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Posted on Sat, May 28, 2011 : 5:52 a.m.

Fraternal Order of Eagles member says he was suspended for replacing torn flag, but group says otherwise

By Tom Perkins


A torn flag that was flying above the Fraternal Order of Eagles #2250 in Ypsilanti Township.

Tom Perkins | For

When Richard Stephenson saw a tattered American flag hanging above the Ypsilanti Township Fraternal Order of Eagles on April 28, he felt it disgraced the flag and his country.

Stephenson, a 30-year member of the Holmes Road FOE #2250, said he had just returned home that day from spending the winter in Arizona. He said he began asking other members about the flag, and learned it had been a poor state all winter.

The roughly 4-by-6-foot flag was torn in multiple spots along the stripes and was beginning to fray.

“It was a crying shame,” Stephenson said. “I’d rather see no flag up there at all than this flag.”

After asking the FOE’s trustees and employees to replace it over several days without any action, Stephenson said, he bought a new flag, took the old flag down and raised the new one.

A day later, on May 1, his membership was suspended for 30 days for “behavior unbecoming of a member.”

Stephenson said he was told by an FOE #2250 trustee that he had disobeyed a direct order not to take the flag down.

But FOE #2250 Secretary Henry Tincher has a different version of events.

Tincher said the suspension wasn’t because Stephenson took down the flag, but because of an issue with Stephenson’s behavior on April 27. He said a storm on Thursday night, April 28, shredded the flag, and the FOE bought a new flag when Tincher returned to work the following Monday.

Tincher said he couldn’t divulge what Stephenson had done because the information is private and there “could be a trial.”

“He’s making a big deal out of nothing,” Tincher said.

Stephenson said he didn’t arrive back in Ypsilanti Township until April 28 and there was no prior incident. Even if the flag was really torn in the storm on April 28, Stephenson said, the club should have replaced it instead of letting it hang tattered on the pole.

He said he asked the employees and trustees that night for the keys to unlock the lock that secures the flag to the pole, but they said they didn’t have them at the club. The keys, Tincher said, weren’t in the club because a veteran who owned the torn flag was holding onto them.


A new flag is flying above the Ypsilanti Township FOE.

Tom Perkins | For

Stephenson said he returned on Friday and inquired about the flag again, but was told the trustees would buy a new one. Upon returning Saturday and being told again that the trustees would take care of the situation, Stephenson said he went and bought the new flag.

He returned Saturday evening, he said, pulled the rope out of the lock and raised the new flag.

“I didn’t harm anything or anyone. I just don’t think it’s right that they can do that and disgrace our American flag,” he said. “They didn’t take care of it, so I took care of it.”

The flag Stephenson put up has been replaced with a new, larger flag.

Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:25 a.m.

I would wonder why it took days instead of hours to replace the tattered AMERICAN flag. It does not seem to be a high priority on Mr Tincher's list.


Tue, May 31, 2011 : 12:08 a.m.

Will Your last entry explained a lot. And thank you for your srevice. Semper Fi!

Will Warner

Tue, May 31, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.



Mon, May 30, 2011 : 10:16 p.m.

I was talking to my parents yesterday about this story. They are both 90 years young! My Dad is a veteran of the Army Air Core during WW11. They happened to mention that this past week, they had taken down the flag that they fly in front of their house on a daily basis, yes is lit at night. THe flag was worn out and they were actually folding the Flag the way it is suppose to be folded. The neighbor , who is a veteran also, happened to come in and asked what they were doing and why were they folding the Flag. Why didn't they just toss it out. My mother, as most mothers do, even at the age of 90, proceeded to inform him of the proper way to take care of the Flag. I had to laugh. I think that the people that are taught how to care for the flag as a kid, like in Scouts, are the ones that appreciate it more!! My Dad was also a Boy Scout Leader in Ann Arbor at Eberwhite School! Seems like the "Greatest Generation" really does have something special about them!


Mon, May 30, 2011 : 12:07 p.m.

