Local News

Flag Flap Hits Durham

Posted May 24, 1998

— City leaders may soon fly something up the flagpole that will end a local flag flap.

The flagpole sits idle at Bob Evans Restaurant, even though the restaurant general manager was ready to fly his controversial flag in patriotic defiance.

The problem is, regulations limit flags -- even the American flag -- to 60 square feet. The one that had waved from the top of the restaurant's flagpole is 600 square feet. A $225 fine has already been paid.

Still, it's tough for a true patriot to have no flag flying on Memorial Day.

"I've always thought this was a pretty good country. The flag is one of the symbols of this country along with the eagle," said General Manager Jay Wiseman. "I've never had the opportunity to see the American eagle fly, but I have the flag so -- Also I have a son who's in the service. He's especially fond of the flag as well."

Most customers liked the big flag, and think the Durham policy makers are making a big mistake.

Millie Myers said, "I think there's a lot more important things for the city to be concerned about than the size of a flag."

Asked what she would like to see them do, Myers said she'd like to see them put the flag back up.

Still, the big flag backers got around the flag ordinance, and found a way to display the 600 square feet of Old Glory.

Chatham County's Northwood High School will use the huge flag that's illegal in nearby Durham as the centerpiece of its Memorial Day program. A bonus for the students, and a gesture by a flag backer who wants people to focus on the true meaning of the day.

"It's a day that we need to remember these people who served us and the reasons behind flying the flag, not the partying, the boating or the fishing or whatever people are doing but, stop and remember why," Wiseman said.

Local officials may discuss new flag regulations at a meeting Tuesday night.


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