BY DANNY RESTIVO
Joe Kerola was disgusted when he recently saw images of protesters burning American flags overseas.
“It was a terrible thing. and I was sickened,” he said.
A local organization is providing an option for Kerola and others who want to show patriotic solidarity in face of the anti-American violence overseas.
The Hubbard Rotary Club, which offers flags to anyone interested in flying them on four flag holidays a year, is asking residents to keep their flags flying through Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Syl Frazzini, a rotary club member, said the club usually displays flags outside homes for Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Labor Day and Patriot Day, but they usually take down the flags shortly thereafter. With the recent turmoil in the Middle East, which has produced images of burning flags, Frazzini and other rotary members wanted to convey a certain message.
“It’s in defiance of those who are against us,” he said.
Dr. Suzanne Wilcox said she has four American flags from the Rotary Club flying outside her Orchard Avenue home. For her, the flags represent her support for friends and family that are serving in the military.
“We need to show our support for this country, and in these times we need to show solidarity,” she said.
Rotary Club member Ron Killian said he has received several positive emails and comments about the initiative. He said Rotary Clubs in Struthers and Canfield have similar programs that promote flags in the community. He said the club can place an aluminum pole and a flag outside a home for $25, with the proceeds going to a variety of charities.
“A lot of people don’t realize how simple the process is,” he said
With the a presidential election nearing, he believes some people or politicians might try to politicize the flag to gain support.
“You can’t wrap your self in the flag and expect to get votes,” he said. “ I fly this flag because I can, and if you can’t, the idea is lost.”
Kerola said he’s always had a flag flying outside his home, and his 3-foot by 5-foot flag from the Hubbard Rotary flies on a 10-foot aluminum pole between the curb and sidewalk. He said the club came out and installed the flag for him, and the sight continues to remind him about his duties as an American.
“We all should be proud of our country and what people are doing,” he said. “We need to make the U.S. No. 1 and be proud of being American.”
For information about flags from the Hubbard Rotary Club, call 330-534-0890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.