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Posted: 2/7/2002 3:56:15 AM EDT
I can't believe they won't spend another $1800 to give these guys the correct flag for their uniforms. I'm also appalled that so few are objecting to this.....
[i]from article[/i] LIMA - Correction officers from a local prison are hoping their voices are heard all the way to Columbus, loud enough that Ohio Gov. Bob Taft will help them in a fight over wearing the American flag on their uniforms. Seven correction officers from Lima Correctional Institution, all U.S. military veterans, voiced concerns about a decision by top officials at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to wear the American flag[b] on the right sleeve with the blue field close to the person's back.[/b] The guards said it's [b]against flag etiquette and that the flag always should be worn with its blue field closest to the front of the uniform.[/b] "My opinion is it's time for the governor to step in and say we need to support our veterans," said Michael Betts, a guard at the prison. But that may not happen anytime soon. Taft spokesman Joe Andrews said he wasn't sure the governor was aware of the matter. He said Taft may get involved if it grows into a bigger issue. That's exactly what guards are hoping happens. They want people to call and write Taft's office supporting their cause. They don't believe the leaders of the prison system are going to back down unless Taft issues an order in their favor, they said. As of Wednesday, nine people have called the governor's office voicing concerns over the flag issue, Andrews said. Although they vow to continue to fight, some guards have had to give in to wearing the flag the department's way or risk discipline. They have families to support, but will fight until they can wear the flag they way they say is right. They believe the Lima prison is being singled out and know guards at other prisons who are not forced to wear the department's flags. A state prison system spokeswoman has said all prisons must follow the order. [b]Many guards and their union have offered to pay the expense of new flags, but the state refused the offer and said guards need to pick another issue with some substance.[/b] If the issue is so petty, guards said, why not allow them to wear the American flags they believe are correct. Mike Kaskel said guards do not have a problem wearing the U.S. flag, they just want to wear it right or not wear it at all. On Tuesday, the guards said, prison officials began recording the names of correction officers not following proper dress code. Anyone written up will face discipline. Guards say the first offense can earn a fine of two days pay. Several more violations can lead to termination, they said. Lima Correctional Institution spokeswoman Deb Dunnigan could not be reached Wednesday for comment.
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[url]http://www.limanews.com/display/inn_news/news03.txt [/url]
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