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Florida knows how to spend money and time


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Thousands of flags needed under new state law

an Associated Press report 12/06/04


ORLANDO - More than 15,000 American flags need to be replaced in public-school classrooms in central Florida by the end of the school year because they are smaller than required under a new state law.


The law, requiring every Florida public classroom to display an American flag, includes a 3-foot-by-2-foot size requirement. Many flags already used in classrooms aren't large enough.


"We already had flags in every classroom," said Richard Wells, the district spokesman in Seminole County. "They just weren't the ones specified by the law."


Because the law states that districts should "attempt to acquire the flag through donation or fund raising," many schools regionwide have spent the fall looking to community groups and businesses to pay for their flags.


In Seminole County, for example, Bank of America has agreed to donate half of the 4,000 flags the district needs, at a cost of about $4 each, Wells said.


Lawmakers estimate there are 156,000 kindergarten-through-12th-grade classrooms in Florida.


"Had the school districts come to us, and said, 'We have suitable flags,' I would have had no problem grandfathering them in," said state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who led the movement for the law.


The law is known as the Carey Baker Freedom Flag Act, named for the Eustis lawmaker who spent a year serving in Iraq. Fasano said he would be surprised if any school had to buy flags on its own.


Carl Persis, principal of Ormond Beach Middle School in Volusia County, said these groups are needed right now for more serious projects such as collecting holiday food for the needy and lending a hand to hurricane victims.


Volusia schools need 3,300 new flags, or about $15,000 worth. The most popular flag size in Volusia -- 12 inches by 18 inches -- is half of what the state now requires, district officials said.


"I really do think it's just a total waste of effort and money," Persis said. "We already have flags. It's not the size of the flag that matters, it's the idea that students are aware of what the words mean in the Pledge of Allegiance and that they stand every morning and express themselves and recite the Pledge."


Orange County school officials aren't sure how many flags the district needs because donations are being organized at the school level, district spokesman Lin Wright said



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there's actually a state law that requires them to be a certain size???


I want the name of the genius legislator who wrote this one up....



Carey Baker Freedom Flag Act

H1757 GENERAL BILL/1ST ENG by Education K-20; (CO-SPONSORS) Allen; Ambler;

Green; Kilmer; Kottkamp; Quinones (Similar CS/S 0612, Compare S 0294)

Carey Baker Freedom Flag Act; provides popular name; requires flag of

United States to be displayed in each classroom in public K-20

educational institutions; provides for procurement of flags. Amends



Baker spent a year in Iraq, came back and I guess decided size does matter.

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