I-Team

uFixIt: Torn flag outside SF City Hall gets replaced

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Our uFixIt report is a chance for you to let government officials know what isn't working in your neighborhood. A San Francisco man is calling out City Hall for not being patriotic. He says the tattered American flag flying out front sends the wrong message to the rest of the country and believes it gives conservative pundits another opportunity to bash San Francisco.

"Nowhere is the radical left government more on display than in the city of San Francisco," said Bill O'Reilly on his show The O'Reilly Factor.

Third generation San Franciscan John Daly says what's on display at City Hall is an easy target -- a beat up flag that's seen better days

"The right wing media is always taking jabs at San Francisco, so the last thing we need to do is give them another piece of ammunition," said Daly.

After Daly posted a picture of the flag on Facebook, he started hearing from friends who felt the same way.

"It just looks bad and this is a heavily trafficked area of a lot of tourists," said Daly.

He thought this was one image problem with an easy fix and he emailed us to help fix it.

"You shouldn't have a flag that looks like it came off a pirate ship," said Daly.

So we checked out Daly's complaint and found several flags over city hall shredding in the wind. We took his concerns to the mayor's office, they sent us to the building manager, who took down the damaged flags.

"We treat our flags with great respect, we fly those flags 24/7 to show that we care about our flags, care about our country," said Robert Reiter, the City Hall Building Manager.

Reiter tells us, it all comes down to a simple maintenance schedule. Six months for a flag unless it gets so worn you can see the damage from the street. Then they'll replace it sooner at a cost of about $50. There are no patriotic debates here, just a routine that he says works.

"The wind, the rain, the fog, the sea, air, they're not predictable as we don't have an expiration tag that flips up for us to let us know it's time to change the flag out," said Reiter. "We do visual inspections probably once a month."

The flags on the lawn are under the care of the Recreation and Parks Department, but the procedure is the same. They're replaced twice a year. The large flag however costs significantly more -- $4,000.

Both agencies have no plans to change how they currently do things, but Daly wants the city to do better. He says the flag is about something bigger than numbers and a schedule and he wants City Hall to recognize that.

"It's a symbol, its important. A lot of stuff has happened here and that flag represents everything, who we are," said Daly.

We want to hear from you. If you have a problem that needs fixing, or a government service that isn't working go to ureport.abc7news.com and upload your photos or video. And don't forget to include a phone number and email address where we can contact you.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
uFixIt, san francisco city hall, i-team, mark matthews
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