To the Editor:
As a proud resident of Bayonne and of the United States of America, I recently passed both City Hall and the Bayonne Senior Center on Avenue B, and I believe we are not following the U.S. code for flying our flags in front of these facilities.
According to the U.S. Code for the Presentation of the American Flag, we have a problem. I called the mayor’s office to be transferred to the public works department, which in turn transferred me back to the mayor’s office. I want to simply point out where a mistake is being made.
I noticed that the municipal flag was flown at equal height to the American flag. Growing up in the Boy Scouts, I am well aware that other flags of sovereign nations are flown at equal height to show respect. The state flag and the camp flag flew at a lower height.
Part of the code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Article 175(c, e, f), dictates that the United States flag should always be at the peak when the flags of states, cities, localities, or pennants of other societies are flown on the same halyard as the U.S. flag. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first and lowered last. No flag or pennant may be placed above the U.S. flag or to the right of the U.S. flag. The American flag should be at the center and highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from the staffs. No flag or pennant should be placed above or to the right of the U.S. flag except during church services for Navy personnel.
No person shall display the United Nations’ flag or any other national or international flag at equal, above, or superior prominence or honor to or in place of the U.S. flag at any place in the U.S., its territories, and its possessions. There are exceptions to this rule, such as at the United Nations headquarters, the U.S. flag is flown in a position of equal prominence and honor.
The second thing I noticed and also made clear is that no flag should be flown to the right of the American flag. Though I know that the City Hall situation, as one flag hails from the fire department, the municipal flag is flanked on both sides by an American flag. This problem also appears at the Senior Center, where the American flag is flanked by that of the state and municipal flags.
In short, I know the American flag requires many measures to ensure the flag is flown with pride but I know that we can do better. I also want to take the time to thank all the folks that make Bayonne a great place to live, grow and strive. God bless America.