Date: June 5, 2007
Byline: Associated Press
School board votes to keep flag at half-staff until Iraq war ends
NORTHWOOD, N.H. — The school board voted two weeks ago to lower American flags to half-staff until the Iraq war is over. But not everyone agrees with that.
"It just brought to my mind that maybe we've got to put out some sort of a symbol that gives support to those people that are risking their lives with regard to the support of our freedom in our country," Jim Ryan, chairman of the Northwood School Board, told WMUR-TV.
"I don't think it's a political issue when you're supporting people that are putting their lives in jeopardy to protect your freedoms," Ryan said. "There's nothing political about that; all there is is life and death."
The board got support for its action. But not everyone was happy with the change.
Maryann Hanrahan, the daughter of a World War II veteran, said it was inappropriate and dishonest. "It's against the regulation," she said.
According to the federal flag code, only the president of the United States or a governor may order the American flag to be flown at half-staff to honor the death of a national or state figure.
"This is a subject in which it is unusual for a school board to be concerned about," district superintendent Judy McGann said. "It's not necessarily part of the goal-setting process."
McGann told the board this week that its resolution does not comply with the flag code; the board said it would comply with the regulation.
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