Burlington saluted for ‘proper’ display of the American flag

The flags which grace the grounds of Burlington’s municipal buildings may have a few more stars than the ones that Betsy Ross stitched for the Continental Army. But the city’s punctilious presentation of its banners has nevertheless proven inspiring enough to get one local Revolutionary War enthusiast to stand at attention.

Earlier this week, Sam Powell, a local business leader and one-time member of Burlington’s city council, appeared before the council’s current membership to commend them on the city’s consistently “outstanding” displays of the American flag.

A member of the Alamance Battleground chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, Powell took the liberty of donning a replica Revolutionary-Era uniform when he appeared before the council during a regularly-scheduled meeting on Tuesday. He went on to present Burlington’s mayor Jim Butler with a certificate on behalf of his organization to recognize the city for its meticulous observance of traditional flag etiquette.

Sam Powell

“It is done in a proper manner and one that’s correct,” Powell declared before he took his leave of the council that evening.

Shortly after Powell’s presentation, the city council approved a raft of revisions to Burlington’s Unified Development Ordinance that, coincidentally enough, included some new regulations regarding outdoor flag displays.

Under the city’s old rules, the national colors and other flags could be suspended from poles no higher than 25 feet, while the flags themselves were capped at a maximum surface area of 24 square feet. At the behest of the city’s planning and zoning commission, the council has agreed to increase the allowable size of a flag to 60 square feet and raise the permitted height of a flag pole to 40 feet.