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New Rochelle City Council Votes Down Gadsden Flag Equating "Don't Tread on Me" with Stars and Bars and Gay Pride Flag, Fertel Says "People died fighting under the Confederate flag too."

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New Rochelle City Council Votes Down Gadsden Flag Equating "Don't Tread on Me" with Stars and Bars and Gay Pride Flag, Fertel Says "People died fighting under the Confederate flag too."

April 10, 2013 - 13:20

NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The New Rochelle City Council voted last night, 5-2, against a motion by GOP Council Member Louis Trangucci and seconded by GOP Council Member Albert Tarantino to allow the Gadsden flag to fly atop the flag pole in front of the New Rochelle Armory. The matter now moves the courts.

Last week the 5 Democrats on City Council overruled a decision of the City Manager Charles Strome to allow the flag to remain and directed that the flag be removed. The flag was removed and confiscated by City workers.

The United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Society of New Rochelle has retained the Thomas More Law Center of Ann Arbor, MI to represent the organization in a legal decision opposing the decision of the City Council.

After the vote, during the public discussion period of the City Council meeting veterans, their children and other supporters of the United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Society of New Rochelle spoke passionately about those who died fighting under the Gadsden flag as early as 1775 during the early days of the American Revolution and in modern day wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Global War on Terror.

"People died fighting under the Confederate flag too," said Council Member Barry Fertel as City Council members exited Council Chambers.

During the Committee of the Whole Meeting earlier in the day where the vote was called, City Council Member Shari Rackman compared the Gadsden flag to the Rainbow Flag used to symbolize gay pride.

Brian Sussman, a Democratic Party District Leader in New Rochelle, has compared the Gadsden Flag variously to the Nazi flag, a Mickey Mouse flag and graffiti.

All of those opposing the Gadsden Flag have done so on the grounds that the flag is a "Tea Party flag" and that intention of the United Veterans organization is to make a political statement in support the Tea Party. Mayor Noam Bramson has stated that the President of the United Veterans is a member of the Tea Party.

Peter Parente, UVMPA President, spoke last night and categorically denied being a member of the Tea Party or that anyone at the flag retirement ceremony in March when the Gadsden flag was raised participated as a member of the Tea Party.

"I'm a proud Republican," said Parente.

Council Member Jared Rice -- who took credit for making the original complaint about the flag -- explained his view that the flag was divisive because it "represented a brand of politics that is very offensive to many people in America and many people in New Rochelle."

"A lot of people do take offense to [the Gadsden Flag]," added Rice.

Council Member Shari Rackman said the veterans were asked to take down the Gadsden flag with the implication that the veterans had refused to do so.

A review of emails between the United Veterans and the City Manager by Talk of the Sound show that the veterans were never asked to remove the flag. They were initially informed that the City Manager has instructed DPW workers to remove the flag. Before that happened, the City Manager decided the flag could remain. Several hours later, the City Manager informed the veterans that a majority of the City Council wanted the flag removed and again stated that DPW workers would remove the flag, which they did later that day.

The United Veterans sent a color guard to the New Rochelle Armory to receive, fold and secure the Gadsden flag. Moments later, DPW workers approached the color guard members and stated that they were orders to confiscate the flag and return it to City Hall. The veteran holding the flag handed it to a DPW worker and took the flag to City Hall where it remains today.

Contrary to the suggestion of Council Member Rackman and others, at no time did the veterans refuse a lawful request to take down the flag. They were never asked to do so.

The U.S. "Stars and Stripes" flag the currently flies over the New Rochelle Armory, like all of the flags before it for decades was purchased by the United Veterans, donated to the City by the veterans, accepted by the City from the veterans. For almost 100 years the United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Group, and a preceding veterans organization, have been chartered by the City of New Rochelle to manage a variety of responsibilities related to veterans affairs including holding memorial services and maintaining monuments including the flag pole at the armory.

When the rope holding the flag breaks, the United Veterans replace it. When the flag pole needs to be painted, the United Veterans paint it. When the flag becomes worn and tattered, the United Veterans retire the flag, removing it and replace it.

The City Council has never sought to intervene in any aspect of how the United Veterans fulfills its responsibilities. They have never involved themselves in which organizations can march in the Memorial Day parade, what sort of floral wreath is placed on Memorial Plaza on Veterans Day, which past war is chosen as the theme for a particular year, which tombstones are singled out during the annual cemetery honors or how exactly the annual appropriation of funds provided to the veterans by the City of New Rochelle is spent.

The direct interference by the City Council in the decisions of the United Veterans on how to fulfill their obligations under their charter from the City is without precedented.

For this reason, and the unsupported, false and contradictory assertions that have been made by Council Members who voted against the veterans raising the Gadsden flag, lawyers from the Thomas More Law Center are confident they will prevail in the courts.


Sacramento Bee: Thomas More Law Center Represents Veterans Protesting Confiscation of Historic "Don't Tread on Me" Flag Flying Under the Stars and Stripes

Washington Examiner: New York town removes flag as ‘offensive’ Tea Party symbol

Examiner.com: New York town confiscates original Marine Corps flag, claiming 'Tea Party' ties

Examiner.com: Gadsden flag removed by N.Y. town for being an 'offensive' Tea Party symbol

World Net Daily: Banished! Historic 'Don't Tread On Me' flag

Jim Maisano Blog: Westchester County Legislator Jim Maisano's Blog: Gadsden Flag History Lesson

Journal News: The Gadsden flag belongs to America

WNBC-TV NYNew Rochelle War Veterans Protest City's Order to Take Down Gadsden Flag

Right-Side News: Thomas More Law Center Represents Veterans Protesting Confiscation of Historic “Don’t Tread on Me” Flag Flying Under the Stars and Stripes

Past in the Present: Is the Gadsden flag too hot to handle?

