NBC10.com - Christian Cazares
Some local veterans are outraged by a controversial scuplture of the American flag unveiled at a South Jersey park. NBC10's Christian Cazares has the details.
A patriotic work of art or an insult to our country’s heroes? That’s the question being asked about a controversial sculpture of the American flag at a Gloucester County park.
The recent art work was unveiled on Memorial Day at the Deptford Township Veteran Memorial Park in Wenonah, New Jersey. Part of the red, white and blue artwork sits on the ground, allowing visitors to walk through and over it. That feature doesn’t sit well with some local veterans.
“It doesn’t belong on the ground,” said Tom Dean.
“It’s a disgrace,” said Bob Harris. “I was never taught to walk on a flag.”
Harris says there were talks with the city to build a fence or raise the piece from the ground. Months later however nothing has been done.
“It’s actually against the federal code for anything representing, painting or brick, to be on the ground representing the flag,” Harris said.
Not everyone is offended by the artwork however.
“To me it’s not a flag,” said Steve Mondile, a local resident. “It’s a picture of a flag.”
Mondile lives across the street from the site. He believes recent rallies and efforts to modify the sculpture are a waste of time.
“This certainly isn’t cloth so it’s not really a flag,” Mondile said. “I’ve seen pictures of President Bush standing on a carpet shaped like a flag, handing out medals. It’s up on cement and not on the ground. I don’t have a problem with it. I think it’s awesome.”
NBC10 reached out to the town’s mayor for comment. We have not yet heard back from him.
Harris and Dean say they will continue to fight for a change to the artwork.
“Make it look like it represents a flag,” Harris said. “Honor it, don’t have it on the ground to be walked across.”