It's an American flag that really isn't 'American' at all.
Hidden inside its pole sleeve, a manufacturer's tag that reads 'Made In China.'
Of all places, it was hanging in the spinal injury ward of the Veterans Administration Medical Center, until veteran Michael Roach of Collierville, TN, brought it to the attention of the Action News 5 Investigators.
"It's a disgrace," said Roach, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War. Roach said there were actually two Chinese-made American flags hanging in the hospital's second-floor spinal injury unit. He said he took one down and alerted hospital administrators about the other, but it was still on display when Action News 5 photographed it a week later.
"Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard deserve better than to have foreign-made flags hanging in our Veterans Administration where we go to get our medical care," Roach said.
It turns out the flag was not a sanctioned Veterans Administration flag.
VA spokesperson Willie Logan said the center has a policy to display only American-made flags either from a certified American dealer/manufacturer or from government surplus.
"Every flag in the Medical Center, for the VA, is made in the United States," Logan said.
At Action News 5's request, Logan did some checking. She discovered that the Mid-South Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America -- a veterans advocacy group that keeps an office on the floor of the VA's spinal injury unit -- put up the Chinese-made flags.
The group's new president, Terrence Green, declined Action News 5's request for an on-camera interview.
But on the phone, Green said, "It should not have been there. The Chinese-made flag was put up before I took office. As soon as you brought it to my attention, I ordered it taken down, and it will be replaced with an American-made American flag."
An Action News 5 inspection confirmed the Chinese-made flag was removed. The display is still awaiting an American-made American flag.
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