Moving of American flag was not a protest, Cottage Grove business says

Each month on the 11th, the American Legion Post in Cottage Grove lines Main Street with American flags.

Posted: Jul 13, 2020 7:40 PM
Updated: Jul 14, 2020 10:50 AM

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- A restaurant/bar in Cottage Grove is defending its actions after moving an American flag that was in front of its property.

Each month on the 11th, the American Legion Post in Cottage Grove lines Main Street with American flags.

Bart Caridio, the owner of The Axe and Fiddle, said this past Saturday his employees moved one so they could move a picnic table for his daughter's wedding.

A member of the American Legion disagreed with Caridio's explanation, telling KEZI the American flag was "desecrated."

Caridio said that's not the case and the flag was merely placed off to the side on the sidewalk. He added a man sitting in his car a block and a half away saw them move the flag and was not happy.

"He came down started taking photos and trespassed on our property," Caridio said. "He was taking photos and yelling at my partner. My partner's domestic partner started to intervene and he started to take pictures of him​."

Caridio said he has expressed to the American Legion that he doesn't want the flag outside of his business because of the current state the country is in. But he said he would never desecrate an American flag and what happened Saturday was not a protest. They were simply moving furniture.

"We do want to support America because of course we’re patriotic, but we feel that it’s a sensitive time," Caridio said. "Personally, I would rather have a Black Lives Matter flag out here or a gay pride flag out here because we want to accept everybody​."

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