, Salem, MA

June 24, 2013

Letter: US flag should fly alone

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

In regards to your article “Rainbow flag irks veterans” on Wednesday, June 19:

It is not the rainbow flag that “irks” veterans. It is the flying of any flag, of any special interest group, that flies on the same flagpole with our beloved Old Glory.

We veterans fought and died and gave selflessly for the symbol of our country. Our flag deserves no disrespect by flying any special-interest flag with it.

The rainbow flag is not the center of our attention, as the article implies. We would be “irked” if the American Red Cross flag flew on the same pole, or the Boy Scouts of America flag, or the Hells Angels flag, or any special-interest flag flew with our Stars and Stripes.

Although it may not be restricted by the United States flag code, the code states, “No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America.”

We veterans believe any special-interest flag to specifically benefit or advertise any group is disrespectful to our flag and should not be flown on the same flagpole.

On June 22, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved House Joint Resolution 303 codifying the existing customs and rules governing the display and use of the flag of the United States of America. Amendments were approved on Dec. 22, 1942.

The law includes provisions of the code adopted by the national flag conference on June 14, 1923, with amendments and additions and a few modifications since.

We feel the rules are long overdue for a review, and we plan to fight for a review of the U.S. flag etiquette at the local, state and federal level. We propose that no flag be flown on the same pole except the POW/MIA flag.

Chuck Clark

Beverly Farms

Mr. Clark is an officer of Beverly Vietnam Veterans Post 1, Stephen H. Doane Chapter.