Chelsea removes worn flags after complaint

Published 5:00 pm Friday, June 11, 2010

Chelsea officials recently removed several American flags from U.S. 280 after a Korean War veteran filed a complaint about the flags’ condition.

Sylacauga resident Bruce Mueller, who served with the U.S. Navy from 1951-1971, filed the complaint after he drove through Chelsea June 4 and noticed the flags flying near the intersection of U.S. 280 and Shelby County 47.

“There were a lot of them that were in bad shape,” Mueller said, noting many of the flags were torn and faded. “I’d say 75 percent of them were bad. Of course to me it seemed like all of them were like that, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

“I called the Mayor (Earl Niven), and he said he was going to leave them up until the 14th so the new flags wouldn’t get dirty from the road work,” Mueller added. “He was emphatic about not taking them down before then.”

However, Chelsea officials later removed the flags after they received Mueller’s complaint.

“What do our soldiers think when they come home and see us flying flags like that?” Mueller said. “They go over there and lay down their lives for this country. The least we can do is fly a decent flag.”

As of June 11, messages left with Niven had not been returned.