MOTLEY, Minn. — Questions surrounding the legality of flying two flags indicating support of first responders at Veterans Memorial Park and Motley City Hall prompted a discussion of the Motley City Council, the Morrison County Record reported March 14.

Wayne Barros said he agreed with what the flags represent but believed they represented a desecration of the American flag. The appearance of the flags is modeled after the American flag but uses different colors representing various first responders.

Motley Mayor Al Yoder said Barros was the first resident to lodge a complaint about the flags, and he felt the council should seek legal advice from the city attorney before taking any action one way or another, according to the Record.

While Barros pointed to the position of the American Legion’s Americanism Commission — which in a 2017 newsletter stated the “thin blue line flag” in support of law enforcement was a breach of flag etiquette due to “unauthorized adornment to the flag” — local American Legion representatives argued differently. Motley American Legion Post 46 gave one of the flags to the city as a gift and said it was a gesture of support for those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Legion member Frank Vasecka said it would be a violation of the First Amendment to remove the flags.

Newsletter signup for email alerts