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So long American flag. City can't afford you

Not specific to libraries, but...does your school or public library have a flagpole & flag?

From the Sun-Sentinal: Another casualty of the economy. American flags. The city of Clearwater (FL) can no longer afford to fly as many as they once did.

Should it be an expendable item? Should it absolutely stay? Or...


I guess if they had to pick one over the other....

Why not just leave the flag poles empty until they can buy and care for flags again? Unless they're convinced that they will never be able to afford such things ever again...which says more about the city of Clearwater than the flag issue.

Why> In case people walk into them? Do you have to light up every telephone pole as well?

I will ignore the sarcasm in order to answer the question. Yes, if an American flag is flying at night, it needs to be illuminated. It is part of federal law governing the US flag. It is most often called the Flag Code. Google it. Here is the pertinent section:

"Display on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in open; night display: It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. "

Assuming this town was just leaving the flags on the flagpoles 24/7, they would need to have them lit. Or have employees, whom they have less of due to budget cuts, put the flags up and down every single day. Which is more cost effective in the long run? I still don't understand the necessity of taking the poles down. There is nothing mentioned in the flag code about an empty flagpole.

The United States Flag Code establishes advisory rules for display and care of the flag of the United States. It is Section 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code (4 U.S.C. § 1 et seq). This is a U.S. federal law, but there is no penalty for failure to comply with it and it is not widely enforced — indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that punitive enforcement would conflict with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Source: Wikipedia Flag Code entry

It seems that during a time of financial stress, a green flag with a dollar sign ($) on it would be appropriate to fly from a flagpole that can't afford a proper ensign.

With a box for charitable donations fixed on the flag pole as well.

R. Lee Hadden (These are my own opinions!)

maybe you could promote it somehow?