Patriots fans burn team gear over anthem protests while violating U.S. Flag Code

If you were to hear that a bunch of angry football fans got together to burn their favorite NFL team's merchandise in ceremonious fashion, you might guess it took place in Cleveland, New York, Chicago or some other place that has been a hotbed of NFL sadness in recent years. 

But nope, you would be wrong. It was New England Patriots fans who decided they'd had enough and were disappointed in their squad.

A bunch of disgruntled Pats fans gathered in Swansea, Mass. on Thursday night to showcase their displeasure over several Patriots players taking a knee during the national anthem this past Sunday. The purpose of the kneeling is to protest police brutality and racial inequality in America, but many -- including the group of New Englanders that gathered Thursday -- view it as a sign of disrespect toward the country and the flag.

As a result, a bunch of Patriots merchandise was tossed into a fire pit and burned to a crisp.

There's certainly a bit of irony in fans burning gear with "Patriots" on it in the service of trying to be a good patriot, but that's not all. While these fans voiced their anger over perceived disrespect towards the flag, multiple violations of the U.S. Flag Code were on display in Swansea.

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U.S. Code S176 (D) - The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.

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U.S. Code S176 (I) - [The flag] should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.

You can follow how each team has chosen to respond to Donald Trump's comments about NFL player protests here.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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