The Street: Thomas More Law Center Represents Veterans Protesting Confiscation Of Historic "Don't Tread On Me" Flag Flying Under The Stars And Stripes

The Blaze: Ny Town Removes Veterans’ Gadsden Flag For Being An Offensive Tea Party Symbol

Yahoo News: NY Town Removes Veterans’ Gadsden Flag For Being an Offensive Tea Party Symbol

Fox News Channel: New Rochelle Armory Flag FIght Goes National on Fox News Channel

Conservative Firing Line: N.Y. Dem. compares historic Gadsden flag to Nazi swastika, graffiti

The Gateway Pundit: Outrageous! Gadsden Flag Removed By New York Town For Being An “Offensive” Tea Party Symbol

Journal News: New Rochelle veterans group enlists law firm in flag fight

Weasel Zippers: New York Town Removes Veterans Gadsden Flag As “Offensive” Tea Party Symbol

U.S. of ARN: Revolutionary War Era Flag Deemed Offensive In New York

WKIO News 510AM: Veterans Protest Order to Remove Gadsden Flag at Armory

Freak Out Nation: Town Won’t allow the American Flag to be replaced with a ‘Don’t Tread on me’ Flag

Brain Cramps: What happened to the 1st amendment?

FoxNews.com: Gadsden flag, called Tea Party symbol, removed from New York military armory

Moonbattery: Bureaucrats Suppress Gadsden Flag

WSAU (Wisconsin): New York Town Bans the Gadsden Flag

Revere Radio Network: New York Town Removes Veterans Gadsden Flag As “Offensive” Tea Party Symbol… (Forget the fact it has been used by the Navy and Marine Corps since 1775)

Save America FoundationNew Rochelle New York bans the Gadsden flag from city Armory

Red State: Revolutionary War Era Flag Deemed Offensive In New York

Brietbart: City Council Forces Ny Veterans To Remove 'Offensive' Gadsden Flag

Journal News: Orange County town raises Gadsden flag to support New Rochelle vets

CBS 2 News: Flag’s Believed Ties To Tea Party Lead To Removal From New Rochelle Building

There are 60 Comments

The first complaint about the Gadson Flag came from Councilman Jared Rice. He should know better and do better. For years in New Rochelle's history and the nation's history, African Americans have been champions of civil rights. Jared Rice, the only African American on council, is no champion of anything, especially not people's rights.

Ever Since Parente ran an aggressive campaign agaist Rice for City Council in District 3, Rice has hated Parente and had a personal vendetta against him and the veterans who stand behind him. This act of demanding the Gadson Flag be removed was nothing more than personal on the part of Rice.

The question is, will the members of the African American community in New Rochelle realize that the one they elected to represent them on the city council only represents himself and his own personal agenda. The act of demading that the Gadson flag be removed brought those who have fought for peoples rights in New Rochelle and America back a hundred years. Whenever one person's rights is violated, everyone's rights are violated.

Way to go Jared!

He found the flag offensive. Increasing dependence in the black community on people like him is not offensive? His reasons for not liking Parente or the veterans are much simpler than a political race. I don't believe he finds it offensive. He THINKS he's supposed to find it offensive, because that's what he's learned. He should be offended by the white liberals who tell him what to think and feel. He should be offended by the white liberals who keep his communities right where they want them - voting and angry. Maybe if I benefited from all their misplaced anger, I'd be offended by a flag.

Our American Revolution legalized slavery. Thomas Jefferson, wrote in the Declaration of Independence "All Men are created Free".

However, Jefferson's slave, Sally Hemmings was his lover and the mother of his children, who themselves were President Jefferson's slaves.

Sally Hemmings, was the slave and half-sister of Thomas Jefferson's wife.

The British Isles outlawed slavery in 1772 and the UK outlawed slavery through its empire in 1833, all without a war, but all based on the 13th century Magna Carta.

The USA begrudgingly outlawed slavery in 1865, but only after a horrendous civil war.

Slavery in America would have ended 32 years earlier, if there had been no American Revolution.

So why does the poster called 'Freedom', think African-Americans would have any fondness for the obscure Gadsden flag, loved by today's conservatives?

And why is the poster called 'Freedom' embarrassed to use his/her real name on a posting, like those of us with integrity?

I use the name Freedom hoping that people like you, Mr. Integrity, might get the message. What this is all about is freedom. Our freedom, that was paid for by our brave and selfless veterans.

Mr. Rice claimed the Gadson Flag offended him. Bull, the Gadson flag gave him a chance to take a shot at Peter Parente and the veterans he stands with, period. Now he's gotten the city into a law suit that will cost the taxpayers plenty.

Furthermore, I don't need a history lesson from you, Mr. Integrity, I am fully aware of the history of this great country and the Gadson flag.I'm proud of America's history and proud to be an American.

I am especially proud of our veterans and of what they accomplished for all of us, including the bleeding heart liberals that sound just like you.


What does 'bleeding heart liberal' mean?

I always get this image of the heart of Jesus surrounded by thorns.

I'm not Christian, but if that's the image you choose to conjure, I thank you for the complement.

Do you have another explanation for that metaphor?

Mr. Sussman, your rantings on TOTS resemble someone who is far too arrogant to resemble Jesus. Your rantings resemble one of those people who sees himself as smarter that everyone else. What your rants resemble is more of a bleeding heart liberal who would oppose a war and the heros who fought in such wars as the American Revolution that freed us from a tyranical king and formed the basis for the freedom we all enjoy today. The same war that the Marines and Sailers fought under the Gadson flag.

