Man takes down tattered American flag

August 6, 2009 8:01:11 PM PDT
When a Fresno father refused to take down a torn and tattered American flag, the story gained national attention.

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Louis Haros' son Paul put up the flag before leaving for his second tour in Iraq. Haros promised his son it would stay up until his return. That family reunion finally happened Thursday and a new flag is waving above the Haros home.

Corporal Paul Haros stepped back into the arms of his family and into a controversy over the ripped, faded and worn out flag that has hung outside his parents' home during his yearlong tour.

"It's an honor you know that my father flew the flag and he stayed with his promise to me," Paul Haros said. "When I put it up there, we never imagined it was going tear or anything but I guess with the weather and it just took a beating and stuff."

Paul's father, Louis Haros, is a Vietnam veteran himself. The second he saw his son was safe and smiling, he wanted to get down to business.

"I'm glad he's home and were going to the house and put down the flag before I get shot," Louis Haros joked.

Passerby's and some neighbors thought leaving the flag up in such shabby condition was disrespectful.

Bryan Walters even bought the Haros a new flag and left it on their porch. Then, he learned about the meaning behind letting it fly as it was.

"I respect that with my heart, you know and when he told me he would change it but only when his son came home, I thought that was great," Walters said.

"It meant a lot to me that he stood up for it and here we are, so I'm glad to be home, I'm glad to take it down so people can put it to rest," Paul Haros said.

A handful of platoon leaders helped, before the flag was handed back to dad.

The Haros have a long tradition of military service. The American flag is very symbolic to the family and they understand how others felt. The old flag will be passed on to Paul's son, along with its story.

As for those who live nearby, they say they're happy the neighborhood will return to the friendly place it was before.

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