Local VFW Questions Removal of Flags on Bridges
The Palmer Lake VFW Post in Brooklyn Park had flown a U.S. flag on each of five area bridges in honor of American troops - until the post was told to take the flags down.
Lee Ulferts is a former commander of the post. He says the flags had flown since 2004 until he got a phone call from the Department of Transportation (MnDOT).
"They said we understand you've placed the flags on the overpasses, and we want them down," Ulferts said.
MnDOT spokesman Kent Barnard says agency regulations forbid objects on any MnDOT right of ways.
"This has nothing to do with the American flag," Barnard said. "It has to do with any objects placed on a bridge. We have to look out for the motorists’ safety. That is our number one concern."
The flags were placed in brackets placed on bridges over 610 at Broadway, Zane, Regent and Noble, as well as 85th Avenue North and Highway 252. Barnard points to safety issues, and liability concerns should any piece of the flag or hardware fall onto the roadway below.
"Something somebody else puts on the bridge could conceivably break lose and fall, and injure somebody," he said.
Ulfers says the American flag should be given special consideration.
"This is the United States of America, and this is how we show our pride in our country, by flying our flag. We kept that flag in a closet for way too many years, we need to see it, and we need to see it every day."