The type of bleeding heart liberal your rantings on TOTS resemble is one who would oppose the military when they went to Afghanistan to put an end to the attacks on America after Alcaida visciously murdered 2,996 innocent people on September 11th. The type of bleeding heart liberal who would support the rights of women to kill their unborn children, but not the rights of our military to kill our enemies who are hellbent on killing all of us.

Your rantings resemble the type of bleeding heart liberal who would support the Democrats on Council who waged what was nothing less than a personal attack on Peter Parente and New Rochelle's brave veterans in ordering the Gadson flag removed, but not support the rights of New Rochelle's patriotic war heros to fly that historical American flag.

Your rantings here on TOTS resemble the type of bleeding heart liberal who would support the Democrats on Council when they tried to turn one of New Rochelle's most sacred historical and military sites into a fruit stand, but not the veterans right to preserve this historical site and turn it into a community center and military museum, which the agreement the city signed with New York State requires.

Let me make myself perfectly clear, Mr. Sussman. Your car breaks down on a Saturday night while you are on the way home. You are forced to walk home in downtown New Rochelle, in the darkness. You decide to cut through an alley and you are suddenly confronted by a group of gang members who intend to rob you and leave you for dead in that alley. You know, one of those gangs you foolishly insist do not exist.

Who would you rather came to your rescue? a Marine who would defend your life with his, or a bleeding heart liberal who would lecture you on the rights of the down-trodden gang members that our society has created?

Chances are you would choose the Marine and find yourself with a completely new perspective regarding members of our military and bleeding heart liberals as you walk the rest of the way home.

You have still been unable to describe the meaning of ‘bleeding heart’. I continue to maintain that metaphor is a reference to Jesus, a being who was certainly a liberal according to the description in the New Testament, and who was crucified by the conservative, war-mongering Roman military. Obviously, you have no idea what is meant by the very graphic metaphor ‘Bleeding Heart’, so you should refrain from using phrases whose meaning you do not understand.

I was amused by your diatribe. Unfortunately for you, although you are entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to invent your own facts.

Neither Afghanistan nor the Taliban had anything to do with the attack on Sept 11, 2001. What Taliban in Afghanistan did do, was allow Osama Bin Laden to live in Afghanistan.

Pres GW Bush threatened to attack Afghanistan, only if Taliban didn’t give us Osama. Taliban refused to give up Osama, which was the only stated reason for our invading Afghanistan.

Having invaded Afghanistan, GW Bush chose not to capture Osama Bin Laden, and instead to next invade Iraq, even though Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with Sept 11. So it took a better and competent President, Barack Obama to get Osama bin Laden. President Obama did so surgically, without resorting to war against Pakistan.

I did support the war in Afghanistan, based on the stated reason for the war. Since GW Bush proved his reason for invading Afghanistan was bogus, I have felt we should have long exited Afghanistan. BTW Taliban and Osama bin Laden were working for Ronald Reagan and Rumsfeld in the 1980’s and that’s where they got their training and how they were empowered and financed, and that’s a fact.

I never supported either war in Iraq. The first Iraqi war could have been avoided, and occurred only because of the incompetence of the State Dept under GH Bush. The second Iraqi war had no rational purpose at all. Even before we invaded, it was clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, nor did Iraq threaten us, nor was there any other rational basis for that war.

I have posted here several times, that I have no opinion as to what the Gadsden Flag represents to those who raised it, and that I have no opinion as to whether the City Council should have had that flag removed. All I have stated, is that the City Council had the constitutional right to remove the Gadsden Flag if they chose.

I must comment on what you refer to as sacred. For something to be sacred, it has to have religious significance. Under the US Constitution, there is a complete separation of religion and state. Therefore, no flag of our government could possibly be sacred.

Furthermore, from a religious stand point, the Ten Commandments make it clear that monotheists commit a serious sin, when worshipping any image (icon) as sacred. So thinking of a flag as sacred is both un-American and a religious sin.

I am 62, grew up in New Rochelle, and have lived downtown for 34 years. I am not fearful of gang members bothering me, as there are no dangerous gangs in New Rochelle, except perhaps for the Mafia (but they tend to live peaceably in NR, while doing their dirty work in NYC). If I was threatened, I’d certainly prefer the assistance of a reasonable liberal or conservative civilian, rather than the help of some Marine suffering PTSD from war experiences. I am sure of this, because my father was a 90% disabled WWII Vet suffering from PTSD, and it revealed itself when he was anxious.

BTW I have a lot more integrity than you, because I use my real name at TOTS and at other websites. You make personal attacks on others, without revealing who you are, which is quite cowardly, especially considering how tough you try to imply you are. But it weakens your arguments. Perhaps you also post here under several pseudonyms, so as to imply support of your statements. Why not show your integrity and courage by posting solely under your real name?

So, for terms like "bleeding heart," you want us all to understand the historical significance and its connection to Jesus. However, you want the Gadsden Flag to be connected to its supposed modern day meaning. I've seen all the cute pics liberals put up with Jesus stating "Another liberal who wanted healthcare for all." It's tough to pick and choose when you want to invoke Jesus. I'm not religious, but I would find it hard to believe a Jesus figure would support a bill with thousands of pages of regulations. Back to the "bleeding heart" issue. Nothing to do with Jesus (unless the liberals got to Wikipedia first). "My heart bleeds for you." I've never heard that term without sarcasm. Think of a North End resident sitting in Starbucks telling his friend how sad he is over poor black children in Africa (making sure he's overheard of course). That's a bleeding heart. We all know he couldn't really care less, and his lip service doesn't do a thing to help. The candidates he supports all support policies that keep his end of the city white, and the other dependent. That's a bleeding heart.

