‘Star-Mangled Banner’

It’s supposed to be Old Glory — a symbol of American pride and patriotism. So why has the New York Post dubbed one American flag flying over a Harlem, NY public school the “star-mangled banner?” Take a look:

Retired Police Officer Reportedly Told to Remove Flag Honoring Victims of 9/11

A retired New York City police officer living in Florida has been ordered to take down his flag commemorating September 11 by his homeowners’ association, WPLG reports.

Richard Wentz, who helped victims out of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, has been told he has just days to take down his flag or face possible legal action.

“That flag means the world to me. Other than my children, that flag means the world to me,” said Wentz.

A letter from the Fairways at Heron Bay association said the flag detracts from the aesthetic harmony of the surrounding properties. Wentz said he was confronted by Patricia Favata, president of the property’s board of directors, according to the station.

No one was at Favata’s home when WPLG Local 10 tried to talk to her.

Wentz said he ran into Tower 1 and started pulling out people before the building collapsed. He said he lost 43 friends and colleagues that day.

Read more here.

U.S. Veteran Faces Legal Action for Flying American Flag

A retired U.S. Army chaplain is being threatened with legal action for flying the American flag in his front yard, the Daily Mail reports.

Fred Quigley, 77, of Macedonia, Ohio, a minister who served active duty during the Vietnam War, has been told by the homeowners’ association that his flag violates the property rules.

The association has offered to fly the flag at the entrance of the building development, but Quigley refused the offer.

“If they can dictate to me that I cannot fly an American flag in America, then, to me, the country is lost,” Mr. Quigley told the paper.

Quigley’s lawyer Gerald Patronite said the association has no right to stop his client.

According to the Mail, Joseph Migliorini, the representative for the homeowners’ association and former mayor of Macedonia, which is between Cleveland and Akron, said he plans to take Quigley to court if the flagpole is not removed.

Migliorini said: “We just want the rules and regulations followed. “

Members of the local American Legion post joined Quigley last week in a flag-raising ceremony in protest at the association’s policy.

Read more here.

Controversy over child’s flag drawing

A civil rights controversy is brewing at an elementary school in the Town of Orange, and it all surrounds an11 year-old’s drawing of the American Flag.

The family of Frankie Girard is claiming that their son’s civil rights were violated after a teacher allegedly told him that hanging his picture of the American flag would offend another student.

The Butterfield Elementary School is at the center of controversy for the incident on Monday. According to Frankie Girard’s father, John, the boy was in art class drawing a picture.

“He was denied hanging the flag up. And, he asked if he could just even hang it on his desk, and he was told no. He could take the picture that he drew and take it home and be proud of it there,” Girard said.

So, that is where it is, among the hundreds of other family pictures and military honors that adorn the walls of the Girard family home.

According to his father, the teacher told Frankie that his drawing of the American Flag would offend one of his classmates. “We’re allowing him to display his civil rights and be proud of who he is, but we’re denying Franklin those same rights,” Girard said.

‘Read more here.

Idaho Couple Battles HOA for Right to Fly American Flag

Steve and Robin’s last name may be Perfect, but their situation is anything but.

After seeing their son Sgt. Edward Nadler off to war this fall, the Hailey, Idaho couple bought an American flag to fly in support of “Eddie.” But when they got home to Copper Ranch Condominiums and placed the flag on a post they thought was their property, neighbors and condominium management told the Perfects they had remove their flag. The demands have sparked a debate over rules that directly or indirectly prevent tenants from flying flags, and now the Perfects are having to defend their right to fly an American flag on American soil.

“We’ve been harassed and hassled for the past two months, and we’re all stressed,” Robin, 50, said. “It’s bad enough that my only son is going to Iraq — now I have to worry about this.”

After resisting for those last two months, Robin says the couple is “tired.” Unlike their son, their tolerance for battle isn’t so high. But a battle is exactly what they’re in, as now the homeowners association has weighed in and says the couple is in violation of its policies.

“It’s about items in the common area,” Property manager Brian Emerick told the Idaho mountain Express. “And, tenants are not allowed to place items in the common area … [including] any number of things, bird houses, wind chimes, anything.”

Read more here.

School Makes Boy Take American Flag Off Bike

13-year-old Cody Alicea rides with an American flag on the back of his bike. He says he does this to be patriotic and to honor veterans, like his own grandfather, Robert. He’s had the flag on his bike for two months but Monday, was asked told to take it down.

A school official at Denair Middle School told Cody some students had been complaining about the flag and it was no longer allowed on school property.

“In this country we’re supposed to be free,” said Cody. “And I should be able to wave my flag wherever I want to. And they’re telling me I can’t.”

Cody’s grandfather says the school was concerned about racial tensions or uprisings because of the flag. He feels if there was really a problem it should have been brought up two months ago, not during Veterans week.

