Teen Sentenced for Burning, Stomping Flag

Teen said she was "making a statement"

By Jim Iovino
|  Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009  |  Updated 11:00 AM EDT
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Teen Sentenced for Burning, Stomping Flag

Ocean City Police

The flag, post burning.

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A teen who claimed she was "making a statement" when she lit an American flag on fire with a cigarette lighter and then stomped on it in the middle of traffic received her punishment.

Prosecutors dropped a desecration charge against Rebecca McKimmie, 18, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to disturbing the peace. Judge Daniel Mumford sentenced the Ocean City, Md., teen to one year unsupervised probation before judgment and a $300 fine.

Probation before judgment means the conviction won't appear on her record if she meets the terms of probation.

Ocean City police said McKimmie was arrested early July 5 after officers observed her lighting a flag on fire and walking in traffic on Route 50, causing cars to swerve before she extinguished the flag by stomping on it as officers approached.

The incident occurred just hours after Americans celebrated Independence Day with fireworks celebrations across the region.

The desecration charge was dropped because burning a flag is still legal in the United States.

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