Group Apologizes After Photo Captures Disrespect of US Flag at Boston Marathon


The organizers of the Boston Marathon apologized on Monday for placing the American flag on the ground during an awards ceremony and pledged it would not happen again.

“The flag was tossed into a corner during the ceremony honoring Daniel Romanchuk, 20, who set a new record for an American with his winning time in the men’s wheelchair race at the Boston Marathon,” WCVB-TV reported.

Romanchuk also was the youngest to win the race with a time of 1:21:36 and the first American to do so since 1993, according to USA Today.

The athlete had the flag draped over his shoulders until an award presenter removed it and placed it on the floor for the ceremony.

Social media lit up with harsh reaction to the lack of respect shown to the flag, even as the Star Spangled Banner played during the ceremony.

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According to the U.S. flag code, the Stars and Stripes should never touch the ground.

One Twitter user who identified himself as a U.S. Army solider tweeted, “While I always applaud the dedication it takes to even compete in a marathon, this is a real shame to have not one person notice that the flag of our nation lying in a heap in the corner of the stage.”

An Army veteran wrote, “Seeing this American flag on the ground at the Boston Marathon yesterday is just terrible. We must respect our flag at ALL times.”

Boston WCVB-TV news anchor Doug Meehan was more direct, tweeting, “Hey – whoever is at the Boston marathon finish line – pick the American flag up off the ground!”

Cambridge, Massachusetts acting fire chief Gerry Mahoney agreed, writing, “@BAA you should be ashamed of the behavior of your staff allowing an American Flag to lay on the ground! Especially with the tragic history surrounding the Boston Marathon!”

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The Boston Athletic Association apologized “sincerely” for the mistake and promised never to repeat it in the future.

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“We are reviewing our Awards protocol to ensure that this does not happen again,” Chief Operating Officer Jack Fleming said in a statement.

“The Boston Marathon has been an American tradition for more than a century and we take pride in the passion and determination that participants, spectators, and volunteers from around the world display at our annual event,” he added.

“Our flag is a symbol of freedom, unity, and community spirit — all of which are virtues that the Boston Athletic Association supports.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith