Hamden locals outraged over tattered American flags

(WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Veterans and locals in Hamden are outraged after the town flew dilapidated American flags in advance of Memorial Day.

The town put up the flags on Dixwell Avenue, but within an hour of News 8 calling the mayor’s office, they were taken down.

“You are defacing America with a flag like that,” resident Louis Smith said. “That really is a disgrace. Our armed forces fight for that flag.”

(WTNH / Noelle Gardner)
(WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

“It needs to be handled with a lot more care and respect,” said resident Andrea Cappiello. “People that have fought and died for that flag. I have many relatives in my family, including my father who was in Vietnam, my grandfather in World War II.”

“They don’t know the proper etiquette about displaying flags,” said Pat DeMatteo I think that’s been lost.”

Jason Burke, who is Director of Veteran and Military Affairs at Quinnipiac University, and also a Navy veteran, spoke about flag etiquette.

“It should be let to drape down where it does not touch the ground or any bushes or shrubbery. It should not be used as a table cloth clothing,” he said.

Burke says the American flag should never touch the ground, and if the flag is tattered, it needs to be retired properly.

“If you had to destroy the flag you are supposed to fold it into the proper triangle and burn it, if the flag is clean and not torn you can continue to use it,” he said.

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