Complaint about school flag condition, lighting raised
A community member complained at the January 17 school board meeting that the United States flag and the West Virginia flag at Paw Paw Schools were torn and ragged.
Tonya Day brought a community petition to the meeting requesting that new flags be purchased for the school and that either the flags be taken down each day or the light get fixed.
The solar light that illuminates the flags at night isn’t working. The flags are left up night and day and left hanging in the snow and rain, she said.
Day recalled when a Paw Paw Elementary class put the flag up and took it down each day. She felt the American flag shouldn’t look that raggedy.
Board president Laura Smith thanked Day for bringing the flags’ condition to the board’s attention.
New flags installed
Morgan County Schools Maintenance Supervisor Alston Yost said that a new United States flag and a new West Virginia flag were put up at Paw Paw Schools. The American Legion donated the American flag. The West Virginia flag was purchased by the school board office.
Yost added a monthly flag check to the preventative maintenance schedule check list to ensure that the condition of all school flags will be regularly monitored.
Custodians generally alert the principal when a school flag is torn or tattered. The principal then requisitions a work order to have the flag replaced, Yost said.
During their new monthly check, if a flag needs replaced, they’ll initiate that action, he said. They also are replacing the flags at the school board office since they are tattered.
The flags are all-weather flags that can be left out in inclement weather. Yost, a veteran with over 20 years of active service, personally feels that the American flag should be raised every morning, lowered in the evening, folded properly and also taken down if it’s raining, out of respect.
Some schools have Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts or other students that raise and lower the flag every day, he said.
Yost put in a request for a spotlight for the flags at Paw Paw Schools, but said it would be cost-extensive to put spotlights at all schools for the flags. The solar lights are fine when there are lots of sunny days, but they may not work after a few cloudy days, he said.
The Sons of the American Legion will donate a United States flag to the schools, if notified, Yost said. They recently presented a flag to Warm Springs Middle School.
According to United States Code, the American flag is customarily displayed from sunrise to sunset. However, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if it is properly illuminated at night.
The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously, then folded properly.
The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
The Code also specifies that the flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.