The Little League Flag Plaza

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Flag Discussion' started by FlagAdvocate, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    Infield.jpg
    One of the most unique flag displays I've ever seen is at the Little League International Headquarters in South Williamsport, Pa. Nestled in between the Little League Museum and the Administrative Office Building, is a baseball diamond shaped Plaza complete with infield bases and home plate, devoted to special ceremonies and press conferences held during the Little League World Series. The photo above was taken in May 2017 with a lens not quite wide enough to capture all the flags surrounding this Plaza.

    There are three separate flag displays grouped around this diamond shaped Plaza:
    1. The US flag and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania flag fly directly behind "home plate". These two flags are permanently displayed.
    2. Along the "first base line" are the flags of eight other countries most recently in the LL World Series arranged in alphabetical order.
    3. Along the "third base line" are the eight states' flags most recently in the LL World Series arranged in their order of admission to the Union.
    The following is an illustration printed several years ago as a handout to explain this to visitors. The illustrated view is from behind "home plate". The "first base line" is to your right and the "third base line" is to your left.
    Flag Plaza - Order of Flags for all three displays - March 2013.JPG
    Note that this flag display is also unique in that those in attendance at special events inside the Plaza "infield" are the presumed observers or viewers as that pertains to reading the correct Order of Precedence for the three flag groupings. In other words, as seen from inside the Plaza, the US and PA flags behind "home plate" are positioned so that the US flag is to the observer's left of the PA flag. The order of the other flags are arranged to be read from the observer's left to right. However, on approach to this flag display from outside the Plaza, the US and other flags would seem to be out of place. See attached photo (labeled LL Flags) taken from behind "home plate".

    According to a Little League official, this particular flag arrangement was conceived and designed in consultation with the US Army and patterned after war memorials where visitors see the surrounding flags from within the memorial. See attached "mail" photo which appears to be a Korean War Memorial as an example provided by a Little League official's email.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
    Robin Hickman likes this.
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    .....
    Thank You for posting this information and photos, FlagAdvocate!

    At first, I was a little confused by the layout and placement of the Flags. Originally, I thought that maybe the State Flags (along the 3rd base foul line) and the International (Foreign) Flags (along the 1st base foul line) were positioned the "wrong" way, and that the two lines of Flags should be swapped. Then I took another look and realized my mistake. Silly me! The U.S. Army had been consulted and the U.S. Army got it right the first time!

    Sheesh !!!

    Thank you for providing the correct Flag protocol, and the pictures to "back it up"!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
    .....
     
  3. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    After my initial posting of this thread, it has come to my attention that during US Flag Half-Staff events, Little League officials have encountered an unexpected problem. When the US flag is lowered to half-staff, all State flags are also lowered to half-staff, but the International flags are retained at full-staff according to international flag protocol. See the following photo.
    LL 1:2 Staff.jpg
    That image of the US flag displayed below the International flags has resulted in too many well-meaning visitors voicing their concerns to the Little League staff. It became too much of a distraction that it was decided to remove the US flag during half-staff events. Unfortunately, it was also decided to display the Little League flag on the flag pole dedicated to the missing US flag. That decision just compounded the problem since the Little League flag or banner is technically subordinate to the Commonwealth of PA flag next to it. See the attached photos taken after a half-staff event but before the US flag was reinstated.

    When viewed from inside the Flag Plaza (the intended view point) the Commonwealth of PA flag is in a position subordinate to the LL flag. The LL flag is 3rd from the left, and the PA flag is 4th from the left. Keep in mind that these two flag poles immediately behind "home plate" are considered separate from those along the first and third base lines. See the illustration and explanation in my initial post.

    I recently had the opportunity to discuss this issue with Little League officials and recommended if they continue to remove the US flag during half-staff events to avoid staff disruptions from concerned visitors, it would be inappropriate to replace the US flag with the LL flag due to the LL flag's subordinate status with the PA state flag. I'll try to keep the Forum informed if there are any further changes to this remarkable flag display and the efforts to maintain it.

    Bill Jameson
    Vet & Flag Advocate
    Williamsport, Pa.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  4. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    The story of how the International Little League Administration is attempting to manage Presidential half-staff orders at their Flag Plaza continues. Previously it was reported that when the US flag and subordinate state flags were lowered to half-staff below the full-staffed international flags, the LL staff had to explain to too many well meaning concerned citizens that they were following international flag protocol. It would be inappropriate to also lower the flags of other countries to half-staff. Therefore, it was decided that they would just replace the US flag with the International Little League flag during half-staff events, but eventually realized that it created another problem...the LL flag, substituting for the US flag, was in an inappropriate position with the PA state flag (see March 16, 2018 post above).

    Now during half-staff events, both the US flag and the PA flag are removed at the LL Flag Plaza. The much larger US flag, some distance away, is always lowered to half-staff when required. All because too many citizens are not familiar with international flag protocol, including a mistaken belief that no flag, even flags of other countries in a separate flag display, should ever fly above the US flag. See my initial post above explaining that there are 3 separate flag displays grouped around this diamond shaped Flag Plaza.
    Missing US & PA Flags.jpg Nearby US Flag At Half-Staff.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018

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