Will I'm happy if you have the same feelings as myself. What I don't understand is the cynacism (spelling?) in your original statement. (And some statements of others.) Nowhere in the US Code did I find the lengthy ritual you posted about the dispossal of the Flag. The way it is written it sounds like a specific military group and on the field of battle, (ashes in a k ration can). K rations were used in WWII. The Flag in the article should be retired because it is in such damaged condition. The US Code I looked up says, "The Flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise." In other words, "Adjust it." It also states, "The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preforably by burning." In other words, "Don't through it out with the garbage!" The Code also states not to be worn as apparrel, or for advertising, but also starts the whole code by saying "Within the District of Columbia." And as we all know, nobody goes to jail or is even fined for wearing a t-shirt with a Flag on it. Niether are you "forced" to burn your flag because it touches the ground. Now let all you lawyers go out and research your little hearts out and refute what I just wrote. The fact is. Ralph Stephanson did an admirable act by replacing this particular Flag. Hats off to you Ralph. Semper Fi!

Will Warner

Mon, May 30, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

Jarhead, The rules for flags you cite here are reasonable. It is people's embellishment of them that becomes ridiculous, and their tendency to sit in judgement of others' patriotism. BTW, my "embellishment" above was tongue-in-check. I chose K-rats because I know they had disappeared long ago. During my first enlistment we dined on C-rats (which included a pack of cigarettes that I always traded to somebody for canned pound cake) and during my second enlistment it was MREs. I agree that Ralph probably did the right thing. I say "probably" because I don't know all the facts. It could be (just conjecturing here) his suspension came from his superiors' reaction to having been out-flag-respected by a subordinate, which if true, would make my point better than I can.


Mon, May 30, 2011 : 11:43 a.m.

The watchfire was postponed last night (Sunday) due to incliment weather and safety for those who would attend. The watchfire will be held this afternoon, app 2pm, (Memorial Day) after the ceremony at the VietNam Vtereans Memorial , which is at 1 pm.

Will Warner

Sun, May 29, 2011 : 5 p.m.

Jarhead: "I believe most adults understand that is a blanket statement meaning what the Flag stands for. The Constitution, Bill of Rights, our way of life, and most importantly FREEDOM." Jarhead, I am the author of the "fetish" comment. If you suppose that your feelings for the things you've named above are greater than mine, you suppose incorrectly. I don't mind if you get upset when people deliberately show disrespect for a flag, publicly spitting on it, say – that would bother me, too. But to go crazy because somebody spread a ragged flag on Astroturf to get a picture of it is loony. It is also loony to expect me to burn my flag in some manner proscribed by a "flag code" because while I retired the colors a corner briefly grazed the ground. As I said earlier, there are better ways to honor our country and service members than these maudlin rituals.


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

Can not believe that you would take and then show a picture of the American Flag lying on the ground. Especially this week end of all week ends.!! Many men and women have given their lives for this flag and what it represents. Think that many people today do not appreciate what the flag stands for or the fact that these rights do not come free!! I am a veteran and proud of it. Think that all of us veterans should starting speaking out a little more .I was given the Honor a couple of years ago to take a group of WW11 Veterans to Washington DC to see the WW11 Memorial. That was a trip that I will never forget!! Those men and women were given a standing ovation when they arrived in the BWI airport, by hundreds of people waiting for their own flights. We need to show them and the young adults fighting today, that we care about them and support them! This flag represents a lot to all of us, but is really important one for those serving our country! We appreciate the military , both past and present and the best way to show it is to keep the flag flying proudly over our country!! Fredric S Leeman Sgt. USAF Retired


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

Its funny to me when someone makes a statement, the lawyers all come out and pick it apart. When someone says "fight for the flag" or "die for the Flag", I believe most adults understand that is a blanket statement meaning what the Flag stands for. The Constitution, Bill of Rights, our way of life, and most importantly FREEDOM. I agree with Tru2Blu76. When someone disrespects the Flag they disrespect every ounce of energy and sacrifice that has gone into establishing and preserving these liberties. I don't understand some peoples lack of respect, concern or honor for the Flag. Apathy abounds in Ann Arbor. ("A piece of cloth", "fetish out of flag etiquette") When the VietNam Veterans wanted to build a Memorial for those of our county who died in VietNam, we approached the city of Ann Arbor and requested to build it at Veterans Park. An Appropiate site wouldn't you think? We were turned down. However the township of Ypsilanti welcomed us with open arms and have been a great partner to veterans to this day. A point that is being overlooked in this dialog, seems to me, to be that when Ralph Stephenson first talked to those in charge, why did they not simply say that they had a Flag on order and it will be replaced as soon as possible. Ralph was able to get one in a day or two. Also Ralph was suspended for "behavior unbecoming of a member". Caring for the Flag is unbecoming behavior? Hmmm


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

Or maybe because it didn't have anything to do with the topic and was basically spam? Oh, wait, that's much less convenient for a persecution complex.

john scharpenberg

Sun, May 29, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

i just posted the "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under G O D, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.". and did not post it because it says under GOD i think


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 6:01 a.m.

I hate to add to the cacophony over this matter of the Flag of the United States of America but I can't help but notice how the thinking has veered off over the decades. As regards "fighting for" the U.S. flag: that is nonsense. The U.S. flag, like all other national flags, is an instrument of IDENTITY. Therefore, we do not fight "for" our flag but UNDER IT. We, as individuals and together, pursue our inalienable right to life, liberty and happiness under this identifying symbol. This means work: we must have standards and traditions which follow this truth. When someone neglects a U.S. flag: they are neglecting our collective political, philosophical and moral identity. Our flag is put UP THERE to represent us, we do not represent IT. So disrespect for the flag is disrespect for US, the citizens of the United States of America. This goes for our branches and levels of government too: these institutions were created for US and they operate UNDER our flag. The government does not represent the flag, the flag represents the people who live under it. See, it is a case of having a country of, for and by the people - who have a flag to identify us. Never forget who you are and that OUR flag represents us all. Honoring our flag is honoring ourselves and each other.


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 1:51 a.m.

Three comments. 1. I'm inclined to trust the Fraternal Order of Eagles' story over the member's. The claim that he was suspended solely for replacing the flag makes no sense; there's no sensible motivation there. And in general, whenever somebody claims that they were fired, discriminated against or kicked out of a club because of some outrageous-sounding reason, it almost always turns out there's more to the story that they didn't tell you (and that the person they're accusing can't tell you about either because they have a duty to confidentiality, even when they're being smeared). 2. I don't know any military veterans who fought for the flag. They may have joined up for their country, for their ideals, for their traditions. But not for a symbol. I've never understood why people get so obsessed with a symbol, sometimes even at the EXPENSE of the ideals that the symbol represents (like the people who would trample on free expression with anti-flag burning laws). It seems political conservatives are the most likely to be symbol-obsessed and start hopping up and down like mad hens at the slightest violation of protocol, which is weird, because I thought liberals were supposed to be the hyper-PC, easily offended ones. 3. A guy got suspended from a private club. Why is this private dispute between private parties even a news story in the first place?

John B.

Mon, May 30, 2011 : 1:38 a.m.

In answer to #3: because it generates much-needed page hits! A guaranteed controversy....


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

to Andrew Mackie-Mason ("The first official flag didn't exist till 1777") Thats correct. However the catch word here is "Official". There was a Flag in 1775. And those who fought the first fight under it understood its symbolism and its importance. Our Flag has morphed and transformed several times throughout our brief history. It is fitting and just that we hold it in our highest reverance.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

It seems that even our enemies have more regard for OUR flag! What our flag stands for seems to mean an awful lot to those enemies that burn it!

Will Warner

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 7:02 p.m.

