Fight over flags in Levelland - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/2/09

Fight over flags in Levelland

By Brittany Pieper - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - This weekend we celebrate our country, but some Levelland residents are fighting to keep flying American flags at the city's cemetery. Around the 4th of July flags fly everywhere, but some flags at the City of Levelland Cemetery fly year round. "My flags been hanging there nine years," said Mamie Flatt who visits her husband Slick's grave beneath the flag almost every day. Slick served in the Navy during World War II. "He left us at home so he could go and help keep this country free," she said. 

However, Levelland city officials recently proposed changes to the cemetery's rules and regulations that would force Flatt and others who have loved ones buried at the Levelland Cemetery to take the permanent flags down. "They create some major problems, operational and maintenance. Plus, they allow people to fly flags in violation of the flag code," said Levelland City Manager, Rick Osborn. 

Under the proposed changes, small, stick flags would still be allowed, but any sort of permanent flag would not.  Osborn says people could still fly large flags on specified holidays, as long as they take them down at the end of the day. The Levelland Cemetery would not be the only one to ban permanent flags. "We did a survey of seven cemeteries in the area, three in Lubbock, two in Plainview, Littlefield, Brownfield, and none of those cemeteries allow people to put a permanent flag pole at their grave site," said Osborn. 

Those who already fly the flags think the city should allow them to keep them. "It just does my old heart good to know that I'm trying to honor him for what he's done for our country, and I intend to keep it up," said Flatt. 

The Levelland City Council will decide whether or not people can continue to fly the flags, but the council has not scheduled that vote yet.

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