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Flag flap spurs call for formal apology

Wednesday, November 10, 2004



AMHERST - Vladimir Morales, who helped organize a Puerto Rican flag-raising ceremony in honor of Puerto Rican month, is asking for a formal apology from the woman he said took the flag down.

Friday, the flag was raised on the Town Common with more than 100 people gathered to celebrate and sing the Puerto Rican national anthem. But on Sunday, Town Meeting member Patricia K. Church apparently thought the flag was the state flag of Texas. Upset with the results from last week's presidential election, Church later told Morales it was she who took it down, Morales said. Bush is from Texas.

Both flags have a single star set on blue background. But the Puerto Rican flag has red and white stripes and the star is set in a triangular background, while the Texan flags is half white and half red with the star set in a rectangular background.

Morales said when he heard the flag was missing his first thought was that it had been vandalized.

"It gives you a bad taste," he said. "We had a good thing on Friday. ... We felt aggrieved."

When he heard the flag was found and what happened, he said, "It was a misunderstanding," but he said the act still surprised him. "The point of taking it on themselves. I think the folks need to be a little more careful."

He would like Church to apologize formally to the whole community. Church could not be reached for comment.

The Puerto Rican flag, meanwhile, was back up yesterday in front of Town Hall.


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