According to the Marietta Daily Journal, the Mayor and bureaucrats in Marietta, when they tell us they’ve backed down, are just spinning us. Here are the relevant parts of the editorial:
In past years, the start of the parade has been heralded by members of Marietta’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2681, who walk along the parade route a few minutes ahead of the rest of the marchers while passing out thousands of miniature U.S. flags to children – young and old – along the way.
Other members of the group pass the flags out while walking next to the group’s float.
But that may not be the case this year, sad to say.
City Hall informed the VFW that it would not be allowed to give out the flags, citing an obscure rule prohibiting parade participants from passing out materials or throwing candy – a rule they’ve never enforced when it came to the flags.
So Mayor Dunaway et al now say everyone misunderstood the situation. Well, here’s what the MDJ says:
As the story about City Hall’s crackdown was on the verge of “breaking” on Wednesday, the city went into damage-control mode and finally relented – somewhat. It said VFW members could pass out their flags while walking alongside a fire truck at the start of the parade – fair enough – but cannot pass out the flags while walking beside their own float. They will have to pass them out while walking on the sidewalk parallel to the parade route – or in other words, behind the crowd. That means parade-goers will have the choice of saluting the VFW float full of veterans as it goes by, or turning their backs on them to walk over and take a flag from one of the veterans on the crowded sidewalk behind them.
So, it seems, Mayor Dunaway and the city are adding a new burden to the VFW’s ability to pass out flags.
I agree with the MDJ: It is time for Marietta’s City Council to get involved in this.
Here is a phone directory of the members of council.