COLUMBIA, 6/6/11 (Beat Byte) -- Saying the Pledge of Allegiance at City Council meetings is one thing. Though controversial, it was a soulful move in favor of a more patriotic America, and on a heartfelt level, rather sweet.
But installing a $13,000, 12 x 18-foot American flag atop Columbia's downtown Garage-Zilla that will have to be replaced at a cost of $600/annually may be pushing patriotism toward its red, white, and blue limits, especially in these days of unpatriotic government indebtedness, a strikingly sour economy, ultra-tight budgets City Hall administrators delight in emphasizing whenever it suits them -- and parking-related fee and fine hikes designed to pay for what else -- giant parking garages (and now, flags).
Besides, how patriotic is it, really, to install a flag on the Beast of 20,000 Feet that everybody loves to hate?
And yet -- your Columbia City Council has suggested just such a thing, even generating a staff report on the idea for tonight's meeting.
Titled "American Flag at 5th and Walnut Garage," the report claims this Dino-doggle will be no mean feat, requiring "wind load-bearing engineering," and electrical wiring so that a "flood light can be mounted," driving up the beast's already-abhorrent light pollution and sky-high utility bills.
A previous Council plan to plant grass atop City Hall met with condemnation amidst visions of goats chewing cud on the roof.
A flag for Garagezilla should meet with similar defeat. If your Council thinks this is a good idea, it needs to buy a $13,000 clue.