Daniel E. Walker

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Daniel E. Walker
Born (1927-09-19)September 19, 1927
Died September 16, 2009(2009-09-16) (aged 81)
Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, USA
Alma mater United States Military Academy
Occupation Civil servant
Religion Christian
Spouse(s) Patricia Ann Walker
Children Russell W. Walker
David E. Walker
Dana W. Purczinsky

Daniel E. Walker, known as Dan Walker (September 19, 1927 – September 16, 2009), was a United States Army veteran from Fort Worth, Texas, who received international attention for properly disposing of a burned American flag.[1]

Military career[edit]

Walker served in World War II. In 1953, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point,[2] New York. He later served in Korea and was a member of the Army Corps of Engineers.[1]

Flag burial incident[edit]

In 1984, after protesters burned an American flag during the Republican National Convention, Walker retrieved the leftover remains. He buried them in his backyard according to official military guidelines. Walker said, "I didn’t want somebody sweeping it up with a broom and putting it in an ashcan."[1][dead link]

Following the incident, Walker received the Army’s highest civilian award and a letter of commendation from U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan.[1]

The flag burning incident eventually led to the 1989 United States Supreme Court decision of Texas v. Johnson which upheld flag burning as a freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution by a narrow 5-4 decision.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Walker was married to Patty Walker and they had two sons and a daughter. He was a deacon-emeritus of the McKinney Memorial Bible Church in Fort Worth and sang with the oratorio chorus at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Walker died of prostate cancer on September 16, 2009.[1]