UPDATE: Please see the response from Verizon Business below this post.
Everyone that knows me, knows that I am a big supporter of flying the American Flag. I just could not believe what I was reading when I clicked on this link PutUpTheFlag.org, it seems that a local manager at Verizon Business has decided that the American Flag can be construed as propaganda and offensive to some workers.
From the website:
Terry Skiest is a Verizon Business technician and a true American hero. As a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, he recently returned from his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.
For three years, Terry displayed his unit’s American flag outside his cubicle — a flag that was flown over Iraq and Afghanistan. But while Terry was serving his last tour in Afghanistan, Verizon Business removed the flag. A co-worker of Skiest’s reported that a local manager said that the American flag “could be considered to be propaganda” and “might be offensive to some workers.”
This is outrageous. Terry Skiest is not attempting to spread propaganda — he just wants to honor the flag he so valiantly fought for.
Verizon Business claims that “great companies are judged by what they do, not by what they say.” Please live up to that statement by allowing Terry Skiest to hang his American flag outside his cubicle.
Terry’s Story from the website:
A member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, Terry recently returned from his third tour duty in the Middle East. He is a genuine patriot and has proudly flown his unit’s American flag over the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan.
When he’s not defending our country overseas, Terry Skiest works as a technician for Verizon Business. For three years, Terry displayed his American flag outside his cubicle. But when Terry left his flag hanging outside his cubicle during his last tour in Afghanistan, Verizon Business removed it.
A co-worker of Skiest’s reported that a local manager said that the American flag “could be considered to be propaganda” and “might be offensive to some workers.”
Terry isn’t trying to organize workers against VZB – he just wants to put the flag back up on his wall. Tell Verizon Business to put up Terry’s flag.
Terry, I salute you!
Response from Verizon Business:
Thank you for your inquiry regarding the display of one of our employee’s flags in our Acton, MA location. We respect the service of more than 1,000 Verizon employees who have been called to active duty. We are proud of them and our military leave policy, which is among the best in the country and goes beyond legal requirements.
I want to ensure that you know the facts as follows:
1. To be clear, the flags were not removed; they are hanging in the employee’s workspace. The flags were simply relocated from the outside wall of the employee’s cubicle to the adjacent inside wall of the employee’s cubicle in accordance with the company’s office standards and guidelines. The flags remain in clear view for all passersby to see.
2. When our employees serve their country on military leave, Verizon makes up the difference between their base pay and their military base pay. In addition, Verizon provides health and well-being benefits for these employees and their dependents for the length of their Emergency Military Leave.
It is unfortunate that some have chosen to unfairly disparage Verizon Business’s reputation, and thereby, the 32,000 hardworking, dedicated employees who work hard to service our customers in a highly competitive global marketplace.
( If you are reading this anywhere but my blog, you can find the original post here. )