Tattered Flags Taken Down in Derby After Veteran Complains

Tattered American flags flying in downtown Derby were replaced Wednesday after a veteran complained to city hall.

"If you're going to hang up a flag, you either hang it the right way or you don't hang it at all," said Sam Pollastro, who photographed the haphazard flags before they were taken down.

A friend who fought to defend the flag reached out to the mayor's office Wednesday and received a less-than-favorable response, according to Pollastro.

"His words to me were, this reminded him – it was a flashback, so to speak, of when he came back from Vietnam," Pollastro said.

Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto, however, disagreed with the veteran's perception of their exchange.

"That couldn't be further from the truth because we addressed the issue immediately," she said.

The weathered flags were replaced, or at least removed, Wednesday morning. Department of Public Works Commissioner Anthony DeFala oversaw the work.

"I'm very prideful about that," he said. "I hate to see anyone get disappointed with my department or the guys that work for us."

Pollastro said he has drummed up some 50 donated flags over the past 24 hours and plans to drop them off at city hall Thursday.

"I believe that their actions are going to speak louder than words, and today here was a good indication, and I hope this continues," he said.

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