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Military says flag in mural is A-OK.

Byline: Susan Palmer The Register-Guard

SPRINGFIELD - The mural at Springfield High School that has stirred up controversy among some community members because of the placement of the U.S. and Mexican flags will get another review by the Springfield School Board - but this time, they'll have an opinion on the matter from the Ore gon Army National Guard flag protocol officer.

The board will vote today on how to respond to those who believe that the American flag's placement in the upper right corner of the mural is incorrect and disrespectful.

Resident Curtiss Greer brought the issue to the board's attention in February and since then several community members, including the artist who helped students work on the project several years ago, have weighed in.

Some people believe that art should follow government code, which recommends that U.S. flags be displayed to the left of the people who are viewing it.

But in a letter to the district dated March 29, Protocol Officer Sharel Pond of the Oregon Military Department found no problem with the art.

"It appears to be in compliance," Pond wrote after seeing a photograph of the mural and reviewing Army regulations concerning flags. Pond also noted that Army regulations don't apply to art.

Matt Coleman, the Springfield district's director of secondary education, is recommending that the board leave the mural as it is, but add an interpretive sign below it explaining that the U.S. flag is intentionally designed to have a more prominent position than other flags in the mural.

The letter from Pond is included in the board's information packet and available online at


Springfield panel will revisit issue of mural at Springfield High School

When/where: 7 p.m. today, Board Room, Administration Center, 525 Mill St.
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Title Annotation:Local News; The school board takes up the matter tonight, but the Guard's expert sees no problems
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 9, 2012
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