UPDATE, March 20, 1:43 p.m.: A light was installed to illuminate the flag at night, which now means the flag does not need to be taken down at night and adheres to US Flag Code.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, above The Pavilion...
The saga of , its American flag and how they have on the strip of Prospect Park West which was , continues.
Last week, the movie theatre hoisted a new, smaller flag above its marquee, 12 days after was wrapped around its pole and lying on the roof, causing criticism from a retired neighborhood firefighter, a dead Marine’s father and other community members.
Although the smaller flag is actually waving in the wind, as a flag should, The Pavilion is still not adhering to US Flag Code.
Their Stars and Stripes flies 24 hours a day, which is a violation of the etiquette. Etiquette states that the flag needs to be taken down at night or be properly illuminated, and it is not.
Jim Rallis, a retired captain of the FDNY’s Ladder Company 122 who first told Patch about how the movie theatre was mistreating our country’s banner earlier this month, was walking past the movie theatre last Thursday when its employees were hoisting the new flag up on its pole.
“I asked if they had put in a light to illuminate the flag at night as required, they said, ‘Do we have to?’” Rallis wrote in an E-mail to Patch. "You cannot make this stuff up, such a lack of respect for our country and our flag."
Craig Hammerman, the district manager of Community Board 6, agrees with Rallis that the movie theatre needs to follow the rules and regulations.
“If people want to fly the American flag they need to understand that there are responsibilities and protocols that go along with it,” Hammerman said.
As the flag was flying in the rain on Friday, another violation of US Flag Code, Lauren Likely, a Ditmas Park resident, said that if the management is not interested in keeping up with the regulations, then they should move it.
The main issue here is proximity—the flag is on a one-block strip of Prospect Park West, between 14th and 15th streets, that was renamed after , who lived on that street and died in Afghanistan while serving in the Marine Corps.
“I think if these people are disrespecting the flag it should be removed or moved to another location,” Likely said, suggesting that The Pavilion should move the flag off Julian Brennan Way if they do not want to take it down at night and during inclement weather.
Another man, who did not want to give his name, said that the theatre may not necessarily be disrespecting the flag, but is rather being “negligent.”
However, he said he does believe that The Pavilion should follow US Flag Code.
“It’s not their flag, it belongs to America,” he said.
The Pavilion’s manager told Patch on Friday that the owner was not available to comment, but that he would be in on Monday. When Patch went to the movie theatre on Monday, they were told that the owner was not there.
The movie theatre’s manager said that she was not allowed to comment about the flag.
However, another employee did say that the owner had the bigger flag taken down because, “it was too big and was getting tangled around the pole.”
The Brooklyn Borough President’s Office was upset to hear that the new flag is not being treated with the proper respect.
“We are obviously disappointed that the treatment of the flag at this location continues to be an issue, and we urge the theater owners to do the right thing and comply with all regulations regarding its proper display,” a spokesman for Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn Borough President, said.
But can every flag be policed for not following the proper rules and regulations?
Hammerman told Patch that flag disrespect may be an issue of not knowing the rules.
“There's plenty of examples of flag neglect, even abuse, which is most unfortunate. It would be nice if every flag sold came with instructions for how to treat it,” Hammerman said. “At least then we would do a better job of educating the public."
Even then, Hammerman said, it's a free country.
"But in the end, people will continue to cherish our flag and people will still scorn it," he said. "And the brilliance of our Framers ensures that both groups are protected. That's what makes America great.”