"…a flag that touches the ground must be burned…" Well, it's not quite that simple, I'm afraid. A flag must be burned properly. First you must separate the pieces of fabric into the white and red stripes and a blue square. You may not use any old seam ripper for this solemn duty; only a bayonet obtained for the purpose from the Adjutant General of the Michigan Army National Guard is suitable. The white stripes are burned first, followed by the red. Then the stars must be cut out (using a second bayonet – the first may be only used for separating the stripes). Then, using a #2 pencil and no other writing implement, number the stars from 1 to 50 and burn them in reverse order so that the original 13 are burned last. Further, the burning must be done in a way that does not permit the ashes to touch the ground! (This is little known but very important.) Funnel the ashes into an empty K-rats can and deliver it, along with the bayonets, to the AG. He'll perform the remaining 39 steps required for a respectful disposal of a flag whose corner briefly grazed the ground.... Folks, nobody I knew fought for the flag. For you and me and the country, sure. We can find better ways to honor them than these maudlin and byzantine rituals


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

I believe Will omitted the all-important Step #1: Tuck tongue firmly into cheek.


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 2:49 a.m.

Where did you get this information? Kind of Interesting.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 6:58 p.m.

@stoneburner: "... it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner." .. @jarhead : This Sunday, at 7pm at the VietNam Vetereans Memorial, we will be retiring old and damaged Flags in a ceremony called "The Watchfire". .. The VietNam Veterans Memorial is at the Ypsilanti Township Hall grounds on Huron River drive off of Whitaker Rd. .. @lillie: Watchfires were lit after battles in older times to guide warriors who had been separated in battle back to their camp. Our Watchfire is symbolic in that it is a watchfire for our POW/MIAs. About 7:00pm we will take turns burning old, retired flags; dedicating each one to someone who has passed on or KIA. Please join us and bring your flags. .. see you there ... and the aanews -really- should cover this event as well, eh? didn;t know about watchfire(s) until now ... tnx. .. oh, TOM PERKINS, bring this flag, pls. and your camera. quite appropriate for the memorial day activities and remeberences.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 6:35 p.m.

I have always suspected that the Fraternal Order of Eagles is really a communist sleeper cell, and now I have proof!


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 2:46 a.m.

That is Tacky and out of line. The Eagle's do also support Veteran's and the Community


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

This flag was brand new this last fall.Someone stole the last one during the night.Just to defend the club the one that was stolen was replaced within 24 hr`s.These clubs do have a chain of command when something need`s to be bought.They need to ask trustees for the funds get it approved.This is done in a fast order when it comes to these types of things.If no one remembers it has been storming for the last week.It is very feasible that is what happened to the flag.I highly do not think the club would suspend a membership for something like replacing a flag.Why would someone suspend someone for helping out.We wish we had more members that would volunteer to help out around the club.


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 2:43 a.m.

That's right.

Gary Lillie

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

Interesting timing; a friend, Bob Gould, and I just hours ago took a tattered flag down from a closed gas station. It was the second time in two years. The first time, the station was closed and it was obvious the flag had been tattered long before the station closed. The station reopened, then closed again after some time and again a tattered flag was left hanging, which is the one we took down today. A number of years ago a local motel was flying a flag so tattered it was hanging by a single grommet. I stopped and, politely, asked the owner to take it down and replace it with a new one or leave the pole empty. He told me it was his flag and he would do with it as he wanted. I let him know that at a certain hour that day I would return with some more Vietnam Vets and a camera man and if it was still up there we would take it down. I further informed him that it was not his flag; it belonged to all of us, especially those who had gone to war for it. To his credit he took it down. If anyone has a worn flag I invite them to join us Vietnam Veterans and family at an event we call "Watchfire." It will be held in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in front of Ypsilanti Township Civic Center on Huron River Drive, 1/2 mile east of Ypsilanti's Huron Road (exit 183) south of I-94. Watchfires were lit after battles in older times to guide warriors who had been separated in battle back to their camp. Our Watchfire is symbolic in that it is a watchfire for our POW/MIAs. About 7:00pm we will take turns burning old, retired flags; dedicating each one to someone who has passed on or KIA. Please join us and bring your flags.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

The flag does not belong to "all of us," and if you take down someone's flag without permission you're committing a crime.

