Veterans conquer flag restriction

Veterans conquer flag restriction

Veterans don’t give up without a fight. Not when it comes to the flag. On Wednesday, they secured a victory for patriotism with Marietta (Georgia) officials. “I’m ready to fight any of ’em over the flag,” said James Ellis, past post commander of VFW Post 2681 and veteran of World War II and the Korean War.  
Marietta revises safety rule on distribution during parade after public outcry. 

(origianlly posted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution)
 YOLANDA RODRIGUEZ; Staff

Veterans don’t give up without a fight. Not when it comes to the flag. On Wednesday, they secured a victory for patriotism with Marietta (Georgia) officials. “I’m ready to fight any of ’em over the flag,” said James Ellis, past post commander of VFW Post 2681 and veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

The skirmish started when city officials told the vets that they couldn’t hand out miniature U.S. flags as they walked alongside their float during the annual Fourth of July parade. Citing safety concerns, the city said the veterans could only give the flags away before the parade starts. But after the story hit ajc.com — and after the city received several e-mails about the squabble — Marietta put out a news release that said the flags could be distributed during the parade. The one hitch: The veterans will have to do it from the sidewalks — among the crowds — and not from the parade route along Roswell Street as they walk next to their “Let Freedom Ring” float. “They will be where the people are,” Marietta city spokesman Matthew Daily said. “They will be on the sidewalk. They will not be able to do it on the street.”

But the veterans are not sure how that’s going to work. Last year’s parade attracted 35,000 spectators.  “It’s going to be hard to do it from the sidewalk because there are going to be a lot of people,” said Leon Dean, the post commander and a veteran of the Korean War. The city cited safety concerns — that someone might run out to grab a flag and get hurt — for its policy.

“It’s not just these guys. No one can pass anything out while the parade is going on,” Maggi Moss, the special events coordinator for Marietta’s parks and recreation department, said early Wednesday. Moss said the policy has been in place for years and that officials were not aware that the veterans were handing out the 3-by-5-inch flags. “Obviously, they have been handing them out very secretively,” she said. No one has ever been hurt during the parade, Moss said. Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn and Officer Mark Bishop will meet with the veterans this morning.  “We are as patriotic, if not more, than most from around here,” said Bishop, who recently returned from an 11-month tour of duty in Iraq with the Navy Reserve. “The bottom line is we want everyone to be safe.”

The parade —the theme this year is One Nation-United — kicks off Wednesday at 10 a.m. from Roswell Street Baptist Church and heads toward Marietta Square.

Update: VFW, Marietta

reach flag detente

By Yolanda Rodriguez
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 06/29/07

Marietta police Chief Dan Flynn and Marietta’s veterans worked out a compromise on Thursday so they can hand out Old Glory at next week’s parade.The pact: Some members of VFW Post 2681 will walk with other volunteers along Roswell Road handing out the flags before the parade starts.”I understand we put him [Flynn] on the spot too,” said Leon Dean, commander of the post on Thursday.

But some members say they plan to keep on doing what they have done for years.

“I’m walking, baby, and handing flags,” said Rose McDaniel, a member of the post’s Ladies Auxiliary and the incoming chairwoman of its Americanism committee. McDaniel was in the Navy from 1953 to 1957 and her husband, Bill McDaniel, was in the Navy for 22 years.

Citing safety concerns, the city has forbidden the veterans and any other parade participants from handing out anything while they walk in the parade alongside their floats during the Fourth of July parade.

City officials said the VFW members are welcome to hand out Old Glory from the sidewalks among parade viewers. But the veterans say that idea is not practical. Last year’s parade attracted more than 35,000 spectators along a route that is about 1 1/2 miles long.

The veterans maintain that they always have handed out the flags along the parade route without any problems. City officials say the rule has been in place to years and they never knew the veterans were handing out the flags.

Officer Mark Bishop, a police spokesman, said safety is the department’s main concern. “If the issue comes up, then we will address it,” he said.

Respect our flag,
Honor our Troops,
Honor our Veterans

Oldtimer’s Note:  Marietta, Ga. is where I live.  This is my town.  We should be ashamed for ever restricting our flag or prohibiting its distribution.

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4 responses to “Veterans conquer flag restriction

  1. We have a post too on this over at http://www.whitlockavenue.com

    Enjoy!

  2. To Whitlock Avenue,

    I notice that you have only posted the Marietta, GA. “Official Statement” on this topic (which I also received) on your site. There is so much more to this story than the city version which tries to blow it off as “… this year the city is again welcoming groups who wish to hand out Old Glory. The city encourages the distribution of flags before and during the parade when done safely,” when in truth the city had told the VFW that they could only do it before the parade, (not during) and the city only issued the new proclomation after feeling the wrath of local veterans and national news coverage.

    I’m glad you stopped by here and could get a look at the other side of the fence. Since I’m not tied to advertizing on this blog, I’m free to post all sides .

    In particular, I’m always going to go with our troops, our former troops and our future troops. They are all heroes to me and we should go out of our way to say thanks, and to show respect to them and to our flag.

    I am glad the city caved in, and hope that they do not try to prevent the VFW from giving out flags the way they always have – alongside their float. One citation and I think much of the country is going to come down on this fair city.

    PS, I’ve lived here since 1945, so I’m an old Marietta guy, not too happy with the way the city has treated our veterans and flag on this issue.

    Oldtimer.

  3. Rita A. Jones

    ARE YOU POLITICIANS TRUE AMERICANS OR COMMUNIST? How dare you even consider prohibited the flag hand out especially on independence day. THis has been going on for years. No one is is going to be hurt over this hand-out.Get back to being an American. Maybe we need some new blood in the politics of Marietta, Ga. Rita Jones

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