I am not Christian, and must admit I have only read small parts of the New Testament. Then again, I used to work for the Catholic News, back when it was the official newspaper of the Archdiosis of NY, so I do have some understanding of Catholicism.

My take on Jesus, is that he was apolitical.

"And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Mark 12:17

Jesus seems to be advocating separation of Church and State, here. Also, he is recognizing the legitimacy of government.

If you can quote anything from the New Testament, stating or implying that Jesus thought government had too many regulations, than please enlighten the world with your revelation.

Jesus was quite socialist. He disliked businesses making profits, which is why he over-turned the tables of the money changers. Matthew 21:12

Jesus had no respect for wealthy people.

"And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24

Politicial phrases such as liberal, socialist, communist, conservative, fascist, nazi, etc., didn't exist 2000 years ago . But It is obvious that Jesus was quite left-wing, by modern standards.

Jesus was clearly, the original 'Bleeding Heart Liberal', and that explains the Catholic icon of Jesus' Bleeding Heart surround by his Crown of Thorns.

Clearly, Jesus would have supported government provided medical care, although I suspect he would be in agreement with me, that Obamacare is far to conservative, and we'd be better with a single-payer plan equivalent to Canada's.

BTW, willyrand. You seem to imply you are African-American, although I doubt you are. Are you actually Black, or are you a racist doing a minstrel act?

if you saw me with my family, you might give a big huge patronizing smile.

The issues have been sharply drawn.

The NR City Council would banish an accepted symbol from America's past because a modern-day political cause (party? group of individuals?} have adopted it informally, on occasion, in some places only. The parties who would fly the flag had been appointed (by a formal act of legislation of a prior council) to tend to the American flag and other matters patriotic for some 50 years.

After yesterday's council hearing, it is clear that a modern-day "Salem Trials," McCarthyite witch-hunt is in process by our very own city council of self-indulgent, left-liberal hypocrites. Their target? Any person, party, or assemblage of persons belonging to, carrying-a-card-for or redolent-of the hated present-day Tea Party movement.

Having entrusted the United Veterans with tending to the handling, care and protocols of American flags situated on all city-owned property, the blackguards would "reel in" these heroes' freedom of action all over the simple suspicion, the slightest hint of sympathy for this movement. Of course, the political sympathies or motivations of the veterans are entirely irrelevant. The Constitution simply does not care about such things. This is censorship, plain and simple.

How can such oppression stand? Now that renowned professional legal representation has been engaged, the answers will be coming and more clearly than ever before. And now, thanks to the embittered council majority's boastful arrogance, the drama will be played out before a national audience; for the entire world to see.

To draw parallels with a previous struggle between the worlds of darkness and light; the controversy reminds us of the 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial," pitting a simple Tennessee school teacher interested in presenting new-fangled theories of evolution before his class, against the majoritarian impulses of an insular,local school board amply-stocked with smug bigots and climbers of the local political ladder.

Well, who are the obscurantists this time? Who would limit previously-enjoyed Constitutional rights based strictly upon the associations of the practitioners? And who seeks to just freely practice the very freedoms for which the nation was founded and for which our veterans toiled?

And as to the council majority's political sympathies or motivations? In this writer's opinion: entirely relevant.

Should the controversy not be settled between the now-lawyered-up sides, it is quite clear that a court session will delve very deeply into what causes accustomed city council majorities to act in certain extraordinary ways: in hurriedly-called, middle-of-night council sessions (with little or no notice to the representatives)and convened and adjourned over the telephone; with no public hearings and no invitation to affected parties to contribute even written or graphic testimony; with careless references to national, political movements having virtually no contemporary representation and certainly no ties to the veterans involved?

The Courts will Find for the City of New Rochelle.

This would be a matter of law, not of fact, so it will be determined by the Judge, without a Trial or Jury.

The Court will determine that there is no free speech violation, because private organizations and persons have no right to unilaterally raise a flag on public property without the permission of the authority who administers that public property.

The arguments used by Steve Mayo will be ignored by the Court as irrelevant and without merit.

Comparisons to the Scopes "Monkey Trial are absurd, and have no relationship to the Gadsden Flag issue, other than that the government is involved. However, the government did win in the Scopes trial.

Comparisons in Court to McCarthism and the Salem Witch Trials, is also irrelevant, except to the extent it is Steve Mayo and his supporters at TOTS, who are making wild, McCarthy-like attacks on various Democrats and on our City Manager.

Sussman and his group should stop complaining about flags and start talking about the real problems in NewRo...high taxes, bloated school administration, etc. This is just a tactic to direct attention away from the real problems while Rome burns!!! I wonder if the anti-flaggers are veterans?

No, none of the Democrats on Council are veterans. A couple of years in uniform and they would have a whole new perspective.

Most of the Republicans in Congress are not veterans. Neither Ronald Reagan nor GW Bush nor Dick Cheney were veterans (and Ronald Reagan avoided WWII), But they've all been advocates of war.

I believe there are no Vets on the US Supreme Court. At least our Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense are Vets.

Whether you personally approve them or not Mr. Sussman, both President G.W. Bush, and his father, President G.H.W. Bush, are U.S. military veterans.

The senior Bush as a Navy fighter pilot, flying an Avenger Torpedo bomber in the South Pacific, including being shot down and rescued over Chi Chi Jima in 1945.

President G.W. Bush flew the F-102 fighter interceptor with the 147 Fighter Interceptor Group of the Texas Air National Guard.

Before you offer me your worn out Democrat, Dan Rather endorsed horse shit talking points about President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard, just know that every time he took off and landed in that F-102, in over a year of training, he risked more in the service of his country than you ever did.

