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Posted: 2/10/2006 4:36:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 4:38:34 AM EDT by 95thFoot]
Showing of Danish flag roils town
By Peter Schworm, Globe Staff | February 9, 2006

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/02/09/showing_of_danish_flag_roils_town?mode=PF

As militant Muslims from Indonesia to the West Bank torched and trampled the Danish flag this past week to protest political cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, Stoughton's Town Manager Mark Stankiewicz grew increasingly upset.

So in a small act of solidarity with Denmark and of support for free speech, Stankiewicz bought two Danish flags on Monday and raised one of the red-and-white banners outside the Town Hall that morning, flying it on the pole beneath the US flag.

The symbolic gesture was short-lived, as Stankiewicz lowered the flag the next afternoon after a local veteran complained that it was improper to fly the flags of two countries on one pole. He declined to release the name of the veteran.

But many people in town saw the foreign flag display as insensitive and inflammatory. Several town employees told Stankiewicz they did not agree with his decision and worried the flag could provoke violence against Town Hall in light of the attacks against Danish and other European embassies throughout the Middle East. Stankiewicz described their concerns as an ''overreaction."

The Stoughton No Place for Hate Committee, a local antidiscrimination group, plans to discuss the episode at its meeting tonight because of fears that residents might be hurt or insulted.

''There's always that chance that there will be people who are offended, and we want to guard against that," said Karon Skinner-Catrone, chairperson of the 10-person group, some of whom are town officials.

Catrone declined to give her personal views on the topic before meeting with Stankiewicz, but she said she was ''sure his intentions were good."

''I know Mark would not want to intentionally hurt the town," she said. ''I hope people don't take it the wrong way."

Others said the decision wrongly used a public forum for personal political beliefs. ''It's one thing to display your politics on your front lawn, but he represents the whole town," said a town worker who asked not to be identified because it could compromise her work situation. ''No one wants to make Stoughton look bad, but people are furious about this."

Stankiewicz said he contacted selectmen, who oversee the town manager, before raising the flag. He declined to say whether they approved his decision. Selectmen either declined to comment or could not be contacted.

But Stankiewicz said he stood by his decision, which he described as a show of defiance of an Islamic campaign of censorship and repression. Satirical drawings of Islam's prophet were first published in a Danish newspaper in September.

The cartoons were met with local criticism. But it was not until last month, when Islamic activists from Denmark toured the Persian Gulf and called on Muslims to protest, that the cartoons stirred outrage and violent clashes across the Islamic world in which at least 11 have died.

Stankiewicz said he had closely followed reports of the Islamic protests. But it was a op-ed column written by Jeff Jacoby in Sunday's Boston Globe, headlined ''We Are All Danes Now," ( http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/02/05/we_are_all_danes_now/ ) that persuaded him to show his support publicly.

''This was an extremely limited show of support for a country and its democratic institutions," said Stankiewicz, 48. ''Is religion going to trump free speech? If you don't stand up for certain rights, you risk losing them."

On Monday, Stankiewicz traveled to a flag store in Rockland and bought the only two Danish flags they had. One he flew at Town Hall, the other still hangs in a front window of his home.

Stankiewicz, who has visited Denmark and has friends there, said he worries that Western countries will cave in to terrorist threats unless they stick together.

''I thought people might be upset, but they need to understand what's at stake," he said. ''People are willing to sacrifice civil liberties to feel safe, and that's a slippery slope."

Joe Palmer, a member of the Stoughton VFW post, said he sympathized with Stankiewicz's political statement but said the American flag should fly alone.

''To me, flying them together isn't right," he said.

Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com



Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:51:36 AM EDT
The same thing happened in Tifton, GA after those Mexicans were killed in the home invasions.

That set off criticism from all over the country, including a bunch of calls from members of this board.

