The United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association is suing the city of New Rochelle, New York, over a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag that was removed after being flown over the city’s vacant armory building (video below).
“George Washington’s army, the Continental Army actually fought under that flag,” said Ron Tocci of the United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association. “It flies at military bases, so in no way shape or form do we see this flag to be offensive. It shouldn’t be offensive to anybody.”
In March, New Rochelle city officials removed the flag because it has been widely associated with the Tea Party and could be seen as political, reports CBS New York.
“It has no association with any one particular group. No one owns that flag but the United States of America and that’s the freedom that we want to prevail,” claimed Peter Parente, president of the United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association.
However, the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag has appeared at many Tea Party protests, reported NPR in 2010.
According to TalkingPointsMemo.com in 2010, the Virginia Tea Party wanted the slogan on state license plates.
“The bottom line is there was no permission asked for or granted to fly this flag on city property, and therefore it was removed,” said New Rochelle City Manager Chuck Strome. “Some members of the public and city council have felt that flag was adopted by the Tea Party and took offense to having a political statement on public property."
Some members of the city council who voted against the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag said they have been receiving racially charged hate mail, another sign of the Tea Party, reported HuffingtonPost.com in 2009.