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Angry mob chases would-be flag burner off LSU Campus

Flag burning CBS/file

(CBS/AP) - A mob of protesters chased a would-be flag burner off the Louisiana State University campus Wednesday, ending the display before it began.

LSU graduate student Benjamin Haas had originally planned to burn an American flag reportedly in response to the recent arrest of another LSU student who stole and burning a flag from a war memorial. Instead, Haas agreed to read a statement.

While reading the statement he was surrounded by a large crowd yelling obscenities and chanting, "USA" and "Go to hell hippie, go to hell."

Ultimately, about 1,000 LSU students and other protesters forced police to intervene.

For his own safety, horse-mounted officers escorted Haas out to a police car as the crowd followed, police say. He was not arrested.

LSU spokesperson Ernie Ballard said the school did not endorse the actions of Haas or the crowd, reports myfoxny.comfile.

Referring to the recent flag-burning, student government association president Cody Wells said, "It's time that my generation stand up for what they believe in and exercise their freedom of speech and let people know that we are not OK with this."