Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Hazleton won't run it up the flagpole

Mayor refuses to fly Dominican flag to mark the republic's founding.

Hazleton, Pa., Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi (pictured) cited a state law from 1895 for refusing to fly the national flag of the Dominican Republic.
Hazleton, Pa., Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi (pictured) cited a state law from 1895 for refusing to fly the national flag of the Dominican Republic.

HAZLETON, Pa. - The mayor of this heavily Latino town says he won't fly the Dominican Republic flag at City Hall to commemorate that country's founding.

Hazleton Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi cited a state law from 1895, saying it required him to reject the request from the nonprofit group Dominican House.

According to the Standard-Speaker newspaper in Hazelton, a foreign flag can fly only if a minister or consul of that country is present in the building.

But Dominican House President Victor Perez noted the Irish flag flew at City Hall in 2012 to mark St. Patrick's Day.

Perez said it sounded like officials were discriminating against Dominicans. The organization wants to celebrate Dominican independence on Feb. 27.

Hazelton made national headlines in 2006 for passing ordinances that cracked down on illegal immigrants. Courts have since struck down the laws.

Associated Press
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