The vandalism of the American flags lining the Main Street Bridge in downtown Kent is a disgraceful act. We can't begin to imagine why anyone would engage in such desecration of our national symbol.
The flags are put up each year after Memorial Day and provide a colorful display of patriotism. Ten of them are fastened to holders on both sides of the bridge.
The banners vanished about a week after they were put up this year. They were torn from their poles and presumably tossed into the Cuyahoga River. City officials said none were recovered.
They have not been replaced. The city is weighing security options, including a camera to monitor the bridge area to deter further vandalism.
It's a sad state of affairs when a security camera is needed to enable the American flag to fly freely, but if that's what's needed, the city ought to proceed with installing one.
I have never desecrated a flag or anything else in my life, nor do I condone such desecration. I do not hate America. I do hate it when American resorts to tactics that are redolent of totalitarian states.
My phrasing was loose, since I assumed it was obvious that a camera on the bridge would only monitor those persons on or near the bridge. But yes, I do think it's a slippery slope. Sometimes video surveillance works to our advantage, of course. I would never object to cameras at the White House or the Statue of Liberty, for example. But in a case like this I continue to think it's an overreaction..
It is also probably worth noting that when you refer to 10 full size American flags as " a handful of flag decorations", you, and you alone, have discarded any meaning the flag has.
Chasmo, Chasmo, Chasmo, the camera will not be monitoring the movement of all citizens. Just those of you that hate this country enough to pull the flags from their mounts and throw them into the river. Overreacting would be suggesting that a camera set up to monitor one bridge in the city is now tracking the movement of every citizen.
Overreact much? If the movement of all citizens are to be monitored to protect a handful of flag decorations, I'd say Kent is going a long way to discard any meaning the flag has.