School janitor fired after exposing disrespect of American flag

American flag improperly storedSchool janitor Cesar Zakahi of Fort Pierre, S.D., was fired by the Stanley County School District on Monday after posting photos on Facebook of a co-worker disrespecting the American flag.

Superintendent Don Hotalling confirmed that Zakahi, a disabled veteran, no longer works for the school district, but he said it wasn’t because of the photos, according to the Rapid City Journal.

Zakahi said he posted the photos out of frustration because the co-worker has not changed the way she was handling the flag after he complained to the district superintendent.

“I told him he hadn’t taken care of it yet. She’s been doing this for two months and you guys won’t do anything about it, so I took the only means necessary to try to get her to stop doing it,” Zakahi told KELO-TV.

American flag stored on boilerThe co-worker would crumple up the U.S. and South Dakota flags and put them on a boiler after taking them down from an outside pole, the Rapid City Journal reported.

“First time, she did it I told her, ‘That’s disrespectful.  You can’t do it that way,’ and I showed her how to fold the flag, but she continued doing it,” Zakahi said.

Flag etiquette, as defined by the U.S. Flag Code, states that when the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object and that it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously before storage.

Stanley County school board president Sarah Carter issued a statement Wednesday that said in part:

“The result of our investigation did not reflect a mishandling of either flag. We question the circumstances surrounding this matter and whether the pictures currently circulating are an accurate reflection of how the flags were stored.”

“The Stanley County School District stands behind its decisions and adamantly denies any allegation that the personnel decision was based on reporting of any mishandling of either flag.”

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11 thoughts on “School janitor fired after exposing disrespect of American flag

  1. Ted says:

    Not enough info here. He was fired for "other reasons". I do believe that if what he said was true, SHE should be fired. Maybe his biggest mistake was putting the video online. Stoopid. The handling of the flag should not be open to personal option. If you don't know how to handle it, find out and do it right. The flag represent the country the management should also have made sure that the flag was handled right. Who is in charge here?

  2. BETTY SALMON says:

    i know you are to handle the right way mu dad was in ww 2 my grandson was kill in afg 1-11-2011 i have there flag.some time i put them on my bed.just to look at .my god this is not a way to be .to be fired over this .at less in in your school .help them how to fold ther i dont know how to but i love the u.s.a. god bless us.

  3. Rifraffe says:

    We used to defend the Stars and Strips with our blood. Now, pointing out obvious disrespect for our flag can get you fired by a liberal school board in South Dakota. We shouldn't be surprised by anything coming out of the same state that elected marxists like George McGovern and Tom Daschle. As practiced in this school district (and God help the kids!) mishandling the flag is akin to folding it properly. I wonder if American history is even taught in the Stanley County school district!

  4. Charles Wilson says:

    Amazing. How can we teacher a younger generation what respect and honor is if the educators do not practice it? The wrong person got fired and i think the school board needs to be voted out

  5. Bob says:

    Let the School superintendent know how you feel: Don Hotalling, email him at this address—-> [email protected]

  6. Elaine says:

    And you all think BHO respects our flag?? Not just no but HELL NO. BTW: We were given the right to burn the flag. Right now our flag is flying upside down showing we believe the country is in DISTRESS and will stay that way until BHO is out of the white house and back in Kenya where he came from.

  7. Kristen Mooney says:

    Good for Cesar!It's about time somebody stood up for The United States Of American.If I was in his position I would have done the same thing.I stand behind Cesar 100%.

  8. Cliff says:

    I sent this email to Dr. Hotalling (address above) and Sarah Carter ([email protected]):

    Dr. Hotalling,

    I am a retired US Army Command Sergeant Major and an expert in the handling of the United States Flag. The photos that have been published nationwide and Fox News demonstrate that your school district has been improperly handling and storing the flag. Mr. Zakahi was doing what any American should do, advise those that are improperly handling the flag how to correctly fold and store the flag.

    I ask that you review Title 4 of the US code, with emphasis on Chapter 1, section 8(e) ( with your staff that are responsible for handling the flag.



  9. That's just right! People who don't respect flags must be punished. It's a national symbol, and a sacred one. We live and die for it.

    Ed of

  10. Meredith says:

    My son is in the 5th grade. For 2 years he has done the Safety Patrol at his school. OUR school district taught our kids how to fold the flag properly, how to hold it while it was being transported to & from the place it is kept & told them that it is NOT to ever touch the ground. My son says that to his knowledge, OUR KIDS always did it properly & always stood at attention when the flag was being raised. I am EXTREMELY proud of my son, his fellow classmates, his school & our district for still teaching RESPECT & HONOR & DIGNITY!! These kids are our future!! Our adults are putting this country to shame…..will our kids be able to fix what they screw up?!?!

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