Gary Lillie

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

Forgot to mention: our Watchfire will be held beginning about 6:00pm Sunday evening. We will return again at 1:00pm on Monday for our Memorial Day recognition. One of the things we do is read all 72 names of those in Washtenaw County who died in the Vietnam War.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

I would like to know WHO made the Flag? Made in china? this is the greater disgrace. ONLY FLAGS Made in America to be sold by Vetreans and made by Vetreans and sold by vetereans! Every torn flag on a pol ...give vetereans the job of writting ticket to Business . owners be refunded at time of purchased. OUR VETREANS need Jobs,Hire a vet and hire Michigan first! happy memorialday all.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 4:37 p.m.

@ pika We don't "worship" a piece of cloth. We HONOR it. We honor what it stands for and the sacrifices of those gone before us so our little lives can go on freely and in safety. What truely amazes me is how many in our society "Worship"; sports players, actors, singers, reality show stars, and spend huge amounts of money making these stars millionairs. These same people "Worship" their cell phones, texting tweeting, facebook, their cars and their status. And then, with little and no regarde, call the Flag (the symbol of their freedoms) a "piece of cloth". I am equally amazed that Will got any positive votes. I am ashamed for you all. Let me ask you this, What are you willing to sacrifice for my freedoms? Your cell phone?

john scharpenberg

Sun, May 29, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

Amen "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under G O D, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.".


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

And some people also worship small, burrowing mammales called pikas.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 3:39 p.m. needs to remove that disgraceful picture. To do an article about disrespecting the flag by disrespecting the flag so much more is just an outrage, incredibly offensive, and completely unacceptable!


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

Speaking of putting the flag on the ground, does the county-owned Pierce Lake Golf Course still put American flags atop its pins on holiday weekends? Although it seems to be a nice touch at first glance, it's inherently disrespectful - because all those flags get laid on the ground each time a group pulls the pin to putt. Of course, the Flag Code is routinely violated. I don't know when it became ok for everyone to fly an illuminated flag at night - that used to be limited to Congress and military bases - and most people don't even bother to illuminate it these days. When I was a kid back in the 60s, every school, post office, bank or other building that flew a flag had a janitor or someone who spent five minutes of the day raising and lowering it to adhere to proper etiquette. One of the biggest violators in this regard in auto dealers - who also blatantly violate the prohibition against the flag being used for advertising purposes. When a dealer lines his lot with 50-100 flags, that's not patriotism - that's bunting. And what about all those retailers selling flag towels and t-shirts adorned with flag motifs - that's supposed to be a no-no as well. If you value the flag and what it represents, you're supposed to honor and respect it - not treat it like a piece of pop culture.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

I agree completely, zeeba. The 14-A-4 District Courthouse in downtown Saline never takes down their flag, regardless of the weather, and it is not illuminated at all. Seems to be an extra smack in the face that this is a governmental building that is being disrespectful of the flag!

Matt Whale

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

The US flag etiquette says 'When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.' I saw the National Guard (I think) cut the out the stars of the flag and burned the Stars and Stripes seperatly. I thought that was interesting.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

I cannot remember the number of times I have called a business to let them know their flag is torn, often I am told they hadn't noticed, that they will take it down while waiting for a new one on order, sometimes I will drive by a torn flag for weeks before it is changed. People get busy, they forget, it is not a priority. Simply put, don't fly the flag if you don't have enough common sense to know how to hang it, when to lower it, when to replace it and how to dispose of it. within a day of this guy mentioning the flag someone should have just gone out and taken it down, even if a replacement hadn't arrived yet.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

The FOE is a place people go when they have time.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

Everything you think you know about being a member of this club is true.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

Someone posted; "We make a fetish out of flag etiquette in this country." And well we should. I see muslim countries stomp on and burn our Flags in their streets. What human rights do they stand for? How many of your freedoms do they ensure? It is the Military of our country that serves under this Flag, dies for this Flag, and whose coffins are drapped in our Flag that give people the right to say assinine things with little thought or feeling. The people who truly understand what this flag stands for were the ones who risked EVEYTHING to have freedom back in 1775. Myself and my brothers and sisters in arms are willing to sacrifice all to protect this way of life . And our Flag is that symbol of those who have given all! Jarhead

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 7:43 p.m.

