Flag-raising may resolve Bangor apartment flap

Posted Aug. 01, 2008, at 12 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine -&nbspBangor Housing Authority, which recently asked a Vietnam veteran to remove a U.S. flag from his porch because it violated the subsidized apartment complex’ s policies, put up a flagpole Thursday in the man’ s front yard.

The veteran, Arthur Brazeau, 61, said he was “going to feel proud” when the flag is raised for the first time, he said Thursday. He plans a flag-raising ceremony at 1 p.m. today at the new flagpole.

It was placed in a grassy area beside a small parking lot across from his Autumn Park West apartment on Union Street.

He said he was especially happy “that I accomplished something that they tried to take away from me,” he said.

The decorated Army veteran and Bangor Troop Greeter was told in mid-July to remove his flag and other smaller flags, which he had displayed for months, or face a $50 minimum charge for their removal by housing authority staff.

Housing authority rules prohibit the attachment of any flags on the property, but free-standing flagpoles are allowed.

The display at Brazeau’s apartment included a U.S. flag and three small flags, representing the U.S. Army, POWs-MIAs and Maine. The flags were hanging from his porch on a handmade wooden bracket attached to the railing.

Those were all removed, and Brazeau tied a small 2-foot-by-3-foot flag to his porch, which remains in place.

Once the flag is raised on the 20-foot pole Friday, “I’ m going to excuse myself, go over to my apartment and take down my flag,” he said.

Brazeau will be responsible for taking care of the new flag, said Jeff Gordon, BHA project manager.

“We’ ve talked to Mr. Brazeau and we have a mutual agreement with him to put it up in the morning and take it down at night,” as U.S. flag etiquette requires, he said.

Several of Brazeau’ s friends have volunteered to help, both Gordon and Brazeau said.

The housing authority has another community flagpole, at Nason Park Manor on Hancock Street, Gordon said. The agency has had other flags before, but they were “taken down a few years ago” because residents didn’ t want the responsibility of taking care of them, Gordon said.

Gordon and Elsie Coffey, BHA executive director, will be on hand at the flag-raising, and Maine National Guard personnel also are expected to help with the ceremony.

nricker@bangordailynews.net

990-8190

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