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Viewer Expresses Concern Over Torn Flags on Drake Ave.

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Torn flags have some Huntsville residents concerned. Faith Wimberly posted on our Facebook page about the flags in the median on Drake Avenue.

She posted some were ripped, torn and needed to come down. WHNT News 19 took action to find who's responsible and get the flags replaced.

Wimberly, our Facebook friend, was concerned with how the flags looked. Jerry Phelps is American Legion Post 237’s Third Vice Commander.  Members of the post take care of Flag Row on Drake Avenue.

Phelps is not surprised Wimberly is concerned about the flags.

“Over the years, some of the flag poles have become destroyed by car accidents. We've also had to take out four poles for Fire Station Six the city is building,” said Phelps.

WHNT News 19 took Wimberly's concern to Phelps and asked why the flags are in poor condition.

“Over the years, everything has become worn and tattered,” added Phelps.

But, the issue is deeper.

“The financial aspect of having to replace 50 flags, or 32, at $200 a piece come to about $15,000,” added Phelps.

Phelps revealed his members are older, and the attendance roster is shorter.  It's the reason Post 237 works with high schools to handle the flags' upkeep.

Phelps admits that's also part of the problem.

“We had donated some money to some local ROTC. They were going to come out to help us change them out, but that never came into fruition,” added Phelps.

One of Post 237's members saw WHNT News 19’s interview with Phelps and offered to replace one flag.

The member hopes the new flag will put Wimberly's mind at ease.

Phelps told WHNT News 19 his members voted at their last meeting to soon remove all the flags. The members felt the flags' maintenance was too expensive and an unnecessary burden.


  • Harry Martin

    $ 200.00 each ? That price can be beaten,especially for orders of more than one or two, at a time.

    • Michaelangelo

      Maybe they should find a young person capable of looking online to find US-made flags for less than $50 a piece…

  • Stop Crying

    Maybe they need to stop worrying about getting drunk, stupid and gambling at the post and worry about taking care of business. There have been fights and drug use at Post 237. Of course none of that will come out.

  • Neil Doughty

    with displaying an American Flag comes a responsibility as a citizen: upkeep. it is a crime to display a defaced, worn, or damaged flag. it is a crime to display the American Flag at night. it is a crime to display the American Flag in the rain. i wont make a judgement about displaying the American Flag at night if it is lighted or not, other than to say that i disagree with the idea. by the way… just because it LOOKS like an American Flag doesnt mean it IS an American Flag…

    • Ralph Connor Jr

      Your “flag” is only flying at half staff … The only “crime” under Chapter 10 in Title 36 is desecration where the treatment of the flag is not associated with proper disposal. The rest is a violation of the code but not a crime, to include the manner of display. Read the code, there’s a difference between “should” and “will” and the rest of your rhetoric is exactly why people get it wrong in the first place… But I agree with your sentiment that too many people are complacent these days in the way they treat and respect our Nation’s Flag.

      Yes, the code states the flag should not be displayed when it is no longer fit for display. I feel sorry for the American Legion Post as their’s is a problem in any places. Posts and Chapters of Veterans organizations dry up when eligible people won’t join. Others thrive where they are located among the most recent veterans to be eligible. The JROTC unit that volunteered should have stepped up to the plate. There are several other veterans organizations that could be approached for funding and the JROTC programs in Madison and Huntsville could remove and replace the flags disposing of those too worn to use.

  • Marjorie Giambra

    I agree with Renae Ranae Larsen Emmett. I have been a member there for 31 years and those flag poles and flags were purchased by members for $250.00 each in the name of veterans either still alive or deceased with the understanding that they would be kept in good order order and replaced when necessary. The city of Huntsville should replace the ones they took down or reimburse the post for the poles. A few have been destroyed by people having run over with and destroying them and having no car insurance with the last one being a Mexican. Flags are not that expensive but the flag poles are. Citizens of Huntsville and especially veterans need to step up and volunteer helping with this. I helped raise money for one in the name of a great veteran, Bill Waller and am furious that his flag might come down because people don’t care anymore. What is wrong with this country?

  • Zina Morgan

    The Vet’s have Already “PAID THE PRICE” The People that are “FREE” should Pay for the Flags! War is Hell…Our Men/Women have Died & are All Torn Up, Inside & Out!!
    “Wake up! They HAVE PAID THE PRICE!!” and Some are Just beginning to understand War & The Price. Just Think about it, A Flag’s cost for a Arm & Leg,Children that only see the grass over there Father/Mothers Grave.
    The People that are “FREE” should Pay fore the Flag!

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