Navy veteran fights California city to fly American flag again

King-Kennedy community center in Modesto, Calif. (City of Modesto)

King-Kennedy community center in Modesto, Calif. (City of Modesto)

A broken flagpole at a community center in Northern California has a Navy vet seeing red.

George Russell wants to fly the Red, White and Blue at the King Kennedy Memorial Center in west Modesto. He said he’s been trying for years to get the City of Modesto to address the problem.

“As a veteran, all I ask is the flagpole. Fix the flagpole,” Russell, who is in his 70s, tells KXTV.

Flag thieves broke the cable to raise and lower the American flag a long time ago.

Russell urged the city to mount the flag permanently and install a light to fly it at night to foil any vandalism.

But the fix would cost Modesto nearly $10,000, the station reported.

Russell complained that the city is already spending $75,000 on a bicycle race that’s not even taking place in Modesto.

“Why you spending $75,000 to house bike riders and feed them and you can’t fix a flagpole in front of a city-owned building?” Russell told the station.

KXTV told viewers that union electricians have stepped up to install the light for free.

“We just want to do what is right and add a light to the flagpole and get it flying for him,” union rep Bobby Stutzman said.

Modesto’s new mayor, Ted Brandvold, said Russell hasn’t been ignored for years.

He told the station work on the flagpole will begin soon.