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PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said several inmates who defaced the American flag will be given only bread and water.

Arpaio said 38 inmates are accused of desecrating a flag and will be put on the diet as punishment.

A U.S. flag is emblazoned in every jail cell in all six Maricopa County jails, Arpaio said.

According to Arpaio, inmates have torn flags, written or stepped on them. Some have also thrown flags in the toilet or trash.

The sheriff said they are destroying government property. He says their actions are a disgrace.

He did not say how long the bread-and-water punishment would last.

Associated Press,

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