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Tribe tells construction firm to take U.S. flag down 4-22-07

IGNACIO, Colo. (AP) - Southern Ute Indian Tribe leaders have asked a construction company to stop flying the American flag atop a crane being used to build a casino on the reservation, the Durango Herald reported in Sunday editions.

The reasons for the Tribal Council's decision in late February or early March have not been disclosed. The seven Council members did not return phone calls last week seeking comment.

American flags have been flying as usual elsewhere on the reservation.

Tribal member Sage Remington told the Durango Herald that the tribe is a sovereign nation whose members can request what flags are flown.

Remington said a representative of Arviso-Okland Construction, the company hired to build the casino, asked the Tribal Council to be able to fly the American flag together with the tribe's flag. But the company was told not to fly any flags from the crane, according to Tribal Council minutes obtained by The Durango Herald.

Kent Monson, project director with the company, declined to comment.

Remington said it was not necessary to fly an American flag atop the crane when it is flying elsewhere on the reservation, and some tribal elders questioned why the flag was perched there in an “undignified way.” He said the flag was not being taken down at night and that he suspected it had blown down at least once.

However the Southern Ute Veterans Association has said publicly that the display did not seem disrespectful or inappropriate.
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