TOWAMENSING TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- "Disgusting and disgraceful," those are the words people in one Carbon County community used to describe the condition of an American flag.
The flag is located right outside of the Towamensing Township Fire Company building, but the fire company's president says he can't do anything to replace the flag. So instead, he's asking residents to put pressure on the company that is responsible for maintaining it.
Our nation's stars and stripes in shreds: that's what people have been seeing for months when they drive by the Towamensing Township Fire Company near Palmerton.
Rather than flying high above the village of Trachsville, the weather-worn flag has wrapped itself around its pole.
"I think it's disgusting. I think it should be either taken down or replaced, not shown like that," said Frank Palmieri.
The volunteer fire company agrees, and so do township officials, but they say their hands are tied.
The flag is hanging on an AT&T cell tower, which is operated by a company called Crown Castle. The tower is surrounded by a locked gate. Only Crown Castle employees have access to it.
Township supervisors say this problem with the flag has happened more than once. They contacted Crown Castle, and the company says it has a work order in for the flag, but couldn't say when it will be replaced.
Residents say the flag has been in this condition for months
"A lot of people died for that flag, and for it to be in that condition is terrible."
At the nearby Lehighton American Legion, veterans were saddened to see something they fought hard to protect ripped and tattered.
Neil Dorshimer and James Zanders both served in Vietnam, Dorshimer in the Air Force, Zanders in the Navy.
"It's very disrespectful for our nation, our country, our veterans, our citizens. Too many men fought and died for that flag, and to see it in that condition, it should be replaced immediately," Zanders said.
"It should've been replaced when it first was torn instead of letting it get in this condition. It's pitiful," Dorshimer added.
The fire company is asking residents to call Crown Castle to voice their concerns, in the hopes the company will replace the flag faster.
Newswatch 16 reached out to Crown Castle for a comment. We haven't heard back yet.