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Playboy-Posing Air Force Vet Arrested for Saving Flag at Protest

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 07:08 PM

A Playboy-posing Air Force vet arrested for snatching an American flag at a college demonstration says she only got involved because she thought campus police wouldn't do anything about protesters stepping all over Old Glory.

Michelle Manhart, whose 13-year military career ended abruptly after she was vilified for posing for Playboy wearing nothing but an American flag, told Air Force Times she intended to "just kind of go in quietly and not disrupt whatever [protesters] were doing" at Valdosta State University in Georgia.

"I decided to go up there and see if [campus police are] doing anything about it, and if not, I'm simply going just to walk in and pick up the flag and walk away," Manhart said in the interview posted Monday.

"I didn't want to cause any ruckus."

A video shows the former staff sergeant getting handcuffed last Friday after refusing to give the flag back to protesters.

Story continues below video.


Manhart told Air Force Times she'd been tipped by a student the demonstrators were desecrating the flag, and when protesters were distracted, she picked up the flag and walked away. Campus police caught up with her and demanded she hand it back.

"They said, 'If you release it to us, we will not give it back to them,'" Manhart told Air Force Times. "I disagreed with that wholeheartedly. There were other people's hands on it as well that belonged with the organization, so, of course I wasn't going to let go, because if I did, it would have been in their hands again."

"We drape that flag over many coffins over the men and women that unfortunately don't get to come home the way they left; over our firefighters, our police officers, a lot of our civil servants," Manhart said.

"If you're walking on that flag, then you're also walking on their caskets and you're walking on everything they stood for and you have no respect for the freedom that they have fought to make sure that you can have."

Manhart's controversial Playboy pose was taken in 2007, but she told Air Force Times that was different.

"What we wanted to try to get out of it is: People in general, we are very big on materialistic items," she said. "Even if you're not big into money, we all want cars and clothes and rings and iPads – it's something that we just naturally want.

"When you take away all materialistic things, what's left? It' just us. It's just us standing there in the nude. I would venture to say that most of us, myself included, would not be comfortable just walking down the street completely in the nude. But if you remove all materialistic items, what do you still have? You have your freedom. And if you stand behind your freedom; if you stand behind the flag and what it stands for and everything that it is, then you will always have your freedom."

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A Playboy-posing Air Force vet arrested for snatching an American flag at a college demonstration says she only got involved because she thought campus police wouldn't do anything about protesters stepping all over Old Glory.
playboy, model, air force, veteran, arrested, saving, flag, protest
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2015-08-20
Monday, 20 Apr 2015 07:08 PM
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