The stars and stripes banner had been flying over the City Hall in Lawrence, but it had been lowered on its flagpole so that it was lower than the flag for the Dominican Republic, birthplace of the city’s mayor William Lantuiga.
The US flag must fly higher than all other flags, US law dictates, making the incident that occurred on Saturday night a federal crime. The flag lowering also saw it below the Vietnam POW-MIA flag.
The flag had been raised back to its original height once noticed on Monday, however a number of citizens were outraged by the incident, which has a large population from the Dominican Republic. The mayor called an immediate action meeting in order to investigate the occurrence.
Lenny Degnan, Lantuiga’s chief of staff, said:
Somebody intentionally lowered it of course we didn’t have anything to do with it. It’s a very malicious thing. People are basically trying to create issues that aren’t there.
A lockbox on the flag is supposed to prevent tampering, but had been broken off. CCTV footage is currently being analysed for clues of the perpetrator.