Friday, April 27

Talk of the town

Madison is such a pleasant little Midwestern city. It is so pleasant, in fact, that the biggest issue facing the City Council is whether or not to fly the Tibetan flag over the city building for three days when the Dalai Lama visits next week. They unanimously said yes.

I'm sure they have the best of intentions, yet it's rather silly. First of all, this is the United States, the Stars and Stripes is always the flag flown highest on the pole, bar none. By default we can invoke the separation of church and state. The local government is going to do something in celebration of a religious leader. This could also be an attempt to take a stab in favor of freeing Tibet, but as much as I don't agree with the Chinese government, this is a pretty irrelevant protest.

They're debating this on the forums. One poster even posted a purported email to the mayor from the Chinese consulate in Chicago.

Doing this sets a bad precedent. Besides the fact that he's a religious leader, he's kind of, but not quite, a foreign leader, too. So every time an important foreigner visits, the city is going to fly his flag? What determines importance? And the article says that it was a request from someone, so can I make a request to fly a different flag over the building, too?

Perhaps this is really just a big diversion by the mayor as he sneaks his trolley set in. Regardless, I can't wait until the Pope or a leader of Israel or China stops by.


Uncle Sam said...

I'm no vexillologist, but can't a church flag be hung above Old Glory?

Mike said...

I'm not either, but I believe that the U.S. flag always takes the higher/highest position of honor when put with other flags. Check out point 12 on this site .

Uncle Sam said...

Hmm, I believe secion 175 part c of the U.S. flag code would say otherwise!

Mike said...

Section 175 part C of the US Flag Code
(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy.