Flag Flap In Hazleton

HAZLETON — Even though a big percentage of residents in Hazleton are of Hispanic heritage, the mayor is refusing to fly the Dominican flag in front of city hall to celebrate the Dominican Republic’s independence.

The Dominican House in Hazleton’s downtown has many purposes, including teaching English and preparing immigrants to become American citizens. The folks there are proud of their heritage and wanted to display their nation’s flag at Hazleton City Hall. It would be for one day to mark the Dominican Republic’s independence.

“We just request for the 28th of February, in celebration of the 1844 celebration of the Dominican Republic, for that day, raise the flag in city hall, that’s all,” said Victor Perez.

Mayor Joe Yannuzzi denied the request, saying a state law prohibits another country’s flag from flying from any public building.

“We quoted the law and sent them a copy and told them what it was and they are looking for an issue right now,” said Mayor Yannuzzi.

Dominican native Olga Lantigua has been an American citizen for 40 years. She agrees with the mayor.

“This is America and we have to respect rules and we have to follow rules.”

Other nation’s flags often fly outside the Lackawanna County and Luzerne County Courthouses for special occasions.   We contacted both counties.  Lackawanna county officials say they believe it’s not a violation of the flag law because the other countries’ flags fly in a special area in front of the courthouse.  There is no word from Luzerne County representatives as to how they interpret the law.

The original state law from 1895.

An amendment added in 1913.

52 comments

  • Alberto Tejeda

    OK so here is my two cents… I am dominican fighting for the United States Of America flag. If you guys are so proud of your flag and country then why don’t you come defend it multiple times overseas for the past 10 years like I have? Thought so.. there is thousands of Hispanics fighting in harms way so you ignorant people can say what you want. Ok call us immigrants or whatever but obviously you don’t even know your own history. who occupied this land first? lets see, NOT Americans. anyways.. enjoy the freedom that I fight for that I myself cannot have. but I enjoy doing it!!! if you have anything childish to say.. email me! I would be happy to hear you out. a.tejeda03@yahoo.com .. I’m in Texas so don’t go out looking to threaten me! lol

    • ME

      There are plenty of Americans who have fought AND died for this country in many wars and many tours of duty, so stop acting like you have special status in that area, because you don’t. As for Americans not being the first ones here, you obviously need a history lesson, too, as everyone came from the “walk across ice” The Indians and Hispanics were the original squatters. The point is America is no longer a territory but a soverneigh nation. One with laws. If I have to obey them, so does everyone else.

  • dominican4life

    I AM DOMINICAN AND YES THIS IS AMERICA AND I RESPECT EVERYONE’S OPINION. I CAME TO AMERICA IN 1998, WENT TO SCHOOL LEARNED ENGLISH AND ALSO BECAME A CITIZEN. WHY? CUZ I WANT AMERICA TO BE MY HOME COUNTRY. THE LAW IS THE LAW DOMINICAN FLAG DOES NOT NEED TO BE IN FRONT OF HAZLETON CITY HALL NOT EVEN FOR ONE DAY PERIOD.

  • AFINKSTER

    All Right, All Right, Here’s what we do. Let’s put the English Flag up and take the American flag down and burn it like the Hippies did back in the 60’s. Then we can all take an oath to the English Throne and have Piers Morgan appointed as Governor by the Queen and all bow down to the small minded Dirversity Nitwits whom are forcing Multiculturalism on us. That way the Throne will not let any other flags to be presented in the Kingdom.
    That way the New Governor Morgan ,who lost his job on CNN will be able to dictate to us about all that he sees wrong with America. He can take our guns and all the other nationallity flags and burn them when we have another Book Burning. Then all the Tories can institute their Religion on all of us and send all the non believing infedels into Fema Camps for reeducation. I’m sure they will not let the Dominican Flag fly there.
    We could just let Obama hang the Hammer & Sickle over the White House too. That would make him feel good. I’m sure he wants the Marxist to be happy instead of the Kenyans. And the Mexicans can hang their flag over the Alamo again. And those Frenchie guys can salute their flag flying over New Orleans. And the Cubans would love Castro’s flag hanging over Disney Land.

    You see, all these different Flags flying all over the place is a symbol of the Multiculturism that these Liberal Nitwits want us to be living in. Keeping us at odds with one another so they can stay in power by deceiving us. Where we will all be Divided and Fall instead of UNITED WE STAND.

    So take that rag down and put back up the Stars & Bars that is the Symbol of Liberty.

  • Rodney

    You are living in the USA regardless if your legal or illegal. In this country we fly the american flag at all government buildings. If you want to fly a different flag, you have that right at your own home. Don’t try to force your flag on all us american people whom were born and raised in the greatest Country in the world. If you have a problem with my comments, then move back to your own country!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joseph Doe

    To Madin Hazleton,

    I am Dominican who came to this country LEGALLY when I was 4 years old, so did my parents, my Grandparents, and my great Grandparents. When you say these people you automatically assume we are all illegal and uneducated. AMERICA is my country, it is my heritage, and it is my culture. At 31 years old I have only been to the Dominican Republic once, so it is a tourist destination just like any other foreign country. Even tho I have ” assimilated” and am more American then many I know, I can not deny my heritage and will continue to enjoy things from my culture. This fight to put the Dominican Flag in city hall is an outrage and disgusting. This Dominican House speaker does not represent the community. This is beyond stepping over boundaries and disrespectful not just to America but to any country. Dominicans have it wrong if they agree with this Nonsense. This is the New Country, deal with it, learn its laws and language, learn to respect its residents, or move back.
    These racial comments are a mentality of the poor just like all the Dominicans who have immigrated to Hazleton. Hazleton is a poor area with poor education, both from the immigrants and the natives. That’s why you have the constant race wars and misunderstandings between both parties. To end my rant as far as what have Dominicans done for America? Well America did put a dictator in power for many years to do the Governments dirty work and steal Dominican Republic’s resources. That dictator slaughtered millions of people and came 2nd to Hitler in terms of wickedness. The “New World” that Columbus found was the Dominican Republic, and twenty years after his discovery the Spaniards had already wiped 70% of the Taino Indians.

    • Sandy Williams

      Its not about race!I dont care what country you come from…do it legally!And don’t come here with the attitude that we all owe you!I don’t have a problem with people who come here legally…My problem is with the ones that come here and refuse to speak english,the ones who you see in town who are ignorant and their ignorant little offspring who attend our schools and disrupt classes with their nonsense and interfere with my childrens education,and the ones that stand in the middle of the street as you are driving through and refuse to move.Im so sick of people pulling the race card!Most of these people are illegal and refuse to respect this country or our laws.

      • Joseph Doe

        Sandy, I agree with you and your comments. I’m not bringing out the race card because I can only blame my peoples actions for the way I am perceived, but while you and I might not be using the race card, many of the local media outlets and commentators on both parties engage in racial comments. I’ve been called Racist plenty of times because I refuse to speak Spanish when interacting with people at work. I think its disrespectful to others who don’t understand the language. At the same time I understand the challenges of learning a new language as an Adult. This is about a flag, I don’t understand how it turned into illegals, “those people”, etc…As an American Citizen, this is America and I refuse to accept any other flag besides the American flag and the state flags to be flown in a government institution period!!! This shouldn’t be a discussion.

    • mad in hazleton

      Joseph Doe,

      Nobody is talking about you giving up your heritage. be proud of it. but the facts are most of Hispanic population coming to the hazleton area are illegals or anchor babies from illegals ….why just look at the crime rate from these people in the hazleton area. I can remember a just 35 years ago their was virtually no crime in hazleton, but look at it now, and look at the segment of population that is causing it……so my friend be proud of your heritage …..

      • latunza

        Mad In Haz,

        Thanks for the honest reply. It is unfortunate whats happened to the city, I moved to Hazleton in 2000 before the influx of Hispanics in 2003. We were a small Latino population that blended with the natives of Hazleton peacefully. I no longer live in Hazleton but when I do go I am in disgust. Funfest is segregated and what I see on the Latino side is the worst of our culture. The Dominican House and its speakers champion that behavior by being on stage and conducting these events. Instead of orchestrating positive things about our history and culture, our passion for religion, or the fact that many of us are hard workers, we have disgusting booty dances as the streets are flooded with thugs in braids and girls coming out of their clothes. All this while “the Diva” & other representatives are onstage looking like clowns. So I agree with everyone’s sentiments on this forum. I wish I was in the position to take over the Dominican House, the community would be in for a rude awaken.

    • ME

      Thank-you for your comments, Joseph, as no one is complaining about legal immigrants, just the ignorance that comes from the multicultural crowd, whether legal or illegal, to change our culture to theirs. Why would anyone go live in another country and then expect that country to change to be more like the country you just left? It has to be a form of self-entitlement or worse, trying to do away with this country and its traditions. If I went to live in another country (which I’m seriously considering), I’d still be proud to be an American and would keep my customs and heritage, maybe join an American group if it was available, but I would never ask the town I lived in to fly the American flag or change for me.

  • madin hazleton

    Personally I’m sick and tired of these people from other countries disrespecting my country America. You come to this country most likely illegally you walk around town and speak Spanish with no regards towards the local people, and now you want to fly your flag over city hall. let me ask you this, what has the Dominican Republic ever done for the USA? Answer NOTHING…….unlike Columbus Day..My grandparents came from Italy, they they learned English and only spoke English while out town, why? because they where proud to be Americans they assimilated into American culture unlike the Hispanics flooding the area now….So my word of advice to all Hispanics moving to the Hazleton Area, assimilate into the American culture, speak english when you our out in public,”I don’t care what you speak in your own home”, and respect America. If you do those 2 things we will all get along fine….

    • Anthony

      Guess they forgot to put in the constitution that freedom of speech only covers english. I am bilingual and speak both languages perfectly and I have the right to have a private conversation in my native language.

      • ME

        Yes, you do. The problems start when people of other languages and races think America should cater to their culture in public, like with schools, printed materials etc. I also think it is extremely rude when others speak their language at work or in groups where English is the norm.

  • Anthony

    They said no… that’s it. This does not need media attention or go back where you came from comments, To be honest this just seems like an excuse to start racial tension over nothing.

    • Anthony

      Oh and I am a NY born Dominican with my mom having 20+ years working in this country but to most of you people we are no different than any illegal alien squating here for food stamps and medicare. I am Hispanic and have just as much right to be here as any of you. And I have the right to use any government aid which can be provided to me. Many don’t realize every single person in this country pay taxes, even illegal immigrants pay taxes for every dollar they spend. Your tax dollars are going to needless wars and on your own politicians pockets while you blame the poor.

      • CCKM

        Again it’s not about race, and that’s what we’re tired of. No one has the right to think they deserve exceptional treatment. End of story! Also, I as well as others who are white have been the targets of racism as well, as well as falsely accused of it simply by nature of being proud we are white! But because we are white we are not allowed to be proud of our culture, color, and creed? I now live and work in a small town. I left NYC when I was 45 yrs old. I left because I met someone from a small town. We live here because I was ready for that change. At work one day there were two black women that came in together, stepped to the check-out together, and I checked out the wrong woman in the wrong order, wow, someone shoulda shot me! She got all in my face about “why you took her fist before me maybe because we both black and you think it don’t matter..” and she ranted on and on until I put a stop to the stupidity of it all and said; “Lady, I am from nyc, don’t trump you’re race card on my table, I don’t know from race!” Doe in the headlights…loss for words…priceless!
        The pastor of our church is Puerto Rican, married to a local girl, and we all get along fine. Because of his nationale, we have been able to draw a diverse congregation, and for this I am thrilled. We learn to get along. He is from the same area I am from back home. This was a fluke, but no accident!

      • ME

        No one cares. Take your self-entitled attitude and shove it. It’s people with attitudes like yours, that make people hate foreigners and “working here,” doesn’t equal citizenship. This is our country, not WalMart!

  • CCKM

    If we were racist, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. Wanna fly the flag on your own turf, fine, but don’t’ get your panties in a wad because the mayor doesn’t feel it necessary to fly your flag on YOUR special day. Just be grateful you’re here. And if you fell you have nothing to feel grateful about because the mayor simply won’t fly your flag from your country THAT YOU LEFT then by all means please leave. I grew up in NYC and I have had my fill of people from everywhere in the world complaining about my city and my country and we would tell them, so, go back where you came from or shut the hey up. And Sharon, back off, part of what’s so great about being here is freedom of speech. There is nothing wrong with Americans defending our OWN country. Puerto Ricans have been here forever, and I have not known one to act like you even back then! It took many many years for the people in NYC to realize either we learn to live together and respect one another’s personal space and customs as long as they weren’t illegal or offensive, or we would end up killing each other, and that would happen on occasion. It’s not worth it. If someone is here illegally and causes problems? Their butts should be booted ASAP.

  • Scott Williams

    When the Italian immigrants came to this country were they allowed to stay illegally? Was the Italian flag flown on their behalf? When the Irish immigrants came to this country were they allowed to stay illegally? Was the Irish flag flown on their behalf? Has any immigrants from country been allowed to stay illegally?
    Our southern border has always been disrespected by those from the other side. Rarely are they here legally their entire stay. Some of them come here legally but stay long after their visa expire, others falsify documents all together to enter, and entirely too many just cross the border while hiding. They are very poor examples for their children. They teach their children to get by they way they have, lie, steal, cheat. They all need to be removed from US soil and forced to go back where they came from once and for all. They don’t belong here. They don’t respect the laws here.

    • Sandy Williams

      @Chris…do you live in Hazleton?I do…and I do not see these people who you speak of that are looking to better their lives ir their childrens lives.What I see…is people who are getting welfare benefits,food stamps and medicaid.I see them sitting in bars on their asses,and partying at their houses,and throwing their garbage all over.I see them shooting and stabbing others every chance they get,and meanwhile having CEO pay their bills.As for the kids learning English faster in school..have you been to our wonderful schools here in Hazleton??I have…I have 4 kids in the district and their classes and learning time are disrupted every single day by kids that dont speak english and constantly talk over teachers in spanish!That to me is not wanting to better your life!!If they honestly wanted to better their lives they would go back to where they came from,learn english,take their citizenship test and then come back here legally when they can contribute to society.

  • ME

    Chris, flying the flag on a porch is private property isn’t it? How dumb are you? The rest of what you said makes no sense either, except the part about being proud of your heritage. No one citizenship was easy and Americans want the best for their children, too, but can’t go squat in other countries, illegally or turn them inside out. As for Europeans stealing land, even the “natives” came here across the ice. Civilization didn’t begin on this side of the world. America is now a country with rules and laws, and if I have to obey, so do you.

  • Brenda

    Does the Hazleton building have a special flag pole for the Dominican Republic flag like Lackawanna county buildings? Or will they have to take down the US flag and replace it? The mayor is quoted as saying “they are looking for an issue right now” However, this article doesn’t state what that “issue” is or get the opinion of the Dominican House.

  • ME

    You tell ‘em, TOP! Decades from now, maybe after you and I are gone, this will be the norm. Foreign born living here, will do what they want to and this won’t be the worst of it. Americans are just too dumb to see it.
    They are so pompous and self-righteous, and then they wonder why Americans hate them. Can you see an American doing that in the Dominican Republic or anywhere else? What is wrong with these people?

  • chris

    I’m a very proud hispanic and although it would be a nice gesture if its illegal then you have to respect a countries laws. Also many countries have independence days but if they all requested their flags raised at city hall there would be a different flag everyday.

    This is a country of immigrants dating back to the Europeans who first settled here and you see Irish, German and Italian flags everywhere so I don’t think its disrespectful at all as long as it doesn’t hang higher than the American flag.

    It should be just as normal and acceptable to raise a Dominican, Mexican or Puerto Rican flag as it is to raise a German, Irish or Italian flag, but aslong as its somewhere legal. The law is the law. Peoples ignorance or racism however is a different story.

    • ME

      People fly the flags of their heritage in private, not at state, federal or local entities. If that’s good enough for the rest of us, it’s good enough for these fools. Everyone should be proud of their heritage, but what you are seeing is anger, not racism, and it is justified. As justified as the ignorance of those who think there are too many Europeans and not enough diversity in America. They probably would think there are too many Chinese in China, too, if that was they country they chose to settle in, which of course, it isn’t. I’m so glad I and my family won’t be growing up in the country that this one will become. It will be nothing but rubbish.

      • chris

        I don’t believe I disagreed with the mayor not allowing to raise the Dominican flag at city hall did I.
        No one hangs a flag in private, you hang a flag to show your proud of your heritage. I mostly see it on peoples porches and I think its 100% acceptable to show your pride whether its a Hispanic country or not.
        My problem is just peoples ignorance with their comments. They say other countries wouldn’t like Americans to do this in their countries with no knowledge of what its like in those countries. IV lived in 3 countries and none of them treat foreigners the way Americans do. If Europeans could come and take this country away from the natives and gave people from other countries the chance to come here and have a better life then why can’t Hispanics? Its not easy learning a new language as an adult and most come here not for themselves but for their children and their children do learn English faster with the help of school and their peers. It takes a generation or 2 to “melt in”. But despite wanting to have a better life for your children people will always be proud of where they came from.

  • CCKM

    IKR? First of all, I have also told this site also get their little thumbs up down arrows going…they’re lagging…
    As for Chris’s comments, since do Americans care what other countries think of us? We care about that about as much as they care what we think of them. As for the Hispanic migrating over here? The have been migrating over here since “West Side Story?!” And it was the Spaniards who brought all that disease that killed of the Mayans and/or Aztecs was it not? There is nothing ignorant about natives of this country standing up for what they believe to be right in the country they were born in?! Why should we cave into every little nuance that immigrants want every time they stamp their feet and throw a hissy fit?
    Isn’t it enough we have to press 1 for English? And you know what else? Any racism I ever experienced was at the hands of people who weren’t born here, in my own back yard, and I got sick of that real fast and they always run into someone who reminds them they are a guests here until they become legal. You don’t go into another country and throw your weight around like you own the place. They should be grateful! How do you think native NY-ers felt after 911 with hundreds of muslims surrounding them not even making an effort to point out that they didn’t agree with the attacks? Because they did agree with the attacks?! For some sick and twisted reason we had to make them feel comfortable about being muslims in the face of what our city just went through? Much like the ones here complaining why their falg can’t be flown on government property for their holiday? It’s not your country’s government, and it’s not this country’s holiday…duh!

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