Former Marine fired for lowering flag on Memorial Day
A former Marine was going to work at his Time Warner cable job on Memorial Day when he noticed that the company had not followed flag etiquette and lowered the standard to half mast. Taking it upon himself to rectify the error, Allen Thornwell ceremoniously lowered the flag - and ended up being fired for it.
A manager at the veterans placement company who arranged the job for Thornwell said Thornwell’s “passion for the flag and political affiliation” disturbed Time Warner. The company confirmed to the Charlotte Observor Thornwell was “no longer under contract” but declined any further comment.
In response to the incident Thornwell told the Charlotte Observor, “I’m not even mad right now” elaborating “I don’t know what kind of moral compass you need to fire a veteran on Memorial Day for lowering the flag.”
Thornwell arrived at the company on Memorial day and noticed the flag flying at full-staff. After lowering the flag unprompted he was approached by a security guard who reportedly told him “it’s company policy that nobody touches the flag pole.” The security guard even sympathized with Thornwell reportedly telling him “I fought, I understand.”
The U.S. Flag Code advises the flag should be at half-staff until noon on Memorial day before being returned to its proper position. Thornwell said to the Observor the incident occurred at 2:30pm and he now wished he had gotten permission. He expressed regret saying “I didn’t think of it as Time Warner’s property” adding “its everybody’s flag.”
Thornwell was absolutely right. If you're going to fly the flag, you should carefully follow the rules governing its display. If not, why bother to fly it in the first place?
Time Warner should have been thanking Thornwell for his patriotic gesture. Instead, some small minded bureaucrat could only see Thornwell's action as violating the rules for which he must be punished.
Hopefully, the outcry will force Time Warner to reconsider firing a patriotic veteran on Memorial Day.