Tuesday, May 14, 2002
Flag Flyers Busted in New York
Courtesy of NewsMax.Com, America's News Page
Police in the tony village of Garden City
on New York's Long Island are giving out tickets to residents who fly the
American flag in violation of a zoning technicality - prompting outrage
from local homeowners.
"I can't believe I must appear in court
for flying the American flag," Garden City resident Clare Basel told Newsday.
Basel is one of a dozen flag-flying residents who have been busted so far.
"I'm very proud to be displaying 'Old Glory,'"
she added. "Isn't it about time that Garden City either changes this code
or grandfather in all of those who have been displaying the flag despite
At issue is a 1932 ordinance that specifies
flagpoles must be no taller than their distance from the curb. In Basel's
case, her 20-foot flagpole is a mere 18 inches too high.
Kevin Shine, another Old Glory-flying lawbreaker,
told nationally syndicated radio host Sean Hannity that Garden City has
no prior history of enforcing the flagpole technicality, and that there
are flags on public property that also exceed the height regulation. But
they haven't been cited.
"There's a number of flagpoles - including
those at the fire department and post office - which are in violation of
the law," Shine explained. "My father is an Iwo Jima veteran. I grew up
with a flagpole in my front yard."
Village Administrator Robert Schoelle told
Newsday that the Stars and Stripes crackdown began within the past month.
"It started with some complaints to one
of the village's [four] property associations about front yard violations
... not just flagpoles," he said. "Then the board of trustees asked for
stepped-up enforcement from the building department."
Schoelle said he did not know how many
summonses had been given out for flagpole violations, "but I don't think
it was many."
But Shine questioned his explanation, telling
Hannity that when he challenged Garden City officials to document complaints
against the flag flyers, they couldn't produce a single objection.