Last weekend a number of people driving along Willow Road in Northfield, IL were surprised to see a Malaysian flag flying during a party at Clarkson Park. It seems the renters, celebrating Maylaysian independence from Britain, were not aware of American flag tradition – the American flag generally should not be replaced, especially in a public park, by a flag from another country.

Linda Gittel, village of Northfield, IL responded that the village is not in charge of the parks:

Thank you for taking the time to write and express your concern over the flag that was flown at Clarkson Park last Saturday.  This property is not the Village of Northfields but is rather owned and operated by the Northfield Park District.  We have checked with the Village Attorney and have been advised that  a local municipality is not legally able to regulate this type of activity.  As the property owner, the Park District may have more control and we would recommend you contact them directly at 847-446-4428 or at northfieldparkdistrict.org to share your concerns.”

Update: George Alexoff, director of parks and recreation, Northfield, IL Park District, commented on the earlier post,

The Park District has received inquiries concerning the display of a Malaysian flag on the flag pole at Clarkson Park for a brief period on Saturday September 1, 2012. The Park District had given a permit to the Malaysian Association of Illinois, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, to use the Lodge for a social gathering/luncheon. Permission was not granted to use the flag pole to mark the occasion, but no specific prohibition on use of the flag pole was contained in the permit given. The Park District will be taking steps to clarify its laws and rules regarding use of Park District property to prevent future misunderstandings by groups using our parks.”

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