Solidarity is one thing, but flying another country's flag on a government building is not cool.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:55:06 AM EDT
But they do have a point. As it is a public facility they cant be used for personal views regardless if its right. They need to remain objective. If you fly a Dane flag at your home that is totally different.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:57:32 AM EDT
As long as the flag is lower than the American flag, I believe it is OK.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:59:32 AM EDT

''There's always that chance that there will be people who are offended, and we want to guard against that,"


I'm offended by her saying that. She should have known there was a chance of that when she said it and insead not said anything.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:02:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
As long as the flag is lower than the American flag, I believe it is OK.



Etiquette requires a group of national flags to be at the same height, roughly the same size, and from separate poles.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:28:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
As long as the flag is lower than the American flag, I believe it is OK.



Etiquette requires a group of national flags to be at the same height, roughly the same size, and from separate poles.




I'm not sure that correct. I believe that if I wanted to fly a Danish flag on my (hypothetical) flagpole, one correct way of doing so is in fact to fly Old Glory on top, with a smaller Danish flag below it, on the same line.

Obviously, two flagpoles would be better, but I still believe the Danish flag would be required to fly lower than the host country (U.S. flag).

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:31:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 95thFoot:
Showing of Danish flag roils town
By Peter Schworm, Globe Staff | February 9, 2006

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/02/09/showing_of_danish_flag_roils_town?mode=PF

As militant Muslims from Indonesia to the West Bank torched and trampled the Danish flag this past week to protest political cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, Stoughton's Town Manager Mark Stankiewicz grew increasingly upset.

So in a small act of solidarity with Denmark and of support for free speech, Stankiewicz bought two Danish flags on Monday and raised one of the red-and-white banners outside the Town Hall that morning, flying it on the pole beneath the US flag.

The symbolic gesture was short-lived, as Stankiewicz lowered the flag the next afternoon after a local veteran complained that it was improper to fly the flags of two countries on one pole. He declined to release the name of the veteran.

But many people in town saw the foreign flag display as insensitive and inflammatory. Several town employees told Stankiewicz they did not agree with his decision and worried the flag could provoke violence against Town Hall in light of the attacks against Danish and other European embassies throughout the Middle East. Stankiewicz described their concerns as an ''overreaction."

The Stoughton No Place for Hate Committee, a local antidiscrimination group, plans to discuss the episode at its meeting tonight because of fears that residents might be hurt or insulted.

''There's always that chance that there will be people who are offended, and we want to guard against that," said Karon Skinner-Catrone, chairperson of the 10-person group, some of whom are town officials.

Catrone declined to give her personal views on the topic before meeting with Stankiewicz, but she said she was ''sure his intentions were good."

''I know Mark would not want to intentionally hurt the town," she said. ''I hope people don't take it the wrong way."

Others said the decision wrongly used a public forum for personal political beliefs. ''It's one thing to display your politics on your front lawn, but he represents the whole town," said a town worker who asked not to be identified because it could compromise her work situation. ''No one wants to make Stoughton look bad, but people are furious about this."

Stankiewicz said he contacted selectmen, who oversee the town manager, before raising the flag. He declined to say whether they approved his decision. Selectmen either declined to comment or could not be contacted.

But Stankiewicz said he stood by his decision, which he described as a show of defiance of an Islamic campaign of censorship and repression. Satirical drawings of Islam's prophet were first published in a Danish newspaper in September.

The cartoons were met with local criticism. But it was not until last month, when Islamic activists from Denmark toured the Persian Gulf and called on Muslims to protest, that the cartoons stirred outrage and violent clashes across the Islamic world in which at least 11 have died.

Stankiewicz said he had closely followed reports of the Islamic protests. But it was a op-ed column written by Jeff Jacoby in Sunday's Boston Globe, headlined ''We Are All Danes Now," ( http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/02/05/we_are_all_danes_now/ ) that persuaded him to show his support publicly.

''This was an extremely limited show of support for a country and its democratic institutions," said Stankiewicz, 48. ''Is religion going to trump free speech? If you don't stand up for certain rights, you risk losing them."

