Local Veterans Concerned about Flag Etiquette

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

The American flag is a symbol of our nation's freedom, and is special to many; especially veterans.

A group of veterans in Belpre is expressing their concerns about how often the flag is being flown at local schools.

They say the American flags at Belpre schools are not flown every day, and are sometimes flown only part of the day.

Local veterans say they've contacted the schools individually as well as the board of education, but the problem persists.

"It kind of hurts, you know. Some of these guys have gone into war two or three times for that flag," Gary Henderson, an Air Force veteran, said.

"When the school district says, 'We are not gonna fly our flag while we are in session,' it's telling the kids that are in school that they don't have to respect that flag either," Larry Block, an Army veteran, said.

Belpre city school's superintendent, Dr. Harry Fleming, did not wish to be interviewed on camera, but did say it's the city's policy to fly the American flag at schools all day while they're in session.

He says there may be times that doesn't happen for one reason or another, but the school's do try to follow the policy.

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  • by Kev on Nov 26, 2009 at 11:07 AM
    Leif, I performed my country's service during the war years. I just don't think the whining of two malcontents should smear our school system and distract from the real issues in schools. THAT's what this is about. Not about who is or isn't a veteran or who honors them. FOCUS!
  • by John Location: Marietta on Nov 26, 2009 at 05:42 AM
    Belpre Township, When I saw the story on TV, I said to my wife, I bet it's one or two guys with they're panties in a bunch over nothing. Guess I was right. As a Vet, I'm sick of Vets running around stirring up crap over every little issue they deem offensive. Quit making the rest of us look like a bunch of whiners,get over it! If I was the school, I'd take it down for good. They were trying to do the right thing because it didn't have a light. Vet's aren't the flag police.
  • by Anonymous Location: Lowell on Nov 26, 2009 at 02:28 AM
    When I was in school 25 yrs. ago, the students raised and lowered the flag each day. It was called flag duty. People volunteered and two people took turns during it for a certain amount of time. We were taught about proper display and handling of the flag and were responsible to get it down before it rained. To this day I fly a flag proudly and do it properly. I considered the flag duty as just one part of my education over the years.
  • by missitaly Location: belpre on Nov 25, 2009 at 10:52 PM
    dear belpre township: the incident happened at 2:00 p.m., actually 1:45 pm. I was there picking up my goddaughter due to illness. not 3:00. and the veteran in question offered to put it up himself. does that change your thoughts? just curious...i was actually glad he said something. i noticed it when i was going in and wondered what happened to it.
  • by John Location: parkersburg on Nov 25, 2009 at 10:23 PM
    The flag should be respected but don't make it an idol. I'm sure the schools fly it as often as possible. I've always seen it flying when I'm in the area. I'm sure the schools have more to worry about than this and these veterans should put their energies toward griping about the way the government takes care of our veterans and try to get something important accomplished. I have never seen patriotism in our country like it has been since 9/11. It is a shame that something that tears at the heart of our country has to occur for a lot of people to remember that freedom is not free. Flying or not flying the flag does diddly for our veterans. Active soldiers need more pay and better medical facilities and Veterans need better treatment from the government as a whole. The government sends them to fight but throws them aside when they come home. That's what these guys should be fighting for, something that counts !! I agree with Kev about the schools having larger worries.
  • by riverman85 Location: marietta on Nov 25, 2009 at 06:58 PM
    I am ashamed at what this country is coming to where the flag is not respected anymore. The men and women that have died for this country would be rolling over in their graves to see what this world has come to. And by the way curtis veterans shouldnt have to go around and help make sure the flag is flown everyday that is our duties as free americans to the blood that has been shed for that flag. THANK YOU! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!
  • by rollo Location: marietta on Nov 25, 2009 at 05:20 PM
    Public schools are ran by liberals that, most often, hate America and our values. This doesnt suprise me that Belpre is no different. Just another reason why private and home schooling is so popular and will keep getting more popular. The Flag, should be priority number 1..EVERY day school is in. Period. No excuses...Mr. Fleming..you're just being LAZY.
  • by Curtis on Nov 25, 2009 at 03:23 PM
    I agree with Kev. If this is so important, why didn't these two vets offer to help with the raising and lowering of the flag? PS: I served my country during my years of service too.
  • by Belpre Township on Nov 25, 2009 at 02:26 PM
    The "veterans group" mentioned in this article is a group of two guys, one of whom has a long standing personal agenda against Belpre Schools. The US flag is displayed daily at the high school building and is taken down at 2:45 pm due to the day custodian's hours. The school day is over at 3 PM. That's fifteen minutes of the school day where the flag is not displayed. The Pledge of Allegiance is recited each morning at the high school, at the beginning of the daily announcements, with all students standing and participating. Also, the high school presented a really nice breakfast for all veterans the Friday before Veterans Day with many Belpre veterans attending. Those same people commented on the excellent behavior of BHS students at the school assembly held after the breakfast and the huge amount of respect shown the veterans by the students. WTAP did a huge disservice to the Belpre community by airing this article and not getting both sides of the story.
  • by Leif on Nov 25, 2009 at 12:52 PM
    i guess we cant tell from reading this blog who did not serve their country right KEV?
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