LACEY – When an unknown person replaced an American flag flying over a town park with a Trump flag, a Marine vet stepped in and replaced that flag with the Stars and Stripes. In turn, the Township Committee gave him a flag in thanks.
The all-Republican governing body welcomed Joe McCusker to their most recent Township Committee meeting to thank him.
While presenting the flag, Mayor Peter Curatolo explained how McCusker saw something on social media and acted on it.
“He took personal exception to this” because of his military experience and love of country, he said.
McCusker, Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps, explained that he saw a “Trump Make America Great Again” flag flying in place of the American flag on a post over William Hebrew Park, he knew he couldn’t let it stand like that. On June 18, he went and took down the flag himself and put up a proper American flag.
As a soldier, he’s taught to respect the chain of command. And at the top of that chain is the president. The commander-in-chief. But there’s one thing that’s above that.
“As a vet, nothing comes before this,” he said, pointing to his flag, “regardless of who you support.”
He then wrote a tersely-worded post on his own Facebook page calling out whoever decided to remove the flag. “You do not remove an American Flag from its post for any reason unless you are ceremoniously retiring it and replacing it with another American Flag,” he wrote, in part. It should never be removed to make a political statement.
McCusker, who grew up in Lacey, lives in Barnegat now. While people feel very strongly one way or the other over Trump, he said the feedback he’s received has been wholly positive. He said there hasn’t been anyone who’s spoken out against what he did.