SLO to rethink flag lowering policy

March 5, 2013

flagThe San Luis Obispo City Council will consider adopting changes to its flag display policy tonight, nearly three months after city management ordered employees to raise flags staffers had lowered in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

On December 7, the day which President Barack Obama declared National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, some city staffers placed flags at half-staff. But, city management ordered the flags raised to the top of the poles because Mayor Jan Marx had not directed staff to lower the flags, in accordance with city policy.

After the ordered flag raising, Mayor Jan Marx said she found out about the half-mast request after management had already denied it. San Luis Obispo staffers accused city officials of snubbing the president and the victims of Pearl harbor, and police officer Matt Blackstone reprimanded Assistant City Manager Michael Codron by email.

“Calling it your job doesn’t make it right, boss,” Blackstone wrote. “You are second in command of the city, fix it please.”

Now Codron is proposing changes to the policy.

At the council meeting tonight, Codron will recommend adding Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day to the list of days the city flies its flags at half-staff. Codron is also recommending the council add September 11 and the California fallen firefighters day to the list that already includes Memorial Day and Peace Officer’s Memorial Day.

Current flag display policy allows the mayor to fly American flags at half-staff following the death of a prominent citizen or an employee of San Luis Obispo. Two months prior to Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Marx directed city staff to lower the flags in honor of former city council member Myron Graham, who died at the age of 99.

Codron is also recommending that the council alter the policy such that the mayor can only call for the lowering of the San Luis Obispo city flag in Mission Plaza, and not the city’s American flags, following the death of a prominent citizen or employee.

The council meets at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall.



  1. rogerfreberg says:

    Obviously…. outside of unforeseen events, most flag lowering occasions can be placed on the Calendar.

    The fact that on this particular occasion of national remembrance the flag wasn’t automatically lowered indicates that either Ms. Marx doesn’t have a good understanding of this country’s history…. or?

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • R.Hodin says:

      … or the city doesn’t have a policy worth its salt.

      You can scold Marx for her lax oversight, this but this snafu came about from the reaction of top city management against time-honored traditions. The respect for those traditions was shown by rank-and-file city employees. Place the blame squarely where it belongs—on those people residing within the bureaucratic bubble: Codron et al.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
      • r0y says:

        So much for Harry’s “the buck stops here” – it was all her minions that are to blame! She (like Obama) are never to blame for anything that happens under them, eh?

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. Pelican1 says:

    Better yet, how about the city consider better, more effective communication among staffers as well as a clear, definitive policy regarding such issues. Simply adding Remembrance Day is NOT the answer.
    Until they make some serious changes, the left hand will continue to be unaware of what the right hand is doing. What they are suggesting is merely a band-aid approach.

    (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  3. hijinks2 says:

    So only when there is community outrage and national ridicule will the highly inept bureaucrats leading the City of San Luis Obispo do the right thing. More than likely this is an opportunity for Codron to get a little good press before he is snarled in the whole or is that hole Dee Torres Capslo mess. You see the infamous Codron was the City’s Housing Authority Program Manager for years and he spent a lot of time with his chums Adam Hill and Dee Torres. By the way, didn’t Dee Torres go by Deandra at one time and even another first name during one of her many failed marriages? Dee, why do you change your first name professionally so often?

    Back to the point, Codron’s actions were deplorable and disrespectful to all veterans of this country. He should resign or be fired for his actions. Somethings in life you just can’t undue. Fire it!

    (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
  4. racket says:

    I support the snubbing of President Obama.
    I do not support the snubbing of Pearl Harbor victims.

    More importantly, I do not support flag flying as a political chess move.

    (1) 21 Total Votes - 11 up - 10 down
  5. rogerfreberg says:

    Yall shouldn’t be too surprised… this is San Luis Obispo.

    This is the place where their textbooks teach children that the huns were ‘tolerant’… I guess before they did you in.This is the place where my daughter gave a lecture at the high school ( she was a West Point Cadet at the time) and was run off the grounds as she waited for her ride by an administrator that then said she called the police. There has been only one 4th of July parade in my memory… and it was privately funded.

    So, with a Mayor named Marx and a extreme left city council are you really surprised?

    (21) 31 Total Votes - 26 up - 5 down
    • kettle says:

      Left? Right? More like anti parade, remember the Mardi Gras parade lawsuit federal ruling?
      Almost everyone has forgotten that the city cant stop your 4th of July parade, go for it Roger!

      We don’t need no stinking permits.

      (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
      • rogerfreberg says:

        Oh, the city TRIED to stop the parade…

        Thanks to the generosity of a few people… it happened. We can throw hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Capslo rathole… but lowering the flag or holding a parade is too much to ask.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  6. r0y says:

    I am amazed that there was no “Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day” on the City’s list. What *is* on that list? Maybe ADD day…

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
  7. bobfromsanluis says:

    While some may view making changes to the established flag policy as “trivial”, I for one applaud the city for recognizing that many view the displaying of the American flag with some degree of reverence. Too many times I notice private citizens who try to wear their patriotism on the sleeve by flying the flag anywhere and everywhere without any regard to how to do so properly.
    Do you fly a flag on your antenna of your vehicle? Is that vehicle made in the USA? Is that flag made in the USA? Are you a government official operating an official government vehicle? Is that flag in good repair or is it falling apart ?
    Do you fly the American flag at your home, all hours of the day and night? If so, do you keep it illuminated during the night time hours? Is that flag in good repair or is it tattered and worn? Is it made in the USA?
    In my opinion, if you truly want to show reverence for the symbol of our country, please follow the guidelines for displaying our flag; if you are not completely sure of what that means, please look it up. I do fly my American made flag on special days, I take it down before it gets dark outside, and I do keep it in good shape. I am not any “more” patriotic or “less” patriotic than anybody else; I do try to go by simple rules however and am not insecure about my feelings about our country. Flying a worn, tattered American flag only shows your ignorance of how it is recommended it be done; educate yourself please.

    And thank you to the city officials who are attempting to put our city in a position of being able to be inline with how our flag should be displayed.

    (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
  8. MaryMalone says:

    Glad the folks running SLO have their eye on the big picture here. Not.

    (10) 16 Total Votes - 13 up - 3 down
    • justchuck says:


      Maybe they do not have a fiddle to play.

      (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down

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