An unknown man celebrated Independence Day by setting fire to an American flag hanging outside a midtown pub—just four days after its owner became a U.S. citizen, the Daily News reports. Welcome to America!
Video from the incident depicts a man starting the blaze around 4:35 a.m. on July 5 outside of the Playwright Irish Pub on W. 35th Street, where owner John Doherty had hung it in celebration of his newly minted status as a U.S. citizen. The fire also reportedly consumed much of the bar's awning.
The incident was caught on the bar's security camera, and shows the man struggling to ignite the flag with a lighter as disinterested pedestrian amble by. After successfully setting Old Glory ablaze, he reportedly smoked a cigarette and snapped some shots of his handiwork on his cell phone. Doherty believes the suspect works in a nearby restaurant, so that's nice and awkward.
In 1989, the Supreme Court struck down all laws prohibiting flag desecration, ruling that the act is protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Of course, you have to burn your own flag, not somebody else's.