Sheriff Arpaio: American Flag In Every Cell, Bread And Water For Those Who Mess With It

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

On Wednesday, Breitbart News sat down with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and discussed what he does behind the scenes to honor America in his jail system and to honor veterans who are inmates in that system.

This entails everything from displaying the American flag to being sure veterans are housed together to honoring patriotic holidays by visiting with incarcerated veterans.

Because of the timing of our visit with Sheriff Arpaio, we asked if there was anything special he did on the first day of this week — June 14, Flag Day.

He said:

Since many people don’t remember what Flag Day is all about — it’s also the anniversary of the U.S. Army — I decided to spend part of the day at the jail and talk to all the former veterans. Also, a few months ago I decided to put all inmates on a vegetarian diet — no more meat — however, for the veterans, on Flag Day, I did give them hotdogs and beans and corn, and that type of thing.

So I was able to kill three birds with one stone: helped the veterans, honored Flag Day, honored the US Army.

We asked Sheriff Arpaio if there were things he does on an ongoing basis for veterans in his jail system, and if so, we asked if he could explain those things.

He said:

About 10 months ago I decided to put all the veterans together who are serving time. We have about 8,500 inmates a day that we average, probably the third largest jail system in the country, and I decided to do something for the veterans.

We have 180 inmates that are veterans, so I placed the veterans into their own area. They painted all the branches of the services on the walls, red, white, and blue. And it is interesting to note that I haven’t had any problems, assaults or anything else, in that area. My theory is we’ve had some sergeants there and they kind of, in their own way, helped me because they can supervise the other inmates that were privates, etc.

Lastly, we talked to Sheriff Arpaio about honoring America in his jail system. Our goal was to figure out if there are certain things he and his deputies regularly undertake to honor America or the ideals of America in the presence of the inmates.

Sheriff Arpaio told us that he “put American flags in every cell” in the jail system and “if anybody tinkers or messes around with that flag [he puts] them on bread and water.”  Moreover, he said, “everybody hears ‘God Bless America’ and the ‘National Anthem’ every day. And they can sing those songs.”

On June 9, Breitbart News reported that Sheriff Arpaio became the longest-serving sheriff in the history of Maricopa County, with a career spanning 22 years.

Follow AWR Hakwins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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