Tag Archives: Fourth of July

Flags Fly in Marietta after all!

MDJ on line

Staff photos by Thinh Nguyen, MDJonline.com

This picture from our local newspaper, The Marietta Daily Journal shows Doug Hess with the VFW handing a flag to Marietta Police Officer Michael Freer during the parade in open defiance of the City which had prohibited distribution of flags during the parade and still does so.   Thankfully the city looked the other way after the issue was raised locally and discussed nationwide.  About 40 veterans and family members passed out flags during the parade.    The VFW float and other military and veterans in the parade received thunderous standing ovations as they paraded by.

There remains a brooding controversy about positioning the VFW float closer to the front of the parade next year.  The police chief has proposed that the city move them to the front of the line (they were in 28th position this year).   Mayor Dunnaway has said that he thinks their current location is just fine, justifying it as a factor of having uniform applause throughout the parade.    It is no concidence that the Mayor, not himself a veteran, was in the first postion as always this year with two concilmen riding with him.  Putting the veterans first would take away a little of the political impact of his office.  

Click on the link above, read the entire story and see more pictures. 

I hope you enjoyed your Fourth as much as I.

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OK, the Fight is on – VFW/Flags vs Marietta City

Veterans to defy city ban on flag distribution 

Earlier I reported that the veterans conquered the flag restricitons by my city of Marietta, Ga.   They had negotiated a truce.  Now the VFW has thrown down the gauntlet and said  that “the truce is off”!  

What seems to have happened is the city had said the VFW could lead the parade with the Lions Club and help hand out flags at the front of the parade and could also walk alongside their float (which is much further back)   and also hand out flags on the sidewalk alongside their float (but not at the curb as in years past).   However, as it turns out, the city has now clarified that the Lions Club and the flag distribution is not part of the parade but will precede the parade by 10 to 15 minutes, claiming that it has “always been that way”.     The Lions Club denies that, claiming they have always been part of the parade.    

That puts the Lions Club, the Fire Truck and the VFW flag distribution at least 10 to 15 minutes before the parade starts and not part of the Fourth Of July parade at all.  The city says the Lions Club is not an official entry of the parade.   The Lions Club has stated flatly that it is. 

The VFW only wants to do what it always has – distribute American Flags alongside their float.  “Americans might be speaking Japanese if it weren’t for veterans”said Korean War Veteran Leon Dean of VFW post 2681.

The movment of the flag distribution away from their float to a point that is not even part of the parade has riled the veterans no end.  It means that their flag distribution which has always been in the curb along the street next to their float is off limits for any flag distribution and the flags will only be distributed prior to the parade, not in it.  The veterans feel dishonored by the city.

The Mayor and Council has stated catagorically that the veterans cannot distribute flags alongside of the float, but at least they are wise enough to state that “nobody will be arrested”.  However that statement leaves open the possibility that the VFW member veterans and the Woman’s Auxillary members will be cited and possibly fined (but not arrested) if they distribute flags after the parade begins, alongside their float as has been the tradition.   The war is on.

 The Mayor Dunaway has blamed the AJC article quoted in an earlier post in this blog as a “distortion of the press” and blamed the story for the “negative national attention” the city has received.  He says that the VFW can’t pass out flags at the float because then every float will want to pass out something and there is nothing to keep some politician from printing an American Flag with a political message on it and passing it out.    He said the prohibition is a common rule. 

If you don’t want negative national attention, Mayor, respect our veteran heroes and our flag!

Mayor William B. Dunnaway  mailto:bdunaway@mariettaga.gov

770-794-5501 Phone 770-794-5505 Fax

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 709
Marietta, GA 30061

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