Federal Law states:
The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
4 U.S.C. section 8.
Rick Heilman, a 22 year Navy veteran, noticed the National flag flying outside his work place was tattered. He asked his manager if he could take the flag down until a replacement was obtained. He was twice told, "no." After thinking about it over the weekend, he returned to work on Monday and took down the flag. Whereupon, he was fired for insubordination.
According to the news report:
Yearwood Equipment Company’s management would not speak on camera, but did reiterate that Heilman was not fired for replacing the flag.
Right! He was NOT fired for replacing the flag. He was fired for replacing the flag after his boss told him not to, even though replacing the flag was the right thing to do.
Is it tuh-MAY-toe or toe-MAH-toe?
Of course, the employment-at-will doctrine protects the employer, allowing employee dismissal for good reason, for no reason and even for a bad reason. Some states recognize public policy exceptions to employment at will for employees who are fired for engaging in an important public activity. North Carolina law ought to recognize that displaying proper respect for the national flag trumps the superficial bruising of a boss's ego.