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PASSINGS: Dan Walker, Keith Floyd, Norman Simon, W. Horace Carter

Dan Walker, veteran who buried burned flag, dies at 81; Keith Floyd, British TV chef, dies at 65; Norman Simon, B'nai B'rith exec, dies at 89; W. Horace Carter, prize-winning journalist, dies at 88

September 23, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Dan Walker, 81, an Army veteran who was honored for retrieving and burying a U.S. flag that had been burned in protest during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, died of prostate cancer Sept. 16 at his Fort Worth home.

TV cameras recorded Walker carefully retrieving the flag remnants so they could be buried properly.

"I didn't want someone sweeping it up with a broom and putting it in an ashcan," the West Point graduate and veteran of World War II and the Korean War told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram afterward.

The man who burned the flag was convicted under a Texas law banning desecration of the flag. That conviction was thrown out in 1989 by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that flag burning was constitutionally protected free speech.

Walker disposed of the ashes according to flag care guidelines and buried them in his backyard. He was later presented with the Army's highest civilian award and received a letter from President Reagan.

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news.obits@latimes.com

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