On Monday, Stankiewicz traveled to a flag store in Rockland and bought the only two Danish flags they had. One he flew at Town Hall, the other still hangs in a front window of his home.

Stankiewicz, who has visited Denmark and has friends there, said he worries that Western countries will cave in to terrorist threats unless they stick together.

''I thought people might be upset, but they need to understand what's at stake," he said. ''People are willing to sacrifice civil liberties to feel safe, and that's a slippery slope."

Joe Palmer, a member of the Stoughton VFW post, said he sympathized with Stankiewicz's political statement but said the American flag should fly alone.

''To me, flying them together isn't right," he said.

Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com








That is so wrong on so many levels it makes me want to cry.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:33:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
As long as the flag is lower than the American flag, I believe it is OK.



Etiquette requires a group of national flags to be at the same height, roughly the same size, and from separate poles.




I'm not sure that correct. I believe that if I wanted to fly a Danish flag on my (hypothetical) flagpole, one correct way of doing so is in fact to fly Old Glory on top, with a smaller Danish flag below it, on the same line.

Obviously, two flagpoles would be better, but I still believe the Danish flag would be required to fly lower than the host country (U.S. flag).




+1
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:33:53 AM EDT
On a government building, only OUR state and national flag should be flown. And you should never have two national flags on the same pole. Otherwise, I have no problem with this. The idiots who don't want to "rock the boat" should be horse whipped.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:36:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
As long as the flag is lower than the American flag, I believe it is OK.


Nope. All national flags must be at the same height:


Federal Flag code (Sec 3g):
When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:46:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:01:54 AM EDT


Sure is a nice looking flag. I think someone should start selling Danish flag t-shirts on ebay. Oh... wait... ebay's full of libs... I'm sure they'd ban the sale of it in order to keep from "offending" anyone.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:06:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 8:06:58 AM EDT by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By TheCynic:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
As long as the flag is lower than the American flag, I believe it is OK.


Nope. All national flags must be at the same height:


Federal Flag code (Sec 3g):
When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.





Wow - I didn't know that. Thanks for the clarification, and apologies to Admiral Crunch!

I always thought that the apporpriate was was to fly it on the same pole, but beneath the host flag.


Is there any provision in the Flag rules for flying two flags on the same pole?

In other words - how is a home-owner with one flag-pole able to fly another country's flag?
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:13:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 8:15:20 AM EDT by FLAL1A]

Originally Posted By ARDOC:
But they do have a point. As it is a public facility they cant be used for personal views regardless if its right. They need to remain objective. If you fly a Dane flag at your home that is totally different.



Exactly what about support for the right to speak freely is other than objective? Are you suggesting that there is a legitimate opposition to free speech and therefore legitimate support for the "heckler's (or arsonists's) veto?"
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:24:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Is there any provision in the Flag rules for flying two flags on the same pole?


You can fly flags of lessor entities (states, munis, organizations) below the US Flag, but flags of equivelent entities (National flags) must be on separate polls at the same height.


Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
In other words - how is a home-owner with one flag-pole able to fly another country's flag?


Not within the rules of the US Flag Code. You can always do it, but it does run afoul of the Flag Code. Looks like it might be shovel and concrete time...
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:33:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Wow - I didn't know that. Thanks for the clarification, and apologies to Admiral Crunch!



No problemo.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:35:56 AM EDT
same pole is for US and state flags. Just ask the BATFE.

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:41:27 AM EDT
man our country is full of hypersensitive assholes.

WTF

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:48:10 AM EDT
IBTMSW

Guy had to know where this was going. Is the area predominately Danish-American? Maybe he's gearing up for a run for Mayor or something.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:51:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
On a government building, only OUR state and national flag should be flown. And you should never have two national flags on the same pole. Otherwise, I have no problem with this. The idiots who don't want to "rock the boat" should be horse whipped.


The .mil building I work for is flying the Norwegian, Japanese and Spanish flags as a sign of respect.
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