SUNNYVALE (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a day to proudly display the American flag.

But on this Flag Day, CBS11 found the Stars and Stripes on the ground near a trash can, at of all places, the home of Dallas County Justice of the Peace Bill Metzger.

flag copy Veterans Upset, American Flag On Ground At Local Officials House

Rule Of The Flag: The custom is to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on flagstaffs in the open, but it may be displayed at night upon special occasions to produce a patriotic effect.

“What you have there is no effort to properly display the flag,” said Sunnyvale resident Joe Campbell. “You know a lot of men have fought and are fighting right now for that flag.”

Metzger wouldn’t speak to CBS11 on-camera. But his chief of staff said the local official’s support of veterans and officers speaks louder than any photo.

But when CBS11 showed a photo of the flag on the ground to local veterans, they were disappointed.

One of them, retired Air Force Officer Mark Kipphut (an expert on proper flag flying etiquette) said, “It’s disturbing. I find that especially elected officials should take the time and the effort to properly take care of the American flag.”

Metzger released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying the flag is usually flown on a family vehicle. It read in part: “The focus should be on uniting our country and not dividing it which is the aim of those who do not know my heart or my passion for this country.”

Metzger’s family eventually moved the tattered flag to a pole outside their home.

But it’s not exactly an improvement in the eyes of Kipphut, who has placed dozens of flags around the historic Rockwall County Courthouse.

“It’s difficult for us to rally together as one nation if our elected officials don’t take the proper time to display the flag.”

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