Veterans Ask Massachusetts Town to Not Fly New England Patriots Flag Below U.S. Flag in Town Square

With six Super Bowl wins in just the last two decades, fans of the NFL's New England Patriots have good reason to show their pride in the team. The people of Foxborough, Massachusetts, where the Patriots play their home games, may have an even greater desire to demonstrate their support. But some local veterans recently told town officials they go too far when they raise the Patriots flag alongside the American flag in the town square.

In a letter sent to the local Patch news site in Foxborough, and then read this week during a meeting of the town selectmen, veteran Ronald Rogers expressed his and others' concerns about the NFL team logo being displayed in the town center.

The letter noted that in 1984, Foxborough officially dedicated the Town Common as a memorial park for veterans of the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam and that there are plans to honor "those that sacrificed in Iraq and Afghanistan."

"We can appreciate the value and the relationship between the Town of Foxboro and the New England Patriots' organization. We certainly understand the bond between the town and the Patriots organization. We are very good for each other!" wrote Rogers.

"However, we feel strongly that the town has shown disrespect to the American Flag, our Veterans, first responders and anyone that honors the values that this great country stands for!"

He pointed to the portion of the U.S. Flag Code, which states that "The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever... Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown."

"We want and expect that the flag is respected at all times," he continued, asking that the only flag flown on the town's "memorial flag pole" be the American flag, "in respect for all memorialized below it."

As a way to be more inclusive, the letter suggested the town erect a second flag pole outside of the Foxborough town hall, where the Patriots flag could be flown.

"It would allow us to show our pride for our relationship with our friends at the New England Patriots without disrespecting the American flag on the common," he explained.

Rogers' appearance before town officials can be seen in full in this video, starting at around two minutes in:

The Sun Chronicle reported that in 2017 Foxborough Town Manager Bill Keegan said he had consulted with a veteran about the idea of placing the Patriots flag on the same pole as the U.S. flag and that no objections were raised.

However, Rogers and other veterans in the area say the town and the team have ignored their concerns.

Michael Owens, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and Army, told the Sun Chronicle that Rogers had been disregarded, which is why he helped to compose the letter read at this week's meeting.

"We did this out of respect to those who have served," Owens told the Sun Chronicle. "It's time that the town reconsiders what they're doing with the flags."

Talking to Boston.com this week, Board of Selectmen Chairman Mark Elfman said the town had listened to Rogers and that he would be "very surprised if that flag went back up again on the Common."

Elfman told the site, that Foxborough is "very proud to be the home of the New England Patriots… but the veterans have spoken and we'll figure something out."

According to Boston.com, the Patriots flag was flown in the commons on weekends when the Patriots played home games.

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Veterans Ask Massachusetts Town to Not Fly New England Patriots Flag Below U.S. Flag in Town Square | U.S.