Father of dead U.S Soldier burns the flag in protest over lowering of flag for basshead Whitney Houston

Father who lost soldier son in Iraq burns flag in protest after seeing it lowered to honour late Whitney Houston

‘They’re watering down what a true hero is these days’

By David Baker
Last updated at 3:54 PM on 21st February 2012

A father whose son was killed while serving in Iraq has burned a replica flag in protest against a decision to lower it in honour of performer Whitney Houston.

John Burri set a New Jersey State flag alight on Saturday on a barbecue outside his home in Michigan saying that lowering flags should only be done for men and women who have given their lives in service to the U.S.

The 60-year-old’s son, Army Specialist Eric Burri, died aged 20 in 2005 in Baghdad and Michigan state flags were lowered in his honour at the time.

But when the same honour was afforded to performer Whitney Houston, with the flag of her home state New Jersey, following her death, Burri claimed it ‘watered down’ the ceremony.

‘They’re watering down the term of what a true hero is these days.’

The decision to lower flags for the award winning singer was made by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who defended the move, calling Houston a ‘cultural icon’.

Federal law gives governors of American states power to have flags lowered for residents or state officials and there is no law requiring that person to have served in the armed forces.

But after seeing his comments on the news Burri set out to honour his son and show his anger at the decision.

He bought a replica New Jersey flag, tied it to the back of his car and drove around two veteran memorials before going home and burning the flag.

He added: ‘Best $12.95 I’ve ever spent.

‘Sometimes, you have to do something drastic and extreme for people to listen.

‘I just hope it made a point that maybe someone will pick this up and get a new law made for flag etiquette.

‘My intention was not to hurt anyone, especially the residents of New Jersey.

‘My intention was to show Governor Christie how offensive it was.

‘I have some peace now. This is done. The word is out there

‘I hope and pray something is done to prevent this from ever happening again.’


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