Alaska senator slams federal park for allegedly not allowing American flags to fly

The National Park Service issued a statement on Sunday and said that the allegations were false.

Published: May 27, 2024 12:05pm

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska demanded answers for allegations that officials at an Alaskan national park were telling construction crews not to fly the American flag in the park.

An anonymous construction worker said that workers were told not to fly the flag at Denali National Park, according to the Alaska Watchman. The worker said that someone from the Federal Highway Administration is who told the company he was working for that the Denali Park Superintendent Brooke Merrell had told them to have the flags removed from the Granite construction crew working under their jurisdiction when they are driving through the park, but that it was okay to fly the flag when they were at their confined construction site. 

“He told the Granite Project Manager to convey to the hands that they have to take down their flags when they are driving on the park road,” the crewman said. “The [Granite] foreman, he then told the hands who have flags that they can’t have them,” according to the outlet.

Sullivan wrote a letter to the National Park Service Director Charles Sams, requesting answers on the matter. 

"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 lives in service to our nation, while wearing our country’s flag," Sullivan wrote in the letter, according to Fox News.

"The American flag, especially on Memorial Day weekend, should be celebrated, not censored by federal government employees," the letter added. 

The National Park Service issued a statement on Sunday and said that the allegations were false.

"At no time did an NPS official seek to ban the American flag from the project site or associated vehicles," the statement reads. "The NPS neither administers the bridge project contract, nor has the authority to enforce terms or policies related to the contract or contractors performing the work."

 "The American flag can be seen at various locations within Denali National Park – at park facilities and campsites, on public and private vehicles, and at employee residences – and we welcome its display this Memorial Day weekend and every day," the post added.

The Alaska Watchman is still waiting for an answer from Brooke Merrell to the specific question raised by the crewman. 

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