Marietta’s Spin

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.

7 comments

  1. Jmac says:

    Seriously?

    I’m all for flooding the place with flags because, you know, ‘Yay America!’ and it’s the Fourth of July … but the rule prohibiting passing out flags (or other objects) from the parade route seems to be a good one grounded in reasonable safety concerns.

    Wouldn’t a sensible compromise be in addition to passing out before, have designated stations set out throughout the route for folks to get flags?

  2. Demonbeck says:

    What happens if they do it anyway? Will the Marietta PD actually arrest veterans for passing out flags?

  3. Nicki says:

    Yeah, um, maybe i’m especially coldhearted, but I haven’t understood any of the point of this whole business. So, you think flags should not be subject to any other laws even when the ability to pass out flags in general isn’t really constrained? And?

    I completely disregarded my first ever Peach Pundit blast email, but I don’t get why you think this situation warrants it and the dozens of other serious and credible threats to various things that are far more important don’t.

  4. Bill Simon says:

    That’s right, Nicki. On the 4th of July, if any stabbings occur using American flags, it is considered patriotic and no one will be prosecuted for it.

  5. DMZDave says:

    The behavior by the City of Marietta warrants a Peach Pundit blast and attention because it is an example of creeping mediocrity and the death of common sense and should be nipped in the bud. The vets have been doing this for years, no one has ever been hurt so what has changed? Can’t answer that so the bureaucrats respond “it’s for safety reasons” with no basis in fact but simply because “I say so” and because it’s the first answer they could come up with. The best disinfectant for this disease is sunlight. This is not a big deal but the next stupid, bureaucratic decision may well be.

    Here are some other examples. In Sandy Springs, the Fulton County Board of Education is condemning three private properties and trying to take them through eminent domain after insisting for years that they did not need these three properties for a new school. And what reason do they give now? It’s for the safety of the kids. Well of course, can’t argue with that. Just say “safety” and you cut off the debate.

    When the Georgia Department of Transportation cut thousands of buffer trees down along Hwy 400 at huge costs for no real reason except possibly to give a sweetheart deal to some lumber company, what was the “official” reason? Safety. Anybody ever been killed running into one of those trees? No. And if you were going to spend $1M on something for “safety,” aren’t there literally hundreds of places to spend that money where people really are getting killed. But once they said the trees had to come down for “safety” we were silenced because hey, it’s safety.

    The issue in Marietta is really about the lack of common sense and judgment and the actions on the part of the City of Marietta has demonstrated that both are in short supply. So in a way, it is indeed about safety for nothing is more dangerous than the absence of common sense and judgment among public officials.

  6. Jmac says:

    Dude, that’s ridiculous.

    How is this showing a lack of common sense? If anything, it shows an abundance of it. It’s saying …

    1. Get your flags before so you can wave them as the veterans walk by;

    2. Let’s not have children scamper out onto the parade route.

    Again, wouldn’t it make considerably more sense to have designated stations set up where folks can get flags rather than have to wait until the veterans come to you? I mean, doesn’t that work better from a purely logistical stance?

  7. DMZDave says:

    Jmac, Normally I make it a rule not to respond to anyone who uses the term Dude as they are rarely serious people but you made me laugh out loud. Thanks for that post. You can’t make this stuff up. What I’d suggest is that if you bring your own kids to the parade you may want to consider safety helmets, bright orange vests, those little kid leashes to keep them close and GPS devices in their little knapsacks. You just can’t be too safe. Or better yet, lthey should cancel the parade, all kinds of things could go wrong. Hey, here’s a really safe idea. Why not just park the floats and then people could safely walk by them, pick up their flags at designated sites, go home and thank God on bended knee that our founding fathers recognized real threats and faced them head on.

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