A Hammondville man arrested for walking naked along a highway while waving an American flag said he did so to protest the war in Iraq.

Gerald Lynn Kelley, 52, who was charged with public lewdness in the July 30 incident, said he and his friends were watching a news broadcast about Iraq at his home and the conversation turned to the war, the Fort Payne Times-Journal reported in a story for Tuesday.

Kelley, who said he's a Vietnam-era veteran, said that prompted a protest where he only wore a cowboy hat, boots and waved the American flag, the newspaper reported.

"My dad told me years ago if you've got a stubborn mule, you've got to hit him across the head with a 2-by-4 in order to get his attention," Kelley said.

He said he hopes the incident encourages people to speak out against the war. He said he realizes he broke the law and does not encourage streaking.

Kelley said he only marched to the end of his driveway, but regrets a church event was occurring in a nearby park at the time. He said he marched in the opposite direction.

Deputy Mike James said deputies were sent to Hammondville about 3 p.m. on July 30 after receiving calls about two men walking nude along U.S. 11, just inside the town limits.

The other man could not be found.

Kelley, out of jail on a $1,500 bond, wouldn't comment on anyone else's involvement in the incident.