In a video that's begun to gain some attention online, a man identifying himself as a U.S. Marine Corps veteran slammed into the center of a group of America-protesting activists to put out an American flag the group had lit on fire in front of the White House. The moment came amid a series of chaotic July Fourth clashes between the Revolutionary Communist Party and the right-wing Proud Boys.
The self-identified Marine's attempt to rescue the burning flag took place before the "Salute to America" on the National Mall on Thursday. In the video, posted on Twitter by the Washington Examiner's Steven Nelson, a group of activists wearing Revolutionary Communist Party shirts can be seen brandishing a burning American flag, which comes dangerously close to several of the activists.
Suddenly, a man in a red sleeveless "Make America Great Again" shirt plows into a few of the protesters, knocking them to the ground as people yell out in alarm. "Whoa!" someone exclaims.
The man in the MAGA shirt then grabs the flag, which had been dropped on the ground when he barreled into the activists. He manages to put out the flames, another man in a MAGA hat and a suit joining him at this point.
The man in the red shirt — who The Daily Caller notes is also wearing "a MARPAT (Marine pattern) bucket hat" and has a U.S. Marine Corps tattoo on his shoulder — then rushes back toward the activists and shoves one of them. The activists then circle up and begin chanting "America was never great!"
One woman shoves the veteran in the back and yells, "Get the f*** out of the country, man!"
Blocked out by the ring of communist activists, the man continues to yell, declaring, "My flag, motherf***ers!"
"Sir, are you a veteran?" Nelson asks.
"Yes. Semper fi," he responds, pointing to his Marine Corps tattoo.
In his follow-up report for the Washington Examiner, Nelson notes that at least three of the America protesters were detained by Secret Service, among them a famous flag-burner.
"The Secret Service detained flag-burning activist Gregory 'Joey' Johnson and at least two allies in the aftermath. The agency says two men have been charged," Nelson reports. "Johnson won a 1989 Supreme Court case that invalidated state laws banning flag burning. Earlier this year, he won a $225,000 settlement from Cleveland, Ohio, as a result of his arrest for burning a flag at the 2016 Republican convention."
Nelson reports that one of the members of the Revolutionary Communist Party told the Examiner that officers asked who was burning flags before making the arrests and noted that one of the three arrested was not a member of the group.
The Secret Service told the Examiner in a statement that two officers "received minor injuries while attempting to make arrests" for which they had to be taken to the hospital.
The Examiner's Julio Rosas also posted footage of flag-burning protests, one of which was put out by Secret Service, and confrontations between Trump supporters and America protesters.
"Protest group burns a second American flag in front of the White House. It was put out by Secret Service," Rosas reported. "Another fight breaks out between pro-Trump people and the American flag burning group in front of the White House."