Valdosta State University in Georgia has canceled classes for a day in preparation of a demonstration of people who "just want to come down here and support the American flag."
The demonstration is a response to a video that went viral of female Air Force veteran Michelle Manhart being detained by police after taking an American flag from a group of students who were stepping on it. Manhart was not charged with a crime.
You can watch the video that prompted the demonstration, below:
"After further discussions with local law enforcement and in the interest of the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, Valdosta State University will suspend normal business operations for Friday, April 24," the university said Thursday in a press release. "Only essential employees — meaning those who have been notified by their supervisor — are to report to campus."
WXIA-TV in Atlanta in reports that there have been protests across campus since the incident with Manhart went viral, and 4,000 people are expected to attend Friday's demonstration.
"Due to the events on April 17 at VSU where the Black Panther Party placed an American Flag on the ground to be walked on, we have organized a like event to FLY our nations flag on Friday April 24 at 1:30 pm at VSU," a Facebook page describing the event says. "This to show the school the BPP and the Airmen of Moody Air Force Base that we will not waiver in standing up for of nation, our flag or our soldiers. Please join us and pass this around."