Fans across the United States filed into their respective teams' stadiums wearing patriotic attire, and many carried American flags.
One such fan was Donald Silcio, who is currently a season ticket holder of the New Orleans Saints. Silcio brought with him a decent sized American flag to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where he proceeded to drape it over the side railing.
Silcio was asked by a security supervisor to remove the flag, which prompted a less than positive response. After demanding an explanation as to why he could not hang his flag there, Silcio told CBS Houston, “She said, ‘You can’t have anything hanging off the railing.’”
Silcio says he understands that the rule is probably related to safety concerns, but given the circumstances of the “Salute to Service” weekend, he thought an exception could be made for an American Flag.
Silcio took to Facebook to voice his concerns over his inability to display the flag in the way he wished: “Today I was told by a Superdome Supervisor that I had to remove my American flag that I had draped over the side rail. She told me it was a NFL rule. I cannot believe that the NFL would not allow an American flag to be displayed especially during a 'Salute to Service' weekend!”
It is unclear who is the controlling authority over stadium rules and regulations. While Silcio was attending an NFL event, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is not solely owned by the New Orleans Saints or the NFL. It would appear that banner rules are set by the stadium, and Silcio is misguided to aim his concerns at the NFL itself.
According to the Superdome website, banners are sometimes allowed, so long as they match up with the specific regulations as to size. It remains unclear whether Silcio’s flag was merely too big or if there were other factors at play. The website goes onto say, “The Mercedes-Benz Superdome reserves the right to enforce removal of banners/signs/flags at any time.”