Maybe a better name for Niles would be city of ‘Flower Beds’

Published 1:05 pm Friday, July 24, 2009

To the editor:

Although the offending USA flag on Main Street has gone, surprisingly, it has not been replaced, not even for the July 4th, 2009. In fact most of the Flags of the four nations, who are said to have occupied Niles at onetime, have disappeared. There are now only a few unflattering flags left scattered around Niles; at least one is wrapped around its pole such that the stars on it are hidden. This problem may be solved by the tangle-free flag bracket with rotating bearings that allows the Flagstaff to rotate, if the flag begins to wrap. For Donkeys’ years, such a solution has been advertised and sold by Sky Mall under Catalog number 241877G; Page 42, Summer 2009 issue of Delta Airlines’ Sky Mall; Telephone No. 1-800-SkyMall.

I moved to Niles 11 years ago and learnt that Niles is proud to be known as the “City of Four Flags.” Hmmm! If it were that proud, why doesn’t it show it?

Little or nothing has changed in the lack of pride in displaying the four flags each year since my arrival in Niles in 1998, when I drew the City’s attention to the fact that the then British flag (Union Jack) flown was mounted upside down. At that time it was reported to me that it would be too expensive to send out a work crew to correct the false seafaring distress signal, but I was assured that the flags would be correctly mounted the following year. Not so, not until a photograph was published; then the “distress” was corrected overnight, though the Union Jack flag was historically for the period an anachronism. It should have been the flag of England. Now with the symmetry of the English flag of the period, it’s a no-brainer as to which way up it is flown; It’s a seaman’s distress signal according to the government in power! Should the Stars be in a circle on the current US Flag flown with the other three nations’ flags for it to be appropriate to the historical Period?

By the height of summer the flags of all nations become bedraggled, and I become ashamed to boast of living in our City of Four Flags, simply because they are neglected.

The flower beds on Main Street are a beautiful summer display of the Pride of Niles for tourists and visitors. I think that the City of Niles’ Four-Flag management crew should take a leaf out of one of the Main Street’s flower beds whose crew gives them TLC, and meanwhile, rename Niles as the City of Main Street Flower Beds.

Gerald F. Marshall