NY vets raise banner similar to 'Don't Tread' flag

Photo courtesy Jen Parente

NY vets raise banner similar to 'Don't Tread' flag

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New York veterans who were told they couldn't fly a "Don't Tread on Me" flag on city property have raised a huge banner inspired by the flag at their American Legion post.

Peter Parente, president of a veterans group in New Rochelle, said Thursday the banner measures 10 by 13 feet.  

The banner was painted and donated by Staten Island artist Scott Lobaido.

It shows a coiled snake, similar to the one on the Revolution-era Gadsden flag. And it includes the words, "Don't Tread on Me."

The veterans hoisted a Gadsden flag last month at the city-owned New Rochelle Armory.

But New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson ordered it down, saying the flag has been adopted by the tea party and makes a political statement.

Veterans groups and other citizens across the country strongly disagree, according to Jen Parente.   Back in 1775, when the flag originated as a symbol of patriotism and American strength and pride, the tea party was not in existence, Parente explains.

At Thursday's unveiling, Peter Parente was quoted  saying "Our mayor, long before his stint in politics here in New Rochelle, has disliked and was not favorable to our military. Examples are the mayor's blockade and protest of the ROTC program during his studies at Harvard while American Patriotism was at it's height during the Gulf War and Desert Storm. While the rest of the country was tying yellow ribbons in front of their homes supporting our troops, Noam Bramson was blocking our military from coming onto the campus of Harvard University to recruit. Maybe that explains why Noam Bramson erased New Rochelle's proud history of Fort Slocum and is looking to do the same with the New Rochelle Naval Armory."

The veterans are considering a lawsuit over being allowed to fly the flag.

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