Or ever will.

GW Bush is not a Military Vet.

He did join the National Guard, and used his political connections to avoid the draft and the Vietnam War.

But his unit was never activated during the Vietnam War, so GW Bush never served in the Military. Furthermore, he was AWOL from the National Guard the entire time he was in it. Not one other member of his National Guard unit ever saw him there. He was a member in name only, but not a Vet. He did nothing to benefit our country by his avoidance of his National Guard service.

But GW Bush certainly did a lot of damage to our military and country when he was one of our worst Presidents.

As for GH Bush, he was the youngest Naval Pilot seeing active service, during WWII. Of course he was a Vet, one who lost several aircraft.

And Reagan? Virtually all males of military age, served in WWII except for Reagan, who safely stayed in Hollywood.

Mr. Sussman:

BDS, Bush Derangement Syndrome, is a serious affliction.

There is help available.

Seek it.

Not only was George 'Mission Accomplished' Bush NOT a military veteran but a none too bright rich boy dodger, and he and his buddy Cheney were responsible for the Iraq War.......watch Iraq For Sale.

4500+ soldiers died in that war under his watch, thanks to Bush and Cheney.

Oh, and don't forget he also helped the banks to financially melt down the country in 2008.

Nothing wrong with Mr. Sussman, Mikey.

Now George Bush lovers? A whole other story........

The solution to the effects of GW Bush's obvious derangement was his retirement. His retirement was his only successful 'Mission Accomplished' to benefit our great nation.

However, out country and the world are continuing to suffer from the effects of GW Bush's derangement and lack of intellect.

At least we have President Obama to help. I'm glad you recognize that Barack Obama's help continues to be available. We are very fortunate in that regard.

Now try to defend policies that keep people poor. Defend telling poor children they're victims of some rich guy in another state they never met. Defend separating Americans into different classes, colors, incomes. "Hey, we're the 99% man, screw those 1%ers." Sounds familiar. The Jews were under 1% of the population. Some guy in the '30s convinced a lot of Germans that they were the problem. You can always attack the person holding the philosophy (like Jon Stewart's been doing a bit too long now), but the political philosophy is different. On Veteran's Day, within the first minute, Obama separated the crowd by race, age, and gender. That's how the current Democratic Party sees people.

Clinton was President, and chose to have such a flag behind him. As Commander-In-Chief of our entire Military, it was his choice. If he had chosen not to have that flag behind him, it would not have been there.

Likewise, the New Rochelle City Government runs the NR Armory, and it is our City Government's choice not to have the Gadsden Flag raised on City-owned property.

The problem with the Gadsden Flag, is that its historical importance has been corrupted by its symbolic use by the Teabaggers.

Why the Teabaggers find symbolic importance in the Gadsden Flag, has yet to be explained. Certainly, today's Teabaggers would have been the 'Tories' during the Revolution, rather than the 'Patriots'.

Can anyone explain why the Teabaggers have co-opted the historical Gadsden Flag? No one here seems able to explain why.

He Chose to have that flag behind him? HUH???
So you want the readers to believe that the Commander in Chief of the United States and the Leader of the Free World makes decisions as minute as to what props will be displayed at each speech he gives??? Oh, Brother!

You show yourself to be on the extreme fringes making such an unintelligent statement like that
Not to mention your other highly questionable comments of the Flag itself. So you also want the readers to think the United States Navy co-opted 'Don't Tread On Me' in 1996??? Say what???

There should be no doubt, in anyone's mind, that each President and his staff do consider if not determine what images are in the background, any time the President makes a speech in front of cameras.

When the President makes a speech on a naval vessel, you can be sure that the President, the Secretary of the Navy, and their staffs are involved in creating the photo opportunity.

An excellent, but embarrassing example, is when President GW Bush made a speech on an aircraft carrier, with the absurdly untrue sign 'Mission Accomplished' behind him. That sign was there because GW Bush wanted it there for the photos.

As I recall, he arranged for the ship to be a few miles out to sea, rather than in port, so he'd have the weak excuse of landing in a naval jet, while embarrssingly wearing a flight suit.

That photo opportunity cost taxpayers millions of dollars. It was all arranged by the President's and Secretary of the Navy's staff, to please our President who was hoping for political benefit. If GW Bush didn't want to be photographed in that scenario, there would have been no sign falsely stating 'Mission Accomplished'.

BTW, the flag behind President Clinton was not the Gadsden Flag. The Gadsden Flag has a yellow background, a rattlesnake and the words 'Don't Tread On Me'.

The flag behind Bill Clinton was an official Naval Flag with alternating red and white stripes, and the words 'Don't Tread On Me', and with a Rattlesnake, but no yellow background. It's name is the 'The First Navy Jack', and it was officially adopted September 11, 2002, when GW Bush was President. Prior to that the standard Navy Jack was a simple blue field with 50 stars on it.

The US Navy never had an official flag until 1959. The Gadsden Flag had never been the official flag of our navy, and was an obscure flag used on a few small ships in 1776-1777. We had a tiny, ineffectual navy during the Revolution, except for the ships of the very competent John Paul Jones.

The official Navy Flag has a blue background with a circle on it. In that circle is a sailing ship with the standard Stars and Stripes on its mast, and with a Bald Eagle sitting on an Anchor, in front of the ship. Below that circle, is a yellow ribbon with the words 'United States Navy'. That's the Flag that United Vets should have requested be raised on the Armory flag pole.

So You're saying that President Clinton ordered to have a 'Don't Tread On Me' Flag to be placed behind him while giving a speech on a US Navy Ship STATIONED IN JAPAN???