"The people who truly understand what this flag stands for were the ones who risked EVEYTHING to have freedom back in 1775." The first official flag didn't exist until 1777.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

Jarhead, there are a lot of ungrateful and downright un-patriotic people in our fair city, so, disrespecting the flag is par for the course for them.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

Why does our society worship a piece of cloth?


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

I mean honestly, it was just a question. My, you folks show how touchy you really are when it comes to this issue. Jeez, cool your jets folks, it was just an open question intended to initiate inquire into what we believe and why we believe it. So why do we believe it? Who died for what exactly? I certainly don't feel that anyone who died in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and many others died protecting me in any way. And I'm intellectually capable of making recognizing the distinction between the propaganda and the reality. They died protecting an empire which I openly oppose, but this empire certainly isn't "America". None of these people died helping me. They died attempting to defend an empire which I don't support.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 8:29 p.m.

"Why does our society worship a piece of cloth?" Unfortunately your comment proves that not enough freeloaders in our society do worship this "piece of cloth". If you had fought for this piece of cloth or a loved one had lost their life while representing it even YOU might have a different view!


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 6:34 p.m.

And you worship what? Small burrowing animals called pikas?


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

You, my friend, it seems, are beyond help, if you have toask thatquestion ina public forum.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

This Flag should be retired. This Sunday, at 7pm at the VietNam Vetereans Memorial, we will be retiring old and damaged Flags in a ceremony called "The Watchfire". Anyone is welcome to come and bring flags or just attend the ceremony. Usually goes all evening. The VietNam Veterans Memorial is at the Ypsilanti Township Hall grounds on Huron River drive off of Whitaker Rd. Take Whitaker rd. Exit off of I-94 and turn south, Huron river drive is on the left about a mile down and the Memorial is on the right about 1/4 mile more. Hope to see you there. And if you have never been to the Memorial, all the names of those from Wastenaw County who sacrificed their lives in Vietnam are enscribed on the wall. Semper Fidelis!

john scharpenberg

Sun, May 29, 2011 : 2:32 a.m.

thats great i would love to come and see the wall and i have a few flags to bring i change mine often so how is there a limit of flags to bring i use to give them to my dad in the past who is a vet but he passed a few years ago


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 2:24 a.m.

Good Information Jarhead, Thanks. Semper Fi. Also Ypsilanti Procession is at 9:00 A.M. at Michigan Ave. Bridge.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

oh, TOM PERKINS, bring this flag, pls. and your camera.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

see you there ... and the aanews -really- should cover this event as well, eh? didn;t know about watchfire ... tnx.

john scharpenberg

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 1:45 p.m.

what wrong with people today if i would have seen that flag i would have stop and demanded that it be taking down i live across the street from a school and its flag was in poor shape i made several calls asking them to take it down or replace it and for 4 days nothing was done so i went and got 2 new flags took them over to the school and asked them to change it took 2 more days i called again and told them if it was still there at the end of the day i would remove it my self it got change that day i fly a flag in my yard every day and practice flag etiquette if you fly it respect it a lot of people have fought and died for the stars and stripes . "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under G O D, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.". remember that i do and still believe in this great county of ours GOD BLESS AMERICA


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

@warner- The American flag is a symbol of this country's Honor, Courage, Strength and patriotism. Many Americans died defending its honor. If you think this is a fetish so be it.

Will Warner

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 1:02 p.m.

We make a fetish out of flag etiquette in this country.

Fred Crothers

Sun, May 29, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

Obviously Mr. Warner your NOT from America! AND I would gather that your of the "younger" Americans who have been brain washed into thinking that BEING an AMERICAN is also "not cool!" I'm 60 years old AND PROUD OF MY AMERICAN FLAG!!!

Macabre Sunset

Sun, May 29, 2011 : 5:55 a.m.

Soldiers don't die to protect a flag. They die to protect what the flag symbolizes. And what it symbolizes is far stronger than cloth and dye.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Mr. Warner, You're an embarrassment to every American.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

"Patriot", I'm pretty sure there aren't many veterans who actually fight to defend the flag. Or are you saying that if we ceased to a have a flag, everyone would leave the armed services?


