City resolves dispute over flag display - FOX 13 News

City resolves dispute over flag display

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SEMINOLE (FOX 13) -

A dispute in the city of Seminole over displaying the American flag appears to be resolved.

It was never about the flag, but the rules surrounding how to properly display it.

But the misunderstanding got nationwide attention, and generated a lot of angry phone calls and e-mails.

"The City of Seminole has never been opposed to flying the U.S. flag on our vehicles as long as long as it met code," explained Fire Chief George Bessler. 

Sunday, a small group of protesters marched in front of a Seminole fire station to object to the removal of an American flag from a fire truck.  The city responded to a complaint the flag was not being flown properly. 

"My goal today is they say '...yes the flags are going back on the trucks. We have a solution,'" Dave Dabney explained. 

Dabney helped organize Sunday's demonstration.  It turns out the city was correct.  There are federal rules governing how the American flag is to be flown.

"Most people just want to be patriotic, they want to do the right thing," explained John Kennedy, owner of Florida Flag and Pennant in Temple Terrace. 

One rule requires "The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously."  A rule even spells out how the flag must be displayed on a car or truck. 

"There is a real small  rule way down in the flag code that says it's supposed to be attached to the right front fender," Kennedy explained. 

The fire department's maintenance division will fashion a special bracket  to mount the flag so it complies with federal code.   The chief said the flags will be flying off their trucks again by the end of the week. 

Bessler spent much of Monday responding to phone calls and email.  Bessler said most people "...understand what the actual issue was, that we're not opposed to flying the flag but it really had to do with making sure that we were respectful."

LINK: Read the flag code here:
http://www.usflag.org/uscode36.html#USFC

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