WHO IS RICK STEINER AND WHY DOES HE HATE THE FLAG ON FLATTOP?
Anchorage environmentalist and retired University of Alaska biology professor Rick Steiner says that the American flag on top of Flattop Mountain represents an abuse of power by the Dunleavy Administration and Rep. Laddie Shaw of Anchorage.
For decades, a flag has flown on top of one of the iconic hiking experiences in the Anchorage bowl, and scores of hikers make the flagpole their destination so they can take a picture of themselves at the flag.
Chugach State Park rangers have been taking the flag down, and patriots have been replacing it for years. The flag fight went on because it’s against State of Alaska policy to fly flags in State-owned parks.
Rep. Shaw has, for years, hiked the peak and replaced the flag.
He did so this past week with Reps. Sara Rasmussen, Lance Pruitt, and Kelly Merrick, all who represent Anchorage. The four huffed and puffed their way to the 3,510-foot peak to take away the tattered Old Glory, and put a fresh flag in its place.
Shaw has a conditional use permit from the Department of Natural Resources to place the flag there, although according to Steiner, this was an illegal action by the Dunleavy Administration.
“A permanent flag on Flattop in CSP clearly serves no recreational or bona-fide park purpose whatsoever. As such, the permit for this flag must be rescinded, the flag removed, and no other such permit should ever be issued in any state park, as per state park policy,” Steiner wrote, saying that Alaskans climbing Flattop “come face-to-face with yet another abuse of power and public process by the Dunleavy administration – an illegally permitted American flag on the summit.”
Steiner says the conditional use permit that Shaw has circumvented the public process and he goes on to say it was issued at an illegal meeting between Shaw and DNR.
Steiner’s name also appears on the official application for a recall petition against Gov. Mike Dunleavy, and he is a frequent critic of Dunleavy and President Donald J. Trump.
SHAW HELPS RETIRE FLAG WITH EAGLE SCOUTS
On June 15, Rep. Shaw spent the afternoon with Scout Troop 210 at Mirror Lake’s Camp Gorsuch, and brought some of the old and tattered flags that he had replaced over the years on Flattop Mountain. He spoke to the scouts about the symbology of the flag and then participated in a retiring ceremony for the tattered emblems over a bonfire.
“Every person forms their own relationship with our flag. For me, my relationship to it is shaped by the years I spent serving under that flag, and the legacies of the men and women I served with — some of whom never returned home,” said Shaw a retired Navy SEAL.
“I want to thank the troop leaders for inviting me to tell the scouts about my relationship with the flag, and to share some of my experiences as a veteran and a legislator with our young scouts. What an impressive group of future leaders,” he said.
READERS, WEIGH IN
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