Mayor Dunaway of Marietta sent me an email that explains a lot of what happened. I guess my only question is that if this has been going on for years, why then did the VFW fall under the impression that they would be prohibited this year from doing as they’ve always done.
Here’s the Mayor’s note:
In reply to some incorrect news stories, let me tell you the other side of the story.
For years, the Lions Club and Marietta employees have distributed over 10,000 flags along the route BEFORE the parade. We told the VFW that we would appreciate the help and more flags if they wanted to participate in this before the parade.
We also told the VFW that they could walk along the route, off the street, and pass out their flags.
The rule of no distribution of ANY items from the parade entries is purely for safety reasons. I know for a fact that it has been in effect since 1989. I think this rule has been in effect since 1968. I have been involved in practically every 4th of July Celebration since then. It is a common safety rule in effect in many towns.
The rules are given to each participant at the time they are accepted for the parade. It is not “new” news. To my knowledge this rule has been followed by practically everyone through the years. In the few instances it has not been, the city has just asked them stop the distribution and everyone has voluntarily complied.
As a side note, I am very proud that Marietta is one of the few towns in Georgia that sponsors a Veterans Day Parade and Celebration every November 11th.
Marietta does have one of the largest, if not the largest, Fourth of July Parade and Celebration north of Atlanta in Georgia. I am very proud the city goes to this effort and expense. Many city employees donate their time to ensure that our citizens can celebrate our independence.
In particular, I am upset with the headline that said “Marietta bans flags.” Anyone who has ever been a Marietta 4th of July Parade knows that our flag is visible everywhere. In addition to the 10,000 flags I mentioned, the Marietta Kiwanis places over 1,000 large flags along the streets and square of Marietta for every holiday.
Thanks Mayor Dunaway.