But the pettiness didn’t end there. The New Rochelle City Council entered the fray, overruled the city manager, and voted 5-2 to have the flag removed. The council objected to the flag because they said the president of the veterans group is a member of the Tea Party and wants to display the flag to push a political agenda. Despite denial from the group’s president city DPW workers were ordered to confiscate the Gadsden.
The Gadsden flag, sometimes referred to as the Jack, is steeped in U.S. history back to the country’s founding days. It has been used by both the U.S. Marines and Navy since 1775 when Commodore Esek Hopkins used the First Navy Jack as a signal to engage the British in the American Revolution. Since the New Rochelle Armory was at one time a New York Naval Militia Armory and training facility for both the Navy and the Marines the flag has sentimental value and roots in that facility.
You have to wonder when you hear or read of events like these if values like respect, honor, tradition or appreciation of service have any basis in the business of big politics today? Surely these folks have more important issues to address than the fear of being one upped by a kind gesture to the deceased former Prime Minister or overlooking the short lived Tea Party’s perceived association to a symbol long associated with American democracy and independence. I was always taught to speak kindly of the dead and have respect for those who’ve served our country. Childish behavior has no place in American Politics nor in a serious society that seeks to uplift its people and encourage active participation.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.