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Source: KOAT Albuquerque
Date: April 2, 2008
Byline: unsigned

Trial Of Student Accused Of Tearing Flag Wraps Up

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Metro Court jurors are expected to decide a case Wednesday involving a University of New Mexico student who tore up a Mexican flag on campus.

Peter Lynch is charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property. He is an Air Force veteran who attends UNM.

Lynch said that in September 2006, on the day after Mexican Independence Day, he saw the Mexican flag flying on campus, unaccompanied by the American flag. Lynch has admitted to taking the flag down, ripping it apart and stomping on it.

But, Lynch told police that what he did was simply an act of patriotism. "He stated that the national flag code dictated that the flag of another nation flying over the United States was inappropriate if not flown along with the U.S. flag. It could be perceived as a sign of war or the territory had been taken over by another country," said UNM police Lt. Pat Davis.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin in Lynch's trial Wednesday morning. The jury is expected to begin deliberations after that.

If convicted, Lynch could face a 6-month jail sentence and a $500 fine.

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