NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- After telling New Rochelle veterans yesterday that a Gadsden Flag was to be removed from the flag pole in front of the New Rochelle Armory after he received unspecified complaints, City Manager Chuck Strome was convinced by the veterans to allow the flag to remain. Earlier today, after a phone call with Peter Parente, President of the United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association of New Rochelle, the veterans were praising Strome for his decision to leave the flag in place.
"The City Manager has always been a fair minded gentleman when dealing with the NR Vets and we applaud him on his decision, " said Parente in an email to supporters.
Three hours later, shortly after noon, Strome informed the veterans that the flag was to be removed because a "majority of the New Rochelle City Council" had requested that the flag be removed. Sources tell Talk of the Sound, the "majority" was the 5 Democrats on City Council. The two Republicans opposed the move.
Council Members Al Tarantino and Louis Trangucci have requested the issue to be placed on the agenda as a discussion item for the next City Council meeting on April 9th.
At about 2:20 p.m. workers from the Department of Public Works inspected the flag pole, called for reinforcements and left.
20 minutes later, three DPW workers came back to the Armory with a ladder, untied the rope holding the two flags in place, lowered the two flags and removed the Gadsden flag which was turned over to, James Murphy and James Lasser, representatives of the United Veterans.
The American flag was raised as the Gadsden flag was neatly folded by two veterans.
As the DPW workers were preparing to leave, they were ordered to take the Gadsden flag from the two veterans. Murphy and Lasser were told the Veterans could pick up the flag at City Hall.
The Veterans discussed getting organized and picking up the flag, in force, at a future date, possibly during the Citizens to be Heard session of the next City Council meeting on April 9th. Stay tuned for more on that.