“No action should be taken. We don’t want any repercussion,” said Roger. “We just want Cody to be proud of what he’s doing.”

Students Sue Over Removal of American Flag T-shirts

Three California high school students are fighting for their right to show their American patriotism — even on a Mexican holiday — after they were forced to remove their American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.

The three were among a group of teenage boys who were told by a school administrator that they had to remove their patriotic clothing or leave the school because other students were celebrating the May 5 Mexican holiday, raising fears of fighting.

The school district later reversed the administrator’s decision, but on Wednesday, the three students and their parents filed a lawsuit against the Morgan Hill Unified School District and the principal and assistant principal.

The students’ attorney, William J. Becker Jr., said state law explicitly grants students the right to exercise freedom of speech by wearing “buttons, badges, and other insignia” and prohibits public schools from interfering with their speech rights unless a “clear and present danger” exists, such as the commission of unlawful acts on school premises, the violation of school rules or substantial disruption of the school’s orderly operation
.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has held for decades that students do not shed their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gates,” said Becker. “Students who wish to show their pride for another nation’s heritage should not have their speech protected more than those who celebrate America’s.”

Superintendent Wesley Smith would not comment on the lawsuit, saying the district has not received official notification.

In May, Smith called the incident “extremely unfortunate” and said the school administrator had apologized.

“The Morgan Hill Unified School District does not prohibit nor do we discourage wearing patriotic clothing,” Smith said in a statement issued in response to the uproar and national media attention that followed. “While campus safety is our primary concern and administrators made decisions yesterday in an attempt to ensure campus safety, students should not, and will not, be disciplined for wearing patriotic clothing.”

The teens were sitting at a table outside Live Oak High School when the assistant principal asked two of them to remove their American flag bandannas. The boys complied, but then were escorted the principal’s office, where they were told they must turn their T-shirts inside-out or be sent home. The assistant principal told the students he did not want any fights to break out between Mexican-American students celebrating their heritage and those wearing American flags.

Unforgivable

Christian Ashby, of Portland, Ore., holds an American flag that was vandalized outside of his home sometime late Saturday or early Sunday.

By Joshua Rhett Miller

From Oregon to Minnesota to Ohio, vandals trampled on Old Glory over the Memorial Day weekend. In one Ohio town alone, approximately 25 American flags were found set ablaze on Monday.

At least one national veterans group called for those responsible for the “shocking and reprehensible” acts of vandalism to be quickly arrested and prosecuted.

Police in Wooster, Ohio, were going door-to-door early Tuesday in search of the people who torched roughly 25 flags and flagpoles along Saunders Drive and Morgan Street, Capt. John Quicci said.

“They were set on fire,” Quicci told FoxNews.com, adding that an investigation is ongoing.

No suspects or motives had been identified, according to Quicci, who was unable to estimate damages to the 3-by-5-foot flags and the 10-foot metal poles placed outside of residents’ homes by the annual Wooster Rotary Parade of Flags project.

The people who torched the flags face charges of criminal damaging and arson, Quicci said.

“We’re treating this very seriously,” he said.

In Minneapolis, a fire was set late last week to an American flag hanging outside a Marine veteran’s home. The residence was spared and no injuries were reported, but the flag was destroyed.

Elizabeth Hawley said she found the ashes Thursday morning and called the act “very disturbing.” She said her husband is keeping his feelings reserved, but she knows he’s upset.

Hawley told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that she thinks the flag-burning was a random act of vandalism.

In Portland, Ore., Christian Ashby and his wife awoke Sunday to find their American flag torn down, covered in obscenities and burned outside their home, KPTV.com reported. Flying the flag has special meaning to his family, Ashby said.

“Well, we have some close relatives, especially my wife, who had a cousin who suffered from [post-traumatic stress disorder] and took his own life,” Ashby told the website. “So, we have some very dedicated family to veterans of the United States services. So, it means a lot to us to fly the flag.”

Ashby said a local man who served two tours in Vietnam loaned him another flag after posting news of the vandalism online.

Ryan Gallucci, a spokesman for AMVETS, a national organization representing 200,000 veterans, said he found the acts of vandalism “shocking and reprehensible,” particularly on Memorial Day weekend.

“We absolutely condemn it,” Gallucci told FoxNews.com. “Memorial Day is one of our country’s most significant holidays and a chance to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. For someone to desecrate the American flag on Memorial Day, it’s unconscionable, it’s unforgivable.”

Gallucci called for quick closure to the ongoing investigations in at least three states.

“The people who are responsible for this need to be apprehended and held accountable for their actions,” he said. “We shouldn’t tolerate it, regardless of what the excuse is. We need to get to the bottom of it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.