Senior Center vote: Flag to remain on display at all times
Appeal Staff Writer
The recent flag flap at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center subsided Wednesday as more than 120 seniors voted unanimously that the flag in the center’s community room be flown full-time, no matter who is using the facility.
Last month the flag was removed from the hall and stored in a closet prior to a teenager’s birthday celebration. Rumors circulated that a Mexican flag was flown by the mostly Hispanic group.
The real reason behind the flag’s removal was to protect it from becoming dirtied or damaged during the party, Senior Center Executive Director Janice McIntosh told the restive senior constituent during a special meeting Wednesday morning.
In the wake of the incident, seniors frequenting the center circulated a petition calling for McIntosh’s removal and staged a protest.
“There has been a lot of false information,” McIntosh said. “The flag was removed because we have events in the room. We have all nationalities using the room and they have all different reasons for using it.
“If you look at the flag code, it’s not to be damaged or soiled – it was stored for its own protection.”
The majority of seniors sent cat calls and boos toward McIntosh who stood before them with a microphone in hand. The seniors did not see logic behind the flag’s removal for cleaning purposes.
“Do we take the flag down on Saturday nights during a seniors event?” queried senior center patron Joanne McCain. “If we have people who kick, soil or damage the flag, we are renting the room to the wrong kind of people.”
McCain’s sentiment was applauded and echoed by several seniors, eventually leading to the vote for the flag to stay flying, regardless of the event or group renting out the room.
“We are the United States of America and no other flag should be flown,” said Judy Dunn, a representative of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter.
McIntosh, in defense of her actions, called into question some of the comments against her – reminding the seniors of her own service background.
“I have a heart and a soul too, and I think sometimes people forget,” she said. “I served my country, I was a Naval officer. My husband served five tours in Vietnam, so to have my patriotism besmirched is unbelievable.”
That the flag will be flown full-time was an equitable solution the seniors said, but does not answer the question of what really did happen during the party in July.
Ann York, a Navy veteran, said she hopes the flag issue is never raised again.
“It was a struggle getting an answer,” she said. “We saw the flag getting removed. It’s the same flag so many gave their lives for. It was a slap in the face when they took it down.”