Skip to comments.Township of Little Falls, NJ, flies flag "one nation under God" (Donated by Knights of Columbus)
Posted on 11/18/2004 10:38:30 PM PST by Coleus
Knights keep Pledge with flag
|Thursday, November 18, 2004|
LITTLE FALLS - A new flag is flying on one of the municipal building's three flagpoles these days.
With little fanfare, the Township Committee declared its support for the phrase "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance by agreeing to fly a pennant emblazoned with the words below the building's American flag. The municipality also flies a New Jersey state flag and a black MIA/POW flag outside the building.
"This is not about religion," said Mike Vaclavicek, a member of the Little Falls Knights of Columbus, the group that donated the pennant to the township. "This is about God. We are the silent majority, and that's the problem."
Little Falls is one of 10 communities in New Jersey, and the first in Passaic County, to raise the white and blue pennant, according to the New Jersey State Council of the Knights of Columbus. Westwood and Washington Township in Bergen County are the two closest municipalities that also fly the pennant over their government buildings.
The state organization created the pennant and made it available to its local groups in January in reaction to a lawsuit brought by a former Teaneck father to challenge the constitutionality of the words "under God" in the Pledge. In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the father could not bring the challenge, which effectively preserved the phrase. But the court made no direct decision on the central question of the separation between church and state.
"I was pleased that the Supreme Court did what it did, but I would have been happier taking it head-on," said James White, state deputy of the New Jersey State Council of the Knights of Columbus. "It leaves it wide open. It's going to come back again. There's no question about it."
By raising the pennant at municipal offices around the state, White wants to display grass-roots support for keeping the phrase.
"On social issues, we haven't shown the necessary grass-roots support early enough," White said, referring to abortion and gay marriage. "We wanted to get out in front of it and not wait for the courts to put us in a reaction mode."
In 1954, after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved adding the words "under God" to the Pledge.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey was unaware that several municipalities are flying the pennants, but the group is concerned that the phrase is being taken out of context to promote religion - which it says is a constitutional violation.
"The idea that a religiously affiliated group is promoting this action is evidence that in fact the town is acting not for an overall civic purpose but to promote religion," said Edward Barocas, the legal director of the ACLU of New Jersey.
The ACLU is active in issues related to religious freedom. In October, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would take up the constitutionality of Ten Commandments displays on government land and inside buildings in hearing two cases, including a successful challenge by the ACLU in Kentucky of a Ten Commandments display in a government building there.
The local Knights first approached the Little Falls Township Committee in July about mounting a 15-by-3-foot banner on the front lawn of the municipal building. That effort failed because of an ordinance that limits the size of signs mounted in the township.
The Knights countered with the smaller pennant, and the committee agreed by consensus. Mayor Eugene Kulick said the committee approved the idea because the majority of Little Falls believes that the words "one nation under God" are true. In a small ceremony with the mayor in mid-October, the pennant was raised. Since then, neither the mayor nor the staff in the municipal building has heard anything from residents about the new addition.
"You can't even see it up there," Kulick said.
So far, the Knights have heard only positive things about the pennant, said Tom Straten, the grand knight of the Little Falls group. Several residents said that they were unaware of the new pennant.
In Westwood, where the Borough Council raised the pennant about six months ago, the clerk said the council had anticipated some kind of reaction but received none.
"It just doesn't seem to be something that people noticed," said Eileen Sarubbi, the municipal clerk. "There was some curiosity as to whether there would be any reaction. I was a little surprised not to have any."
I'd like to see the pennant. Most of the links are broken, though I did download the pdf form. Knights sure do luv pdf!
Hubby and I are looking to move out of Queens -
Now I know where to go....we're going to Little Falls NJ!!!!!
Wow! What a smart town! I guess they care whether the God who owns it all, pours out blessings on them. Smart indeed!
The Red states need to create their own flag...can anyone come up with an idea or has anyone heard of anything...I will buy the decal and put it in my car window up here in Liberal Washington State...Home of Lenin in Fremont......
Sounds like someone could make a fortune off this idea...Let's do it!!!!.....
Instead of red states...red counties on a flag since the county wide count was almost totally red...an American eagle and maybe a soldier...This flag would be awesome!!!
Little Falls is a beautiful town, IMO. When I was in nursing school and had to do the home health rotation, we covered alot of that area and I got to know the streets well. I hear the school system is pretty good as well. I'd live there myself, but I can't deal with the 3 to 46 merge everyday.