Letter: Protect the sanctity of our flag and report violations
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.
To the editor:
"Alexandria City Code, Chapter 9, Public Protection, Crimes and Offenses" states:
"Section 9.53 Flags. Subd. 1. Definition. The term 'flag' shall mean anything which is or purports to be the Stars and Stripes, the United States Flag or Shield, The Minnesota State Flag...or a copy, picture, or a representation of any of them.
Subd. 2. Acts Prohibited. It is unlawful for any person to:
A. Intentionally and publicly mutilate, defile, or cast contempt upon the Flag; or,
B. Place on or attach to the Flag any work, mark, design, or advertisement not properly a part of such Flag or expose to public view the Flag so altered; or,
C. Manufacture or expose to public view an article of merchandise...upon which the Flag is depicted; or,
D. Use the Flag for commercial advertising purposes."
Our City Fathers of yesteryear had the foresight and wisdom to anticipate our modern era's disrespectful and divisive misuse, abuse, re-appropriation and redesign of our nation's sacred symbol. They wisely codified the illegality of such shameful acts into our ordinances.
Many groups and entrepreneurs in today's age are improperly using such altered images of our flag to promote their positions and products. Read the ordinance closely. Many of us are in violation. Public display of altered designs or even images of altered flags on clothing, cars, buildings or signs is illegal.
Our local forefathers saw fit to protect our eyes from such bastardizations and abominations, and wisely prohibited them from ANY PUBLIC VIEW.
Join the growing chorus of patriotic and law-abiding local citizens who are re-embracing and breathing new life into these important prohibitions. TAKE ACTION to protect the sanctity of our flag, and report violations to the City of Alexandria (763-6678) or the Alexandria Police Department (762-8151).