In an e-mail to Florida House member Fred Costello from Secretary Ananth Prasad that was forwarded to St Augustine City Manager John Regan and read into the minutes of the City Commission meeting Monday night, the Secretary acquiesced to the Representative’s call supporting US flags to fly over the Bridge of Lions.
The Ormond Beach member of the Florida House of Representatives is a candidate for the newly redrawn US Congressional District 6; which includes St Johns County and is served, until January, by Republican Congressman John L. Mica of Winter Park.
Costello believes that you should be able to display the American flag in America — anywhere, anytime. At the Daytona 500, Costello wrote that he was able “to chat with and impose upon Secretary Prasad”, eliciting the e-mail response.
“We will install the poles, but the city has to authorize the flag,” Prasad wrote; speaking for the Florida Department of Transportation. The City of St Augustine would have to agree to pay for the cost of the materials and for proper maintenance of flag protocols; such as raising and lowering the flag or providing appropriate lighting — if it is to be left in place.
City Attorney Ron Brown expressed concern that the City would wind up in court, again, as it did when a Gay Rights group sued, and won, the right to display “rainbow flags” above the Bridge of Lions.
Regan is gathering costs for materials, estimating manpower commitments and consulting with the City Attorney before any final decision is made or further action is taken to erect flagpoles or fly the American flag.
Photo credits: © 2012 Historic City News staff photographer