At the end of a regular meeting July 23, Monticello City Council member Glen Posusta said he had missed seeing something in town.
H e said it seemed strange not to see Old Glory, or the United States flag, hanging and flying from city light poles on Highway 25 for Memorial Day and Independence Day.
He noted there are city banners attached to some poles, and that he was uncertain on etiquette, whether flags would need to go higher than the banners – that is, if the banners qualify as flags.
Mayor Clint Herbst agreed at the meeting that displaying the Stars and Stripes would be good for the city and downtown arterial road. “I don’t know why we wouldn’t be flying (them through) the summer,” he said.
“I think we all pretty much agree (on the council),” the mayor added about the flags after the meeting. “It’s not to set Monticello apart, but to show our pride.”
The council directed staff to research prices and which poles may be equipped to hold flags.
Public Works Director Bob Paschke told the Times that research is continuing on matters such as which poles would need band clamps and flag holders. He referenced the United States Flag Code on flying the flag outdoors – “We will be following the rules on that,” he said – and noted there is a page for the code on Wikipedia.
Instructions on that website say that when a flag is displayed over a street, it should hang vertically with the stars facing north or east – stars should face east on north-south streets, and north on east-west streets. Further, the code dictates that when a flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the stars should face away from any buildings.
The code states that when the flags are planned to hang continuously, only special, all-weather flags should be used. As for whether banners should be considered flags, a segment of the code that is accessible through the federal senate.gov website says, “When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. … No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag’s right.”
By Paul Rignell