Outrage erupts over Denali National Park bridge crew being ordered not to fly American flags

Outrage has erupted after construction workers were prohibited from flying the American flag while working at a national park in Alaska.

The crew was working on a $207 million Federal Highway Administration project — specifically a bridge they’re building in Alaska’s Denali National Park — when park superintendent Brooke Merrell reached out to the project manager complaining about the flags.

She said that people had been complaining about the flags and then ordered the workers to stop flying them from because they were allegedly distracting from the “park experience,” according to the Alaska Watchman, which broke the story on Thursday.

“The trucks are flying these American flags, about a foot atop the trucks, about three-foot by four-foot flags, and they said they don’t want this,” a contractor working on the project told the Alaska Watchman. “They’re saying it isn’t conducive and it doesn’t fit the park experience.”

“Here I am in a national park, and we’re being told we can’t fly the American flag. I understand there are rules for contractors working in the national parks, but you wouldn’t think flying the American flag would be part of those rules,” he added.

Especially since, he noted, the flags didn’t become a problem at the park until it began running tour buses.

The contractor for his part blames Merrell and her only for this fiasco.

“When these liberals get in charge of these parks, that’s how it is,” he said.

He may have a point.

“Prior to moving to Alaska, she worked for the City of Portland and the Gulf Islands National Seashore, along with left-leaning environmentalist and social justice groups such as DNA People’s Legal Services and Columbia Riverkeeper,” the Alaska Watchman notes.


When further pressed by the Alaska Watchman, the park refused to offer any additional comment.

The Watchman notes that despite this new odd rule, “[t]he park does, however, fly the U.S. flag from several stations inside the park, and at the visitors’ center.”

“Additionally, the National Park Service actively promotes the flying of other flags, which many would consider controversial. In fact, the official website of the National Park Service has an entire page dedicated to honoring a whole host of LGBTQ+ flags, including pictures of them on display at national parks in the Lower-48,” according to the Watchman.

The park is now facing calls for Merrell’s ouster:

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan has penned a letter to the park expressing outrage and demanding answers.

“This is an outrage—particularly in the lead-up to our most solemn national holiday, Memorial Day, a time when Americans come together to honor those that gave their fives in service to our nation, while wearing our country’s flag,” he wrote. “The American flag, especially on Memorial Day weekend, should be celebrated, not censored by federal government employees.”

“There is no federal regulation of law that I can conceive of that would ban the flying of the American Hag on public land — particularly in a national park the principal purpose of which is the enjoyment of American citizens,” he added.

Vivek Saxena


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