Debate Continues Over Local Flag Controversy

Jamie Littlefield

The treatment of the flag has been controversial throughout American history; now the debate continues here in our local community.

Months after Paul Carney’s controversial letter against lowering the flag for the Armenian Genocide [reported here on March 16], the Glendale News-Press continues to print strongly worded letters from the community.

“There is no excuse good enough to lower the flag except to lower it for our boys and girls who saw action away from home and never returned to their birth soil to enjoy the freedom they fought and died for,” wrote one reader recently.

Now, the controversy can even be seen in the upcoming city election. Candidate Allen Brandstater, during a recent League of Women Voters City Council Candidate Forum, said that he was also against flying the city hall flag at half-staff to commemorate events not directly involving the United States.

“The American flag is the national emblem,” he said. “Glendale should not be a city that has it’s own foreign policy.” He went on to say that he believed it would be better to raise private funds with which to build a monument in commemoration of these types of events.

Another controversy involving the flag occured when residents complained that Kelly Khoury had hung too many flags at his gas station on Pacific Avenue. Khoury’s station has been well-known for its flag display, sometimes flying as many as 20. Some were angered and claimed that he was using the flags as an advertisement to attract customers to his business.

The Planning Commission met on March 12 to discuss the matter, but ultimately decided that Khoury should be not be given a limit as to how many flags he is permitted to display.

According to the Glendale News-Press, Khoury said that the flags were something he cherished. “I just want to have my rights and fly my flags,” he told the commission.

Whether flying at half-staff at city hall or on display at a Glendale gas station, the display of the American flag continues to engender controversy.