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

Will, yes, call it a fetish, but a to a lot of us, Old Glory means a lot. On the other hand, we live in a free country, so, please feel free to think less of us who love Old Glory.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

When brave service personnel put their lives on the line and die daily to protect this precious flag of our great county all around thew world - you bet we're going to take great pride and reverence in protecting and respecting our nations flag. That flag is more than a piece of fabric my friend. Shows how little you care about this county!!! Shame on you.

Floyd Griffey

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

It's always comforting to see Old Timers acting stupidly (and commenting the same way).

Jessica Hughey

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

In addition, "Tom Perkins for Ann" proves how few Americans really know the "rules" when it comes to the American flag, or that there even ARE rules. The fact the he saw fit to lay this flag ON THE GROUND to photograph it bears this out. Shame on you, Tom.

Jessica Hughey

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 11:56 a.m.

I applaud Mr. Stephenson and it sounds to me like the official is just trying to make up some story to cover up the fact that they really didn't care that much about their flag. I, too, have taken issue with various organizations and businesses about leaving a tattered flag flying, only to be met with indifference and irritation that I would have the audacity to interrupt their busy schedule with such an unimportant request. Too many businesses and organizations don't even notice (or care about) the condition of the flags that fly outside their building every day. Some of us do care. Congratulations to you, Mr. Stephenson on being one of us and for not accepting "we'll get to it later" as an answer!


Sun, May 29, 2011 : 3:31 a.m.

Do you also go after the folks flying it at night without a light on it? How about vehicles with windo flags traveling fast than the maximum 10 MPH? folks who think they're patriotic are breaking the rules of Flag Flying all over the place.

Kristy Stoneburner

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 11:33 a.m.

No one has noticed the biggest problem with both this picture and the flag. It's lying on the ground! This is taken directly from the United States Flag Code. "When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary. When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner." The Eagles should be ashamed to have flown a flag such as this. They should know better, ESPECIALLY to have allowed it to touch the ground. Once a flag touches the ground, it is supposed to be burned. Shame on them also for dismissing their member......Not very fraternal!

Silly Sally

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

Being on the ground was the first thing I noticed. Doesn't Tom Perkins, who took the picture, or Richard Stephenson, know any better? It could have been displayed on a table or hung from a wall. It is only 4 feet by 6 feet.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 11:33 a.m.

That doesn't look like a &quot;one storm event&quot; to me. The wind gusts on April 28 may have added to the tatter but it doesn't seem like they would have turned a &quot;perfectly good flag&quot; to that. Just my opinion. Here is a link to the weather on April 28 in the 48197 zip code. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 1:14 p.m.

That was my first thought as well. It does not seem reasonable that a flag would go from &quot;fine&quot; to tattered as shown in the photo, in one day. In any case, to report on a dispute taking place in a private club does not seem to be responsible journalism, especially because the reader cannot know all the facts because of confidentiality.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 11:05 a.m.

Please tell Mr. Stephenson to move his membership to the Ann Arbor Eagles,I'm sure they would be happy to have someone of that caliber in they're membership.Shame on Ypsi Eagles to suspend him!

Silly Sally

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

&quot; they're membership...&quot; Great grammar! Next time use their membership...&quot; Someone fell asleep in high school in Ypsi.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 10:52 a.m. - You've reach a new low in news reporting by publicizing this so-called story. I had an argument with my buddy on the golf course the other day. I guess I should have sent it into the paper. Good grief!

Lisa Stevens Patterson

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:34 a.m.

It is just the club is going down hill and treating people bad


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 10:41 a.m.

I think the name is spelled Henry Tincher by the way. As a member of 2250 and several Veteran's Organizations. This type of thing does happen due to weather or a replacement on order etc. It's good to do the right thing and get it done but there is usually a chain of Command that has that responsibility. If anyone reading this should have this problem you are more than welcome to bring the flag to your nearest Am vets, American Legion or VFW for a proper retirement. Have a nice and safe Memorial Day.:)

Paula Gardner

Sat, May 28, 2011 : 11:11 a.m.

The name has been corrected. Thank you.