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Protests Reign Over Wrentham Aimed At Flag Ban

A pair of protests over the flag ban at Garden Lane occurred on July 13 at Wrentham Common. The Wrentham GOP protested during the day while WAAF descented earlier in the day in their own unusual way.

While the battle for residents in public housing to display flags was won before noon the day before, there was still a need to protest according to the Wrentham GOP Town Committee.

Call it a reminder that they will be paying attention or even a figurative victory lap, but residents of Sharon, Franklin, Marlborough, and Plainville joined the Wrentham GOP Town Committee in a protest of the initial ruling from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development that flags couldn't be hung from the exterior of apartments that are apart of public housing.

The protest, which started at 6 p.m., saw the protesters waving the American Flag at Wrentham Common as a sign of solidarity with the members of Garden Lane who were told that they could not hang the flag outside their apartment thought a letter dated July 11.

Despite the decision being reversed by the Patrick Administration on the morning of July 12, many of the members of the committee felt they still needed to show that they were paying attention and that the decision to ban the flag based on the complaints of one person was the wrong decision.

“We wanted to make sure that they knew we’re keeping an eye on them,” Wrentham GOP Town Committee Chairman  John O'Neill said.

Calling the decision the last straw in a string of issues that he disagrees with the governor on, O’Neill called the action a knee jerk reaction based on one person.

Patricia Saint Aubin, who is a Republican State Committee Representative for the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex district said she was stunned by the decision and went on to say, “if you can’t fly the American Flag wherever and whenever, that’s a problem.” 

When asked if she placed the blame with the Patrick Administration or with one person in one department, Saint Aubin replied “I’m not sure where the mistake lies but a mistake was made and it defies logic that this mistake was made.”

Also making an appearance was Fourth District GOP candidate for Congress Dr. David Steinhof along with flag waving campaign volunteers.

“I think that even though it was resolved, the fact that people has come out shows that people are not going to tolerate this and this will get more attention,” Steinhof said.

As he was waving one of the flags donated by State Representative Dan Winsow, Board of Selectman Chairman Joe Botaish reiterated that the Wrentham Housing Authority doesn't answer to the board and that the issue was not in the board’s jurisdiction. Botaish added that they can only assists at the request of the housing authority. 

Judging by the honks and cars driving by with the American flag, the majority of cars passing by were with the protesters as very few if any have agreed with the ban since its dicovery.

Earlier in the day, rock radio station WAAF protested the decision in their own outrageous way. Their morning program, the Hill-Man Morning Show sent out station personality Anthony “Spaz” Parziale to the Wrentham Town Common dress as what they describe as a “Stripper Uncle Sam” outfit to protest the flag ban. 

“Wave your flags proud citizens of Wrentham. Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t be proud to be an American,” Parziale chanted from the Common on the show this morning while trying to get passersby to chant with him.

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