Foxborough exploring alternative to flying Patriots flag on town common

Foxborough exploring alternative to flying Patriots flag on town common

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Town leaders are looking to compromise with a military veteran who doesn’t want the New England Patriots flag to fly under the American flag on the Foxborough Common.

The Patriots flag has been flown under the American flag the past couple of years during Patriots home games and Super Bowl victories as a way for Foxborough to show how proud they are to be the home of the Patriots.

Ronald Rogers, a veteran who’s lived in town since the age of nine, said he sees the Patriots flag as an advertisement. Rodgers claims flying the Patriots flag under the American flag is a violation of the U.S. Flag Code, which states, “Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.”

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Assistant Town Manager Michael Johns clarified the U.S. Flag Code is for guidance and is not a law.

Rodgers has spoken with town leaders about his concerns off and on the past couple of years.

“We’ve not gotten a lot of complaints about this,” said Town Manager William Keegan. “Ron has been the one who has consistently led that discussion.”

Selectwoman Leah Gibson disagreed the Patriots flag is an advertisement.

“I view it as who we are as a community,” Gibson said. “It’s a big part of who we are.”

Another veteran, Bob Brown, agreed with Gibson.

“I see nothing wrong with that flag flying underneath ours,” Brown said. “I want to see the Patriot flag there.”

The selectmen unanimously agreed for Keegan to look into the option of hanging banners on telephone poles along Central Avenue and the Common with the Patriots and Foxboro High School logos in place of flying the Patriots flag on the Common. Keegan noted the town would have to get permission from The Kraft Group to use the Patriots logo.

In the meantime, the selectmen decided not to fly the Patriots flag on the Common until a resolution is reached.

The Patriots flag hasn’t been flown since the team’s most recent Super Bowl win in February.

Rodgers was on board with the banners. “Kraft should celebrated for what he has done for us in this town,” he said.

Town leaders did stress flying the Patriots flag on the Common was solely their idea and not at the request of the Kraft family.