The flag of Saudi Arabia was flown higher than the U.S. flag at a school in Ft. Collins Colorado according to a picture taken by a reader of the Colorado newspaper Greeley Gazette.
Upon close inspection, both flags are hung at the same height, but the U.S. flag’s pole is missing or appears to have been broken off, causing it to appear lower than the other.
Brian Carpenter, the principal of Bauder Elementary school in Fort Collins Colorado insisted neither he nor his staff moved the flag to the lower position.
However, Carpenter said that only someone who worked in the building would have known where the flag was usually hung.
Flying the flag lower than any other nation’s flag is a violation of federal law.
Public Law 94-344 of the Federal Flag Law states “No other flag or pennant should be placed above, or, if on same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America,…No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the United States at any place within the United States or any territory or possession thereof:…”
Carpenter said the U.S. flag was moved from its usual position in the school and placed lower than the Saudi Arabian flag in an area of the school where international flags from countries around the world are displayed.
According to the school, the purpose of the international flags is to recognize the nationality of the many students in the school who come from other countries. Carpenter said the school has many parents from other countries who attend Colorado State University.
“The American flag is very important to us and this country so we treat it with respect.” Carpenter said when people called into the school to complain, after which Carpenter then said he moved the flag back to its usual position.
Carpenter continued, “We realize this is an extremely sensitive time with us getting close to the 10th anniversary of 9/11. There is an increased amount of alertness and sensitivity, but if someone is concerned about something to do with our flag I will settle the issue right away.”
Carpenter said the picture was taken before students headed back to school.