A group of people gathered in downtown Lawrence to picket “a flag dragging march” that was expected to take place Saturday morning.
Dozens of people came to counter-protest the alleged flag dragging event, but as the The University Daily Kansan reported, no “Drag the Flag” demonstrators were seen.
Counter-protesters told the student newspaper that the flag dragging march event had been posted on Facebook earlier this week before it was apparently taken down Friday.
Before it was taken down, at least two people decided to organize their own event, and called it on Facebook the “Defend Our Flag” event.
“Defend Our Flag” participants said they were there Saturday to counter-protest the reported flag dragging event. Several were seen holding U.S. and Confederate flags and driving up and down Massachusetts Street. In photos from the protest, it appeared there were more U.S. flags shown than any other flag participants brought downtown.
“This is to (picket) the flag dragging march scheduled for the same time and location. Bring your flags, and fly them proudly. We will not tolerate desecration of the flag that so many of our brothers and sisters have died to defend,” organizers of the “Defend Our Flag” event wrote on Facebook.
Police said in a tweet that the protests downtown remained largely non-violent.
A Lawrence Police Department spokesman, Andrew Fennelly, said one arrest was made related to the protest for misdemeanor criminal damage to property. Police also said one citation was issued for carrying an open container of alcohol.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation and our priority remains ensuring protests remain peaceful,” the police department’s tweet said.
Fennelly added, “The arrest was the result of a 25-year-old male allegedly kicking and punching a vehicle, damaging it, then running into a crowd of protestors who restrained him until officers arrived. The subject was non-compliant with officers and was taken into custody and transported to the Douglas County Correctional Facility.”