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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democrat accuses state Rep. Peter Nehr of debasing American flag




We're used to tough and tumble politics in Florida, but this one is new to us: The Democratic state House candidate trying to unseat Republican Peter Nehr of Tarpon springs is accusing Nehr of debasing Old Glory.

"Disgraced the American Flag? Ask him about when he put the flag on the ground and wanted people to walk on it," says a particularly nasty flier Democrat Carl Zimmerman is distributing in North Pinellas' District 65.

It's a reference to a University of South Florida political science project Nehr did at least a decade ago, in which he placed an American flag on the ground so that it was tricky for people to avoid stepping on it.

"I had it out there and they had the options of whether they wanted to walk on it or not," Nehr explained to Buzz the other day. "We were just talking at that particular point about whether people are allowed to have freedom or not."

Nehr, not incidentally, used to run a store in Tarpon Springs selling the American flag.

Nehr was not amused about the matter coming up in his campaign: "That's a story from 10, 12 years ago. I was a student. I did a report, and now somebody's going to twist that whole thing around, where I was trying to show that America is the land of freedom and the American flag is a symbol of that freedom? Part of being American is that you have the freedom to choose different things."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 4:01pm]


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