Tuesday, September 11, 2012

KGO-TV: MUMC Not Lowering
Flag on 9-11 Upsets Castro Gays

It's a small error, but one that I nonetheless must note. The reporter made it clear he wanted to speak to only one of us, Bill Wilson or myself. He wasn't interested in hearing from two flag-lowering advocates, so I deferred to Wilson. I never said I didn't want to speak on camera.

That aside, Mark Matthews did a good job of reporting this story and I am amazed at how not a single MUMC leader was willing to go on camera. Also, the papa bear Bill Eadie is wrong in his wild allegation that if the people are allowed to control their public property that the flag will rise and fall daily like a yo-yo. The only yo-yo with such thinking is Bill Eadie.

Finally, the leaders of MUMC had eleven years notice since the 9-11 attacks, and one year since they lowered it for the tenth anniversay, to prepare for lowering the flag today. Does MUMC need a special request from President Obama delivered on a silver platter in order to fly OUR flag at half mast?

Excerpts from KGO-TV's print version of their video report:

The president requested government agencies to fly the flag at half mast Tuesday in honor of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. But in San Francisco some activists in the Castro District are accusing the local merchants association of being disrespectful because their flag has not been lowered.

The flag in question is not an American flag, it's the big rainbow flag that flies over the corner of Market and Castro streets. Community activist Bill Wilson calls it a disgrace.

"I think it's disrespectful to the request that the president made to honor all 9/11 people who were killed," he said. Wilson and blogger Michael Petrelis are taking on the merchants association that owns and controls the flag. Petrelis didn't want to talk on camera, but he's been going after the merchants of upper Market and Castro over this issue for years.

This time, the merchants association said the request wasn't submitted early enough to be considered.

"It doesn't explain the other problems we've had any time we've asked the flag to be lowered in honor of community members, in honor of international [LGBT solidarity] days," Wilson said.

The president of the merchant's association is the general manager of Cliff's Variety. She did not return ABC7 News' calls for comment. Another board member directed ABC7 News to the flag policy is on the association's website . . .

Last year, on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, the flag was lowered. This year it was not. San Francisco resident George Woyames admitted he hadn't noticed the flag's position.

"I'm glad you called it to my attention to it; I think it would be a good idea to fly it at half staff," he said.

Others were more adamant about not lowering it.

"If we let people control the up and down of that flag, that flag would be up and down every other day for all different purposes; it's a crazy notion that that flag should go down," San Francisco resident Bill Eadie said . . .

The president's request was for federal government offices and agencies to display the stars and stripes at half staff Tuesday . . .

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