the Mexican Flag
above “Old Glory”
Oregon Employment Office
Flies Foreign Colors …
OR - Walking into the Oregon State Employment Office at 119
N. Oakdale Ave. in Medford, Oregon can already be a daunting experience
for many who are looking for work or have to file a claim. To many it
can be a stressful occasion. Being met by a Mexican flag hoisted above
the Stars and Stripes on the back wall of this state-run office is for
many, like Earl Howard of Shady Cove, OR, "downright un-American."
in front of the Employment Department Office.
Mr. Howard had been told
by a friend who had been utilizing the services at the office about
the flag's prominence. According to Howard, a licensed electrician,
he couldn't believe that a government agency would do such a thing.
On the grounds that it might be an oversight Mr. Howard headed to the
employment office to see for himself and asked to speak with the manager,
Ms. Work was not there on
that occasion and a woman whom Howard could only recall as "Judy"
came forward to assist him. "I told her it was treason ..."
he said in regard to the flag's presence and placement.
At that time, the representative
informed Mr. Howard that it would be taken care of and the Mexican flag
was removed, but not permanently...
been informed of the Mexican flag's replacement, Howard went back to
the office to check. Seeing that they had in fact put the flag back
up, he immediately called Oregon State Representative Dennis Richardson,
and Representative Greg Walden's offices to inform them of the issue.
According to Howard, one clerk for Walden stated that there is a law
pertaining to the flying of foreign flags in and around federal buildings,
but the staffer wasn't certain about state agencies.
Finding no real assistance,
other than promises that it would be looked into, Mr. Howard then contacted
Paul Walter with NewsWithViews.com and set about to publicize the obvious,
to him, violation of one of our most sacred symbols; "Old Glory."
In turn, NewsWithViews contacted the US~Observer and the investigation
An attempt to reach
Ms. Work in the office by NewsWithViews and US~Observer staff was met
with the same response, "she's not here but a representative will
be with you shortly." And soon thereafter Chris Rahn, an Employment
Division employee, came out asking if he could be of any assistance,
but when asked about the flag, he simply said, "I can't comment
on anything." However when he was asked about the Federal law restricting
such activity and if it were in fact legal he said, "We checked."
But according to Federal
Law it is illegal as outlined in the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter
and manner of display:
(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. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any
other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position
of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the
United States at any place within the United States or any Territory
or possession thereof:
Even in Oregon the claim
can be made that it is in violation of its own revised statutes:
166.075 Abuse of venerated
(1) A person commits the crime of abuse of venerated objects if the
person intentionally abuses a public monument or structure, a place
of worship or the national or state flag.
(2) As used in this section and ORS 166.085, “abuse” means
to deface, damage, defile or otherwise physically mistreat in a manner
likely to outrage public sensibilities.
(3) Abuse of venerated objects is a Class C misdemeanor. [1971 c.743
§224; 1995 c.261 §2]
According to Thomas Fuller,
the Oregon Employment Offices Communications Manager, when asked about
the Mexican flag, "We go by the Department of Administrative Services
... and there is no prohibition against a staff member displaying a
flag in his cubicle."
While the flag is located
above a desk it is in clear view of the public and is placed to the
right of, and higher than, the American flag which is just several feet
away and as Mr. Howard put it, "can easily be interpreted as a
move sanctioned by the state, as it is clearly visible."
Mr. Howard sees
the flying of the Mexican flag in the state office as a symbol of change
in our government, one that favors Mexican nationals.
have to go into a government office once to see that all of the Spanish
language pamphlets are outnumbering English ones," said Lorraine
Tillman a Josephine County, OR resident speaking out on the governments
move toward, what some feel to be, an almost mandatory bilingual community.
When told about the flag
and shown pamphlets from the Employment Office a Grants Pass, Oregon
resident who'd only give his first name as Dave simply said, "Man,
that just makes me feel weird. This is America."
Note: Should “Old Glory” be flown below the Mexican National
flag? Send us your comments!