We’re here to change the minds of people who disagree with us, but there is no space for that when we are being attacked.”

There was a similar incident on inauguration day in Washington, D.C. when a Trump supporter put out a fire set by demonstrators in the middle of the street. For his efforts, he was punched in the back of the head by one of the protesters.


FedEx backs driver seen in viral video saving Old Glory from being torched

FedEx is backing a driver in Iowa who stopped flag-burning protesters from desecrating American flags in a confrontation caught on video that went viral, according to reports. Many on Twitter were calling him a hero.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported Friday that the video shows Matt Uhrin in a FedEx uniform scuffling with a small group of protesters on a pedestrian mall in Iowa City Thursday after he used a fire extinguisher to save two flags from being burned.

“Back off, back off,” Uhrin is heard yelling as he clutched one of the flags.

His actions prompted praise on Twitter and led FedEx to issue a statement saying that Uhrin remains an employee and there were no plans to change his status, Fox & Friends reported Saturday.

On Friday FedEx said it had interviewed Uhrin.

Uhrin told the Press-Citizen Thursday that his confrontation with the protesters had nothing to do with FedEx.

An online petition Friday demanded that FedEx not fire Uhrin, the paper reported.

"Let's make sure Matt Uhrin keeps his job at FedEx," the petition said, according to the paper. "He was standing up for our American flag and should be commended, not punished."

As of late Friday, the petition had collected some 3,000 signatures.

According to the Press-Citizen, the protesters were planning to burn the flags to protest racial and social injustice.

Cops arrested two of the protesters for violating Iowa City’s public burn ordinance, not for burning the flag, Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde

A court in 2014 struck down as unconstitutional an Iowa law making it illegal to defile, cast contempt upon, satirize or deride a flag, according to the Press-Citizen.

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