And as usual your ignorance shines through on the subject. ALL Navy ships were directed to fly this version of the 'Don't Tread on Me' Flag in 1976.

The main point, is that the flag behind President Clinton was NOT the Gadsden Flag.

Furthermore, the Gadsden flag didn't originate the icon of a rattlesnake with the words "Don't Tread On Me".

That symbol was borrowed by Gadsden (and by earlier flags), from the original 1754 illustration of Ben Franklin's. This was a pre-revolutionary image, designed to encourage the 13 colonies to loyally unite behind the UK King, to fight the French in the "French and Indian War".

That today's Teabaggers identify with the rattlesnake and "Don't Tread On Me", amazes me, as that icon represents the States uniting as one. That symbol's meaning is exactly opposite to the the 'States Rights' that Teabaggers are so fond of.

So the presence of the Gadsen Flag at Every Occupy Wall Street Rally was what?

It amazes me how clueless you are...

Please, it shouldn’t be so difficult. From The President of The United States to The Mayor of New Rochelle, they all have communication or media relations people. They are all photo opportunities. Do you think The President or the Mayor walk around with a set of podiums, microphones and flags for every announcement they make. No! The President of The United States has a very large advance team for everything he does. He even has an entire team of speech of writers, a Press Secretary and much more all paid for by the American Citizens. The Mayor writes speeches for Nita Lowery doesn’t he? A majority if not most information regardless whether you are the mayor or the president is controlled for timing, content and effect. Sorry folk’s it’s not personal, it’s business.

Everyone in every aspect of our day to day lives is that way. It’s not just politics; it exists with corporate America, local politics, non-profit groups, civic groups and so many other areas. They call it called Photo Opportunities, Public Relation, Media Relations, Advertising and Marketing Folks!


You are right the city government runs the NR Armory and they have run it into the ground. Like so many of our wonderful buildings that should be restored, this administration has no intention of refurbishing these structures. How many cities have an armory, barn or greenhouse? Not many and those who do know how important they are to the fabric of a city. Instead, this administration has chosen to do business with Forest City, Monroe and Cappelli. Let's see how long those buildings last.

What the City of New Rochelle runs, and how well they run it, are totally different questions.

I agree, that for the last 50 years, the New Rochelle City Council, whether run by Republicans or Democrats, has often made poor urban development decisions, harmful to the commerce and people of New Rochelle. Over the last 40 years I have often spoken and written on such matters, including here at TOTS.

I have often been on the record criticizing the NR Government for allowing if not encouraging the disrepair and destruction of Ft Slocum, of the Armory, of Mechanic St (Memorial Hwy), Lawton St, Huguenot St, Thru-Way Diner, North Ave between Anderson and Huguenot, and 'The (old) Mall'. Likewise I have criticized the Forest City Echo Bay folly, the Avalons, Trump Plaza, New Roc City and smelly Cappelli.

It's clear to me, that both political parties have been equally responsible for New Rochelle's commercial malaise.

The reason has primarily been lack of interest and knowledge of the South End, by our North End citizens. This has allowed the Real Estate and Construction Special Interests to have much, greedy, influence to do hit-amd-run construction that has long-term negative effects on our City. This has been going on since the mid-1960's.

Robert Cox's picture


And here we can find agreement. The decline of New Rochelle over the last 40 years has been a bipartisan effort.

Robert Cox's picture

"Can anyone explain why the Teabaggers have co-opted the historical Gadsden Flag? No one here seems able to explain why."

Maybe no one is responding to your rather transparent "gotcha" questions like this one because Talk of the Sound readers are not the idiots you seem to think they are.

By the way, do you understand that "teabaggers" is derived from "teabagging" which is term describing a rather vulgar sex act? That you continue to use this term reflect a lack of civility that is unbecoming for a Democratic District Leader.

I certainly do understand that.

And do you understand that "Teaparty" refers to the Madhatter's insane party, visited by Lewis Carroll's Alice?

"Teaparty" couldn't possibly refer to the Boston Tea Party, as Sam Adams and his riotous buddies would have tarred and feathered today's so-called conservatives identifying themselves as the Tea Party.

Today's self-proclaimed 'Tea Party' advocates should have come up with a more appropriate name for their movement. Historically, the equivalent political movement in the 19th century was called the 'Know Nothing Party'.

In the 1940's, the conservative populist party was the Dixiecrats. In the 1970's George Wallace's 'American Independent Party' was the direct ancestor of todays Tea Party Movement. Today's Tea Party is mainly popular in the same regions as was the Know Nothings, the Dixiecrats, and American Independent Party. That same geographic region of Tea Party popularity is that part of the USA where Jim Crow was popular, and where science is frowned on as satanic.

I assume most Westchester Republican voters have no interest in the Tea Party. That's a major explanation as to why the the Republican Party is rapidly dropping in popularity in Westchester and in New Rochelle.

As I believe in a two party system, I hope the Republican voters are able to convince the Westchester and New Rochelle Republican Committee Members, to avoid the Tea Party's absurdities. This Gadsden Flag folly can only further reduce the electability of New Rochelle's Republicans.

The Tea Party eccentrics must stop teabagging the Republican Voters, or soon, the modern Republican Party will be an historic oddity, like the 19th century Know Nothing Party.

Robert Cox's picture

I am sure the Republicans greatly appreciate sage advice from a Democratic District Leader, especially when it is offered with such genuine concern for the party's success in New Rochelle and Westchester County.

Your heartfelt concern for your political opponents is touching.

Thank you.

Unlike your comment, I am not being sarcastic, and truly am concerned about the death of the Two Party System in the USA, and of the on-going political suicide of the national and local Republican Party.

