Col. Barfoot talks about flagpole "cease fire"

Published: Dec. 10, 2009 at 12:03 AM EST
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By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - With his neighborhood association now waving the white flag, Colonel Van Barfoot is thanking those who supported his flagpole fight. The colonel read a brief, but heartfelt statement saying he'll now be able to fly the flag without interference, but not everyone believes this is the end.

It appears to be another triumph in the decorated career of Colonel Van Barfoot. For the first time, the Medal of Honor recipient spoke publicly since learning he wouldn't be sued because of his flagpole.

"I also want to thank the neighbors, and throughout the country, who supported me for flying the American flag, here in front of my house," said Col. Van Barfoot.

For months the colonel had been under the threat of legal action for his vertical flagpole that his neighborhood association said didn't conform with aesthetic guidelines. The veteran of three wars said to fly the flag any other way would be disrespectful.

"I raise the American flag each morning and hope everyone will understand what flying the flag means to me," said Col. Barfoot.

The colonel's fight captured national attention and generated local hostility toward the Sussex Square Neighborhood, but whatever it was that made the association back down, is still a mystery. The colonel took no questions on the advice of his attorney, and it might be because this battle just isn't over yet.

"I think there's more controversy to come. But I think he will deal with it" said war veteran Eddie Hinton.

The neighborhood president offered no comment, except to say that the association will still work with the colonel to try and reach a compromise.

"They're talking about a stick in the ground, it's not an eyesore. Again, if it is an eyesore to somebody, let them turn away," said Marvin Katz, war veteran.

So, for now, the flagpole stays. The colonel waved, and walked away...knowing victory, is his.

"When I raise my flag, I know, it will be a good day for America," said Col. Barfoot.

Colonel Barfoot raises the flag at dawn, and lowers it at dusk; something he claims to have done since he was a child and will continue to do, even at ninety years old. 

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