WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt says that his town will continue to proudly fly the American flag. The mayor issued a statement on the use of the flag Thursday, due to the controversy at Hampshire College. The decision of the small college in Amherst to remove the American flag from its main pole has received local and even nationwide attention.
“As a Boy Scout, I was able to wear the flag proudly on my shoulder and was taught not only how to fold, raise, and lower it with honor and pride, but also the reasons why we do it,” Reichelt wrote.
“In my eyes, our freedom is represented by the American flag. It is a symbol of where we have been where we are now, and where we are going in the future.”
Reichelt said that West Springfield students will be taught about topics related to the flying of the flag, and he says that the town will always honor and thank those responsible for securing our freedoms.
The mayor’s complete statement is below:
In light of recent events involving the removal of the American Flag at Hampshire College, I have taken the time to pause and reflect on what the flag means to me. As a Boy Scout, I was able to wear the flag proudly on my shoulder and was taught not only how to fold, raise, and lower it with honor and pride, but also the reasons why we do it. As we get older, and especially in my position as Mayor, I find myself saluting the flag at ceremonies, meetings, and local events. It can be easy to forget why we are doing it. So I ask, when you are saluting the flag, are you thinking of what it means to you? Do you always think of how important the American Flag is? I do.
In my eyes, our freedom is represented by the American Flag. It is a symbol of where we have been, where we are now, and where we will be going in the future. The flag has flown though times of war, times of change, and is still flying on our Moon. This symbol of freedom has given us so much and it is something that I know I will never take for granted.
I promise my constituency the following:
1. The American Flag will always be flown proudly in West Springfield
2. The youth in our Town will be educated in topics involving the flying of our flag
3. Those who gave us this freedom to be able to fly the flag will always be honored and thanked
During these changing times, I ask you to please respect our Flag and always respect each other.