What has evolved, is that the Republican Party is becoming a regional Party representing the areas of former Jim Crow laws, basically those parts of the USA that had been part of the Confederacy or were territories, during the Civil War. Ironically, those areas had been ruled by a regional Democratic Party from 1860-1933.

The only reason the Republicans even control the House of Representatives is due to Gerrymandering. Soon, demographics will even make Gerrymandering impossible. To put that in context, in the 2012 election, the Democrats elected to the House of Representatives received over one million more votes than did the Republicans elected to the House.

Robert Cox's picture

I guess by regional you mean regions like Westchester County where the head of government is a Republican or the County Board of Legislators where New Rochelle's two reps are Republicans?

Just out of curiosity, have you spent much time in the South?

No wonder all the Democrats on council and our mayor are jerks,Mr Sussman,a district leader, is as a--hole! Plain and simple.

Why are Democrats so popular in the USA, NY State, Westchester County, and in New Rochelle?

And why are Republicans so unpopular and in disrepute in the USA, NY State, Westchester County, and in New Rochelle?

There are 5 Democrats on the City Council. They are there because they ran as Democrats.

Most New Rochelle voters will not vote for any Republican for City Council, because the NR Republican City Council candidates insist on politically associating with the Republicans of Congress and Senate, as well as with dangerous incompetents like GW Bush, Dick Cheney, Ted Cruz, not to mention Mitt Romney.

Likewise, NR Republican City Council candidates insist on politically associating with the Republicans who are governor or legislators in other states.

Most Democratic and unaffilliated voters, in Westchester and New Rochelle, despise the 'modern' Republican Party's take on social and religious issues, economics and science. Furthermore, the national Republican Party tends to be biased against Blacks, Hispanics, Women, Gays and poor people, while being overly-sympathetic to billionaires.

As a result, most voters in Westchester and New Rochelle reject all local Republican candidates, and don't even consider the local issue raised by the local Republicans, because of the taint of the national Republican Party.

I have repeatedly given the following great advice to the Republicans who are the majority of Posters at TOTS:

If you care enough about New Rochelle, and wish to get more Republicans elected to the City Council, you must stick to completely local issues, and abandon any apparent connection to the issues of the national Republican Party. You might actually pick up more City Council seats if you follow that advice. You might actually affect City policy and make this a better community, if you'd recognize that reality.

But if you care more about the issues of the national Republican Party, than about the local issues of New Rochelle, please do highlight your ultra-conservative, teaparty beliefs, and abandon all hope of gaining a majority on the City Council or electing a Republican Mayor.

The NR Gadsden Flag raising was obviously an attempt to get attention in the national conservative media, perhaps to get some political financial assistance from persons and entities who themselves have no knowledge of New Rochelle.

But the NR Gadsden Flag raising will prove an uncompelling issue among the New Rochelle voters. If anything, that issue will turn off many local voters to the NR Republican candidates.

This is especially true, as the City of New Rochelle is compelled to spend money, to correctly defend itself from the civil suit filed by the those members of the Republican Party who are using the cover of United Vets for partisan political purposes. That degrades the integrity of both United Vets and the New Rochelle Republican Committee.

I know the New Rochelle Republican Committee will not heed my well-meant, useful advice.

Instead, like much of the once-Grand Old Party, the NR Republican politicians will choose to act like lemmings following the Teaparty Pied Piper, to drown in the political seas of changing demographics and of a more progressive society.

you do realize that the Dixecrats were southern Democrats right? that Democrats beloved Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist and a self proclaimed racist who participated in Klan rallies who's members were democrats? She openly advocated killing black babies as a means to the end of eliminating the black population in her letters... that's the thing with you lefties always with the revisionist history.

your guilt by association tactics are not going to work here. Are you going to attempt to rewrite the history of last years memorial day celebrations where the Gadsden Flag was up in the middle of the band shell in Hudson park where people of the entire community of all races gathered. including the NAACP, Democratic politicians, Marines, Sailors, Police and Firefighters.

presumably it was put on the bandshell which is public property without specific permission as I'm sure that memorial day wasn't dictated by city council otherwise there would be hammer a sickles up on stage and the celebrations would have sucked.

How are you going to explain away the Hypocrisy mr Sussman, that was just LAST YEAR, but like Orwell said with you guys 2+2=5 or whatever the party tells you it is today...

"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"

"Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary." -George Orwell 1984

"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can "throw the rascals out" at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy."

- Carrol Quigley, Tragedy and Hope

Carroll Quigley was an American historian and theorist of the evolution of civilizations. He is noted for his teaching work as a professor at Georgetown University, for his academic publications, and for his research on secret societies. He is also Mentor to Democrat darling Bill Clinton and his liberal credentials are unquestinable

... Buuuttt I guess you wouldn't know that because that is not gov authorized history

I'm glad Bob finally said it. As you pontificate and attempt to derail the conversation, I find it most objectionable that you continue to throw around the "tea bagger" phrase like some childish imp who just learned the word "poopy". Do you actually giggle when you hear the word? Please try to maintain a level of civility as you post. It's hard enough getting through your ramblings to find a point that's relevant as I steer around your vulgarity. I read these musings and try to figure where you're base is. You have a contention that you share the same objections to many of the issues and policies that trouble this city, yet, you continue to criticize and vilify those that aren't of the same party affiliation even though you agree with them! Have you ever voiced these views at an actual democratic party meeting? You couldn't possibly be as vocal at a district leader meeting as you are on TOS. They would remove you. So, having said that, why do you continue to be supportive of the machine that, at the local level to be sure, has no room for any idea that isn't dictated from within? What is the love for a party that has continued to gut this city (and I'll stipulate that maybe it started before the current majority du jour) by carrying on with politics for the sake of politics rather than good governance. I would contend that your so bogged down in the quagmire of your affiliation that you have neutered your own system of beliefs.

