Caught On Video: Suspect Burns American Flag At Long Beach Home

LONG BEACH (FOX 11) - In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it is not illegal to burn the United States flag. The act is protected by the First Amendment.

It is, however, illegal to burn another person's flag, considered to be "arson of property" and can be punishable by jail time.

A man described as being in his 20's and having tattoos on each calf is wanted for burning a Long Beach resident's American flag.

John Tyson installed a video surveillance system in his house a couple of years ago to keep an eye on his four dogs. On July 25, two of his cameras picked up the suspect standing at his front door for about 20 minutes -- and then pulling down his 25-foot flagpole and burning Tyson's flag.

The Navy veteran, who has since put up a new flag, hopes the suspect gives himself up and receives a light sentence. He says he'd hate to see the guy go to jail.

He says even he did dumb things when he was young and maybe that's what happened here.

Anyone with information on the crime is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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