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Waiving The Flag of Freedom

Original post made by James Lewis, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Oct 7, 2007

What would you think about the creation of a flag for the City of Menlo Park? As far as I know, we don't have one.

Many, many cities throughout the Bay Area, the State of California and across the Country proudly display a MUNICIPAL flag. Over many centuries, the flag has represented many things to citizens across their lands.

Is it time for the City of Menlo Park to consider a "flag"? Could a contest be established for citizens and others to SUBMIT their ideas, recommendations and suggestions? Is the time now and the place here?

I shall defer this important decision to the citizens of Menlo Park along with the City Council's collective good judgement. However, please keep in mind while making this decision, that a flag may go a long wyas in building CIVIC PRIDE and fostering a dynamic, viable COMMUNITY. Flags can make a difference. The question is, will a flag in Menlo Park make a difference for you and for your fellow citizens?

It may seem appropriate at this time to restate some thoughts about BETSY ROSS, as follows:

"While Americans recognize and celebrate collective achievements such as the writing of the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, victory in the REVOLUTIONAL WAR, or the landing of a man ON THE MOON, it is the individual accomplishments that is cherished by many people. The "stars" of the aforementiond events, such as THOMAS JEFFERSON, GEORGE WASHINGTON AND NEIL ARMSTRONG -- outshine the collective constellation. One person's contribution C A N define the course and meaning of history.

Betsy Ross sewed the first American Flag. When we view the flag, we think of LIBERTY, FREEDOM, PRIDE AND BETSY ROSS. The American flag flies proudly on the MOON, sits atop MOUNT EVEREST, and is hurtling out in SPACE. The flag is how America signs her NAME.

It is no surprise that Betsy Ross has become one of the most cherished figures of AMERICAN HISTORY."

Food for thought......

James Lewis, a Palo Alto resident, but nearly a

Comments (7)

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Posted by What ARE we waiving?
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 7, 2007 at 10:45 pm

Seeing the word "waiving" in such close proximity to "freedom" kind of makes me wonder about the point of this grandstanding.

Like this comment
Posted by Roxie
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Oct 8, 2007 at 2:12 pm

I do not think now is the time for Menlo Park to be having a flag contest because we have more important issues we need to focus on. A flag contest would take up a lot of staff, public and city council time (making sure the contest is fair, legal, getting judges, etc...)

It is a nice idea, but we have a new City Manager and a surplus of funds and it would be best to let him prioritize on critical issues:
* recruiting and retaining police officers (the city can afford to pay the same as Redwood City does for starting and line level police officers)

* infrastructure, traffic, health, safety and mass transit issues
* social services for people in need, especially children

A flag contest in this day and time would probably create more problems and distractions for people who need to concentrate on urgent issues.

Maybe in the future when the City is in better shape the time for a flag contest will present itself.


Like this comment
Posted by Saluting The Flag
a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2007 at 9:43 pm

I live my life by the principal "why put off until tomorrow that which you can do today". Afterall, there is no time like the present.

The time to select a pattern for a flag ought to be minimal. Common sense tells you the "benefit" is more than worth the "cost". Sure, everything takes some time and money, but think of the PRIDE, think of the LOYALTY, think of the historic BENEFITS of a flag dating back 100's of years.

Providing a flag for Menlo Park is long overdue. One may say, the TIME is now and the PLACE is here. It certainly is true for many of Menlo Park neighbors,who have long had a flag flying PROUDLY for years.

The email above sounds like it is written by a Council member. If so, I have no doubt your plate is full if not overflowing. There are big problems in this town and equally big challenges. However, the City Council can be a POLICY MAKER in this case, leaving the details to staff, one of the important COMMISSIONS, or an ad hoc group.

Let's RECONSIDER having a flag for Menlo Park -- for today's citizens and for GENERATIONS to come.

Like this comment
Posted by Let's Be Serious
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 14, 2007 at 10:02 am

My "common sense" thoroughly rejects "Saluting"'s idea of creating a flag as some sort of statement of (or to manufacture?) pride and loyalty. No, the benefit -- which hasn't even been coherently defined -- would not be worth the cost in time and energy, particularly when very busy people need to spend their time and energy on things that matter. A flag? I don't think so.

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Posted by I'll waive that flag
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Oct 14, 2007 at 12:44 pm

Menlo Park already has a logo, a stylized tree. I haven't heard any complaints about it. We'll silkscreen the logo onto a rectangular piece of fabric, and there's your flag. Happy now? Can we move on to more important issues.

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Posted by Roxie
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Oct 14, 2007 at 4:10 pm

Hi Saluting the Flag,

No, I'm not a Council member. I do watch and sometimes attend Council meetings. The City Manager has to spend hours at these meetings regardless of whether the issues being discussed that night are critical or pressing. When I read in the paper about the problems our police force is having, see the effects of having no traffic patrol, see the city falling behind in planning for mass transit, and so many other problems I feel that we do not have the luxury of spending time on designing a flag. It is not because I am some kind of procrastinator who does not have any principals regarding doing what can be done today. I think I just differ with you on your opinion of what can and should be done today.

A flag contest, or whatever you would call it, in this town could turn into a real fiasco, deciding what should be on a flag that will last a hundred years into the future does not seem so simple. I don't think the city staff should spend their time trying to create flags.

I think "I'll waive that flag"'s idea of putting the Menlo Park Tree logo on a white background is a good one. You could probably have this flag made up for yourself and others with an interest. If the flag became popular over time it might be easy to adopt as some sort of city flag.

Like this comment
Posted by James Lewis
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 18, 2007 at 5:42 pm

I think that your idea of simply placing the long established and well respected City of Menlo Park's name and logo consisting of a very attractive OAK TREE on a flag along with the words "City of Menlo Park" is an EXCELLENT IDEA.

Initially, it wouldn't have to be officially sanctioned by overworked city council and city staff members; instead, it could be used in day-to-day common practice.

If it is liked, no doubt more copies will be made. If it is not, well, "back to the drawing boards".

Perhaps some Downtown MERCHANT will order a 1,000 of them and widely distribute them to interested parties. After all, I think the FOUNDING FATHERS intended the government to be BY THE PEOPLE, OF THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE.

No need to complicate the process with judges, staff time, meetings, consulting studies and so forth, perhaps a PUBLIC SPIRITED individual can create the flag and WAIVING THE FLAG OF FREEDOM will be born in Menlo Park.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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