This flag issue is very clear to those who put the history of America ahead of pop culture fads. To think there could be a fundamental issue in raising a piece of Naval/Marine history in front of an edifice that has housed so many sailors and marines is beyond me, however I would suggest that that in and of itself, this serves to reinforce how far away we've drifted from an understanding of our history. You instead try to draw a similarity between a photo op for the commander in chief and the censorship of a city council, puhleeze. City Government runs the Armory? Really? I submit that they couldn't run a faucet, let alone publicly owned property. The only care that building sees (aside from cutting the grass once a month) is from volunteer efforts that pick up trash around the building and maintaining the Flag, and that is limited only because the "City Government " refuses to allow anything else. So, sorry dude, the city does not run the Armory.

In closing, stop the vulgarity and try to stay on point and I'm sure we could have a proper dialogue, unless of course, the powers behind you won't allow it.

Can One lose what One never had???

As for the tactics displayed - this is textbook leftwing behavior. Name calling and grandstanding but no facts or plausible notions...

Actually you have it backwards.

Textbook right-wing behavior consists of name calling and grandstanding with no facts or plausible notions. Just look at all the meaningless, misinformed garbage, and religious fantasies, thrown around by Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan, Dick Cheney, GW Bush, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Fox News, etc., ad nauseum.

In comparison, left-wing behavior tends to be based on facts, and based on scientific data.

JohnD, Your Post makes no sense.

To a large extent, what you have written reflects what you have imagined I have written here.

If you had addressed what I had actually written, I could respond to that. But I can't defend my paraphrased statements if I haven't made them.

But misquoting, and taking statements out of context seems to be a popular hobby among Republicans, so I am not surprised to see your misinformation here.

If you actually read what I have written, you'd have no trouble understanding my clear language, and historical references.

The fact that you indicate that you are confused by what I have written, implies to me, that rather then reading my postings here, you have read other persons' postings misquoting and taking statements out of context. Try reading what I have actually written, and don't fill in any imagined missing blanks, and you will be able to understand my clear language.

I'll respond to your Post later. I find it difficualt to respond to your Post, because your paragraphs are far too long and multi-topic. If you are going to write a long Posting, you should consider breaking down each of your paragraphs to more paragraphs of only a few sentences each.

I do want to respond to you further, but it will take me some time to decipher your lengthy paragraphs. To a large extent, I will be pointing out the various misinformation you have Posted.

However, I will state here, I do regularly speak at Democratic Committee Meetings, and I am often critical of the Democratic Council Members present. A major purpose of our monthly NR Democratic Committee meetings, is for the District Leaders to ask questions of elected officials and of candidates and to comment on the issues.

No District Leader gets kicked out for asking questions or making statements at monthly Democratic Committee Meetings. My own presumption, is that your assumption of Party censorship, is based on there being no free speech at a NR Republican Committee Meeting. I understand that NR Republican Committee meetings are infrequent.

WiffnPoof, you wrongly imply that my statements here, regarding the Gadsden Flag are coordinated with the Democratic Party.

That is an incorrect assumption of yours. I have not communicated with anyone, anywhere, regarding the Gadsden Flag issue, except for what I have posted on TOTS.

Any opinion I have posted at TOTS is solely my opinion, and not part of the non-existent conspiracy that you have fantasized.

The group you refer to, is the Democratic Party. I must remind you that 52% of all New Rochelle voters are registered Democrats, while only 20% of all New Rochelle voters are registered Republicans.

And based on the last decade of elections, most New Rochelle Voters unaffiliated with any Party, vote Democrat on Election Day.

So when you criticize New Rochelle Democrats, you are criticizing the majority of the voters of this city.

I am not a Vet. Very few New Rochelle Babyboomers are Vets. But when I was in college, 1969-73, I chose to risk being drafted via the lottery, by voluntarily changing my draft status from 2S to 1A.

BTW I am not anti-flagger. I don't even know what you mean by anti-flagger. There is only one flag of the USA, the 'Stars and Stripes', and I respect it.

My father was a 90% disabled WWII Vet. He is buried in a military cemetary. The US Flag from his coffin is in my living room, about 3 feet away from me.

So, WhifnPoof, what is your own draft, military and vet history?

And more importantly, what is the symbolic importance of the Gadsden Flag to you? And why do you think is the important to raise that flag in New Rochelle in 2013? Do you have a meaningful answer that you can post here?

I didn't refer to a political party, you did.
I'm not affiliated with your party or the other, and I've voted in the past for candidates from each. Would you allow the veterans to fly the POW-MIA flag on public property?
And my gratitude for your fathers patriotism and service to our country!

What I have stated was that that the issue is not the symbolic of importance of your favorite icon, whether it be the Gadsden Flag, a Mickey Mouse Flag, the Confederate Flag or Grafitti.

Rather the issue is whether one can lawfully post any icon, or in this case, raise the the icon known as the Gadsden Flag, on public or on private property without the permission of those that administer that property.

Or to summarize it, the issue is that our legal system, constitution and precedent is that property rights tends to trump free speech in the USA. And that it is the conservatives in this country who traditionally have a higher regard for property rights than for First Amendment Free Speech Rights.

But you are right that I equate all symbols as being icons, whether political, religious, commercial or just plain silly. However, political and religious free speech has been recognized by our courts as possessing greater civil rights than commercial free speech.

I have no opinion on the Gadsden Flag itself, because no one at TOTS has bothered explaining the symbolic importance of the Gadsden Flag in New Rochelle in 2013. Will you please provide us that context?


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