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Source: CNHI News Service
Date: June 18, 2010
Byline: David Joyner

Charity event makes a flag faux pas

Photo by The Salem News
Organizers of a charity walk and run asked to remove their sponsors' banners from flagpoles in a Salem, Mass., plaza once they realized the display violates the U.S. Flag Code.

SALEM, Mass. — A gesture to recognize sponsors of a charity event created a minor flap in this historic port.

In past years, a local hospital flew banners on flagpoles in a downtown plaza to thank sponsors of its annual cancer walk. This year North Shore Medical Center took a different approach and printed sponsors' names on shirts to be given to participants in its first-ever cancer run.

The city apparently never got word of the marketing change and hoisted the banners in advance of the charity events, both of which are this weekend. For two weeks the banners emblazoned with the companies' names have flapped in the breeze under a dozen American flags.

The display violates the U.S. Flag Code, as noted by a passerby who contacted the local newspaper. The code prohibits use of the flag for advertising. It states: "Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown."

The hospital checked it out and agreed. Officials called the city and asked for the banners to be removed.

"We didn't realize it was a violation," said a North Shore Medical Center spokesman.

Of all times for this to happen, Monday was Flag Day.

Details for this story were provided by The Salem, Mass., News.

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