Flag-burning Facebook protest leads to 4th of July arrest

This July 4, 2016 photo provided by the Champaign County Sheriff's Office shows Bryton Mellott, who was arrested on charges including flag desecration after his flag-burning protest. (Champaign County Sheriff's Office via AP)

URBANA, Ill. (AP) – An Illinois man’s flag-burning protest has led to his arrest on Independence Day on charges including flag desecration.

Pictures posted on Bryton Mellott’s Facebook page over the weekend showed him holding a burning American flag, and he wrote that he’s “not proud to be an American.” The message appears to have been removed, but a picture remains.

Urbana police were alerted to the post and say officers noticed commenters threatening Mellott and his employer, Wal-Mart. Police say after speaking to both Mellott and Wal-Mart, Mellott was taken into custody out of concern for his safety.

Wal-Mart says it’s cooperating with the investigation.

The 22-year-old Mellott is set to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon. He hasn’t returned a request for comment.

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