An assistant principal of Perry Hall High School has apologized for an oversight noticed by a Perry Hall parent: The American flag wasn’t flown on the first day of school, and later, it was left up at the school overnight during the weekend.
"We are very proud of our American heritage and we would never, in any way, want to disrespect the flag or the country," Assistant Principal Stephen Arnold told Patch Wednesday. "We certainly apologize to anyone who has noticed this and if there is ever a problem, I am glad to address it personally."
Arnold said he has asked custodial staff to take particular care to ensure the American flags that fly outside of the high school are raised and taken down appropriately.
Perry Hall parent Heather Patti raised the issue in a letter to the editor published this week on Patch.
"Over this past weekend it was noted that the flag had never been taken down at the end of the school day Friday," she wrote. "Old Glory hung through the darkness and rain all weekend. I, along with many of my colleagues, friends, and alumni find this to be an insult against our community and country, especially as our young soldiers continue to fight for our freedoms."
"How can I trust the school to educate my student when they cannot master a simple task such as putting up and taking down a flag on a daily basis?" she wrote.
Arnold told Patch on Wednesday that administrators read Patti's letter and they do not want the community to view the oversights as deliberate or unpatriotic.
It is customary to display the flag on flagstaffs from sunrise to sunset, according American flag guidelines published in the Old Farmers’ Almanac online. For special occasions, the flag can be displayed at night.
It should also be displayed at schools on school days, according to the guidelines.
After Patti raised the issue, Baltimore County Councilman David Marks said he made a call to Perry Hall High School.
Councilman Marks also expressed faith that the flag problems were accidental, but he said the school needs to avoid coming across as disrespectful by following the rules for raising the flag.
"I don't think anyone at the high school is being intentionally disrespectful or unpatriotic," Marks told Patch. "The American flag should be treated respectfully and flown in accordance with all conventions, which means being raised in the morning and lowered at night."