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Pro-flag rally held in Haddam following the kneeling of selectwoman

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HADDAM --  It's been a topic of conversation in recent weeks, Haddam Selectwoman Melissa Schlag kneeling during the the Pledge of Allegiance last week.

Schlag, a Democrat, said it was the first time she had ever knelt during the Pledge of Allegiance, she sees no issue with her chosen method of protesting President Donald J. Trump.

On Friday, a pro-flag rally was held in response.

Members of the Haddam community laid 1,000 flags near the veterans memorial on the town green in opposition of Schlag’s protest.

“I believe that the people that are coming support the flag and the United States of America and it’s as simple as that,” said Ron Annino of Haddam, who is also a veteran.

Schlag explained to FOX61 News that she took a knee in protest of President Donald Trump’s policies.

“Where as long as Donald Trump is in the White House and dividing our great nation I will kneel,” she said.

Her protest has caused a lot of backlash.

“If you want to protest the president. Please don’t do it on my tax dime,” said Lori Maggi, who is on Haddam’s Economic Develoment Commission and is also the wife of Second Selectman Larry Maggi.

Lori’s husband, Larry Maggi, was in the meeting with Schlag when she kneeled.

“Anywhere but where you work,” said Haddam Second selectman Larry Maggi. “We are paid. It’s not a lot but we are paid. That is not the place to do it.”

“Kneeling is not respecting the flag,” said VFW Auxillary President Claudette Sirois.

But Schlag doesn’t plan to stop kneeling anytime soon. In a statement to FOX61 News she said, “I will continue to kneel at board of selectmen meeting. I cannot think of a better place to exercise my rights set fourth under the constitution of the United States then a government meeting.”

“That is her right to kneel but I don’t have to like it,” Lori Maggie said.

Across the street from the rally is a veteran’s memorial with decades worth of history paying homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“These are the cross is that we put up on memorial day,” Annino said. “I put them out on the green. There for all the guys that died from the town of Haddam.”

As a veteran, Annino said that is part of the reason he feels so strongly about the American flag and Pledge of Allegiance.

“It goes back to the guys who fought and died and come back horribly wounded,” Annino said.

A special board of selectmen meeting will be held at the firehouse on Monday evening.

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