Report on Fading Flags Prompts Replacement

Union Station flags replaced on Veteran's Day

By Tom Sherwood
|  Thursday, Nov 12, 2009  |  Updated 7:37 AM EDT
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State flags fly outside Union Station.

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Report on Fading Flags Prompts Replacement

NBC prompts Union Station to replace some tattered and torn flags.
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WASHINGTON -- If you've ever been to Union Station, you've either driven by or walked by the ceremonial "Circle of Flags" that rings the train station's Beaux Arts entrance.

And if you looked closely recently, you saw that some of those flags were tattered and torn.

Not anymore.

News4 was at the circle Wednesday shooting some of the flags for a story when U.S. Park Service crews showed up and began replaced every one of the 56 flags that represent the 50 states, the territories and the nation's capital.

Park Service spokesman Bill Line told News4 and NBCWashington.com that our call prompted the quick action.

Line said the Park Service tries to replace the flags two or three times a year and had just done so in early October.

"We take it very seriously," Line said. He blamed bad weather -- wind and rain -- on the quick deterioration of the flags. Rather than inspect every one, they were simply replaced.

That was good news to D.C. activist John Capozzi.

He lobbied for three years to get the D.C. flag included in the ceremonial lineup, never understanding why the city flag had been left out.

In 2004, Capozzi stood with D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton as the city's flag was added to the display and hoisted up.

Capozzi told NBC4 on Wednesday that he would raise money for the price of a new flag if the Park Service was too broke.

"That's great," Capozzi said later when he learned that all the flags were replaced.

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