Flag’s Believed Ties To Tea Party Lead To Removal From New Rochelle Building

Veterans' Group Takes Offense To Treatment Of 'Don't Tread On Me', Sues City

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Westchester County veterans’ group is taking the city of New Rochelle to court.

The lawsuit is all over a flag that was being flown over an empty building, CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported Monday.

It’s a flag steeped in American history.

“George Washington’s army, the Continental Army actually fought under that flag,” said Ron Tocci of the United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association.

But in New Rochelle, it’s brewing debate, because of its association with the Tea Party movement.

Last month, New Rochelle officials had the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag removed from the city’s vacant armory building, because they feared that the flag may be seen as political.

Now, members of a local veterans group are suing the city.

“It has no association with any one particular group. No one owns that flag but the United States of America and that’s the freedom that we want to prevail,” said Peter Parente, president of the United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association.

They argue that the so-called Gadsden flag has historical significance.

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